About this Blog

After banging my head in frustration over the obsession everyone around me had with procreation, I went online to find a community of people who were more like me. I have met some fascinating people along the way, but I have also found that many in the childfree community are quite hostile toward Christianity and a Christian world view. I understand that, unfortunately, many of my Christian sisters and brothers have given them a lot of ammunition (undoubtedly, I have been guilty of this at times too). Not wanting to be perceived as "trolling" for expressing my Christian perspective on other people's forums and blogs, I use my own blog to share my musings on childfree life while at the same time expressing my faith.

My intention is to show support to childfree people, both Christian and non-Christian, but from my own Christian perspective. Questions and constructive comments are welcome; negativity and intolerance are not.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Rebellion Against God

I came across an article from 2003, “It All Right for a Married Couple to Choose to Remain Childless?”, which concludes that a prayerfully considered choice to be childless is not necessarily wrong for a Christian couple. There are a few facets of the article upon which I would like to comment.

I was particularly struck by the statement, “Just as couples who choose childlessness must carefully consider their motives and callings, so must couples who desire to become parents.” Amen to that! I am so tired of the childfree constantly having to justify our reasons to the world, while those with children are never called out on their reasons for having children, however selfish they may be. Contrary to what our society seems to say, and how our culture seems to promote parents to the status of sainthood, people do not always have children for the “right” reasons. It cannot possibly be “worse” to be childfree than to have children for idolatrous or self-serving reasons. Children are not toys, accessories, status symbols, hobbies, or experiments. They are people with minds, feelings, and their own purpose. Having children should not be taken lightly.

I was discouraged by the subtle implication that most(?) childfree people tend to be selfish and irresponsible:
“Are they being self-indulgent or making an idol of career or money?”
“My concern, however, is with those who choose not to have kids because they think the task of bearing and raising children robs them of their ‘freedom’ to do and have what they want.”
Back to the previous paragraph, most people have children because it’s what they want to do/have. Why is it somehow more wrong for a childfree person to do/have what she or he wants?

I think another reason that stereotype bothers me is that I have conversed with many, many childfree people (some of them Christians), and the stereotype actually seems to be the minority. Most childfree people who articulate the reasons for their choice have a very logical, selfless, and thoughtful rationale for their decision. Christian or not, the childfree tend to take the decision quite seriously and do not see it as a frivolous issue.

For myself, I just plain have never wanted to have children. This feeling is no more selfish and no more rebellious than my not wanting to move to Alabama or not wanting to go camping or not wanting to be a psychology major in college. As I have been pressed by society to justify my position, I have carefully considered additional reasons to have and to not have children. And I have considered moral reasons to not have children. Sometime I will tell you about the day I believe God actually called me to not have children.

“Childless-by-choice couples always should ask whether they have a special responsibility to serve God's people in ways couples with kids can't.” From what I can see, most people with kids aren’t doing much to serve God’s people because they are so wrapped up in their own kids’ lives. Their own family takes priority above all else. Between the little league games, band camp, ballet lessons, karate practice, both parents working so that they can afford a 3,500 square foot house and two giant vehicles to tote their offspring around town, there’s not much time left to serve God. I would guess that anyone who doesn’t have kids is more capable of serving God than someone with kids. Whether they have a “special responsibility” or not, the childfree couple certainly has the ability “to serve God’s people in ways couples with kids can’t” (or won't).

So while the author does conclude that deliberate childlessness can be morally acceptable, there is still a tenor of “just make sure you aren’t rebelling against God with this decision.” When people start throwing that admonition at people having children, I might take it a little more seriously.

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