Islam encourages the young Muslims to get married and have children. The Prophet [sallallaahu alayhi wasallam] said, 'O young people, whoever of you can afford it, let him get married. It helps restrain the eyes and preserve the private parts. But if he cannot afford it, let him fast, for it works as a preventative.'
He also said, 'Marry fertile women, I will be showing off your large number of the day of resurrection.'
Choosing the Right Spouse
These are the main characteristics that should be sought when choosing a spouse:
Deen: It is the first thing to look for according to the Prophet's instructions. This does not mean choosing any Muslim but the one who applies Islam throughout his daily life, not just a nominal Muslim.
Conduct: A woman or a man who has good manners is considered as a grace from Allah. The Prophet [sallallaahu alayhi wasallam] said, 'There is nothing more beneficial to a believer next to the fear of Allah than a pious wife. When he commands her, she obeys him; and when he looks at her, she pleases him; and when he swears by Allah that she should do a thing, she would; and when he is away, she guards herself and his property.'
This also applies to the husband with regard to good conduct and fear of Allah, for raising children requires the efforts of both parents not just one of them. Since man is the head of the family, it is his responsibility to choose a pious woman to be the mother of his children. Allah states, 'O you who believer, protect yourselves and your families from a fire whose fuel is man and stones.' (66:6)
And He says, 'And enjoin as-Salaat (the prayer) on your family, and be patient in offering them [i.e. the Salaat - prayers].'
When Allah's Messenger [sallallaahu alayhi wasallam] was asked about the greatest sins, he replied, 'You should associate an equal to Allah while He created you, that you kill your child out of fear that he would eat from your food, and that you commit adultery with your neighbour's wife.' (al-Bukhari and Muslim)
The prohibition of killing one's children is a necessary consequence of having mercy for them and protecting their body, minds and soul from harm.