As a young woman, I never personally questioned whether or not I wanted children. I looked forward to marriage and motherhood with an excited longing, even in my teen years. Thankfully, this desire was balanced with a pretty high standard for what I was looking for in a husband, so I didn’t rush into mothering just for the sake of it, but I digress…
Lately I’ve had a few interactions that have caused me to spend some time thinking about the choice of motherhood. In this culture we live in, children are often seen as a hindrance, as an expense, even as a lesser-quality life (one complete with diapers, spit-up, messes, quarreling, and so much work).
While I would expect this in a world apart from God, what pains me so much to see this attitude in the church! I know so many Christian couples who don’t want kids because of the lifestyle changes that children bring, or the expense associated with them. I know of parents encouraging their children not to have very many children because of similar reasons.
My friends, this post may be a bit more blunt, but I really believe this message is important. I hope it encourages you to stand strong in your commitment to parenting, or softens your heart to it if you’re not sure where you stand.
Reasons Why to Chose Motherhood:
1. Refusing to have children is not biblical. People can argue this, but the fact is that God calls married couples to have children. He commands us to multiply (meaning increasing in number through the generations), He calls children a blessing over and over throughout Scripture, and has created the family structure for a specific purpose.
2. Because God has designed parenting as the natural outcome of marriage, it is a major source of development and growth that you were designed to have. I may catch some flack on this, but I firmly believe that nothing in the world can develop your character the way that parenting does, and if you chose to live your married life without children, you will never know the fullness of maturity and development that God intended for you to have. (Although if you have been unable to have children, you have grown through a unique trial as well.)
3. As a Believer, I also believe that life begins at conception. I may catch flack for this too, but this is so important and many people tiptoe around this issue: Practically speaking, this means that most non-barrier forms of birth control (including the pill and iud’s) are off-limits. Why? Because they all function, either primarily or secondarily, as abortifacients. They make the uterine environment such that an embyro cannot implant and continue to grow, causing it to abort without the parents’ knowledge. Heaven is full of tiny souls whose parents don’t even know they exist! If you are trying to control your family’s growth, please, please be fully knowledge about your method of prevention!
4. By avoiding children, couples are allowing fear and/or selfishness to rule their lives instead of God’s truth. Fear can take many forms – it can be fear of change, fear of not having enough (money, time, etc.), fear of society’s judgments, fear of personal inadequacies. And I understand this! Honestly, I do. We have worked through every one of these fears. But the truth is that God promises to provide. He loves us so much more than the sparrow! If He creates a life, He will provide for that life. Does it mean sacrifice? Yes, it usually does. But like I said earlier,parenthood will grow you and develop you more than you can imagine. It is well worth it!
To close, I want to say that I don’t necessarily agree with the idea of never limiting your family size, and I understand that we all have our limits! (If you haven’t read about our journey with family size, just go back a few posts!) I’m not suggesting that you should feel guilty about not having any certain number of children.
But I believe that we need to foster a culture of life – one in which children are always considered a blessing and couples are encouraged to have families without fear!