Wow! Great response on Rebecca’s guest post last week! I am so thankful she shared with you and was excited to see conversations popping up between different groups of people on Facebook and the like in regards to her post.
Being that a good portion of my readers are Christians, I can see how you may have cringed at first and then thought, “Well, maybe I can see her point as a non-Christian. She has no real duty to God to raise godly Children from the standpoint of the Bible.” But my friends, it is time to throw you for another loop.
When I first met Tahlia, it was at TGIFriday’s for dinner with her and my brother-in-law, Ronald. I was 7 or so months pregnant and Tahlia told me she didn’t care for children. I thought to myself, “Well, certainly she wants some of her own, she just doesn’t like other people’s kids!” And then we talked some more, and the more we talked I realized, no, this girl doesn’t want any of her own. She is not the maternal kind! As a Christian, I believe that Christian people who married are called by God to have children and raise them to be godly! I might be on the extreme end of the spectrum, because I want to have as many children (biologically my own and through adoption) as the Lord blesses me and the Milk Man with, but I still cringed at the thought of someone who professes Christ to be adverse to having children.
Then I read what Tahlia had to say on the matter. Though this is not my viewpoint, and I cannot agree with it for myself, I was surprised at how I could totally see her side of things by the time I finished reading her guest post. So without further ado, I give you Tahlia!
I’m preparing for my wedding next spring and Rachel invited me to share my brilliant plans for motherhood…
That’s right, ellipses, I don’t have any plans for motherhood!
I really appreciated what Rebecca said in the last post because it all rang true to my own experience. If you talk to me in person, you’ll hear me cite pragmatic reasons like Rebecca’s, because that feels like safer territory to me, but since Rachel asked me to add a Christian’s perspective to this issue, I’ll do my best to focus on that angle.
I’ve always believed that it’s a choice that you and your spouse should make after a lot of prayer. Isn’t that how you choose a college, career, and the spouse who is involved in all this?
So, Christians, let’s talk. Why do some of you freak out when I tell you I don’t want kids? Why is that not okay?
Here’s my best guess: You think child-rearing is a Christian duty?
I think most Christians have accepted that some of us are called to singleness so we can devote ourselves to God. I doubt many Christians would say that I needed to get married for the sake of being married. If I’m meant to get married, God will bring the right person into my life–that’s generally how it’s understood, right? If there’s no one I feel called to marry, then not getting married is fine as long as I’m not living in sin with a man.
Okay, hopefully, I’m not offending anyone up to this point with my assumptions. I’m *really* trying!
So let’s continue on the premise that marriage is not something all Christians are required to participate in. And obviously, you’re not supposed to “be fruitful and multiply” outside of marriage, right? Children are only a Christian duty for those who are married. Now, what if you’re getting married, like I am? Is the whole point of marriage to raise a brood of little Christians? Is the purpose of marriage negated if we don’t have children?
I think not. My interpretation of marriage is that it’s main purpose is to serve as an illustration of God’s covenant with his people. Marriage is about experiencing a love that reflects (albeit dimly) God’s love for us. You can learn about love through other types of relationships, but marriage is special because of that bonding promise you make at the alter –two sinful people committed to loving each other (and accepting love) despite their fallenness. They are swearing an oath to find the true freedom that comes with surrendering. Of course, only God can bring us perfect freedom and we’ll never manage total selflessness since we’re only human, but that’s the ideal.
Having children is a huge decision too, and in many ways, a much more serious and complicated one. I suppose it’s a type of covenant as well, but I think you enter into that family covenant when you get pregnant, not when you get married. I think sex inside of marriage can be an exclusive way to express your love for your spouse without necessarily having to lead to procreating.
For me personally, I don’t feel called to have children and I think if God wanted me to be a mother, he would have given me some inner sense of calling towards that to prepare me. Personally, I’ve always felt called to be a writer. I’ve been given this gift and I feel a strong duty to use it for the glory of God and having kids would most certainly delay that mission even longer. Sure, I could try to write while raising kids, lots of authors do that, but I want to focus on the gifts God has already given me and really honor my commitment to God, my craft, and my husband. I truly feel like it was an act of God that brought me and Ronald together as a way for us to become closer to Him. And neither of us feels led towards starting a family, so unless that changes, I’m going to take my best guess that it’s okay with God if we leave that area alone.
Post Script: This is not meant as an attack on parenthood. So please don’t take it that way. I am in awe of those women (and men) who choose to be homemakers. Also, please refrain from patronizing comments about how I’ll change my mind once I’m married. Yes, you may be right, but your condescending treatment will just make it harder.
If you have any comments for this blog or questions for my soon to be sister, please feel free to leave them below, but as stated in the previous guest post PLEASE, be kind and respectful, these are her views and she isn’t forcing them on you, simply sharing them with you!