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.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Childfree Confessions, #4 (teenagers)

I’m one of those rare people who likes teenagers. Obviously, not all teens -- some of them are disrespectful, irrational, or just plain mean. However, I think that most adolescents do not deserve to be painted with that stereotype.

When I was in college, I worked with the high school youth group at my church. Being shy and not a very good conversationalist, I don’t know that I was a particularly good youth worker, but I did enjoy it. I loved the energy of the teens, and I was quite fond of the girls who were in my small group.

More recently, I have worked with the InterVarsity Christian Fellowship club at my college, at times acting as club advisor or being the guest speaker at one of their group meetings. I have found the students to be receptive to what I have to say, and the students in turn have encouraged me on many occasions.

I think I may have an ability to reach out to the more difficult young people too. During my weekly volunteer work at the local humane society, I am often side-by-side with adolescents who have been sentenced to community service. I have the luxury of not being an authority figure to them, so I am often able to convince them to do something for me or coax some respect out of them more easily than their leaders can. I find that showing the kids some respect -- smiles and hello’s, thank-you’s and excuse-me’s -- truly does go a long way. Some of the kids ask me about my work there, and when they learn that I have been happily giving my time to the shelter every weekend for the past nine years, they seem to see more value in their work… if this lady does this because she wants to, maybe it’s not a “punishment” after all. I recall one incident where a girl complained and disparaged the work for several minutes. Finally, I approached her and very lovingly said, “Please don’t call this ‘ghetto work.’ [her words] What you are doing is really important, and the shelter appreciates it. And even though the animals can’t say it to you, they are grateful for it too. I’m a math professor, so I have a full-time job and don’t need to be here doing these things, but I come every week out of love and because I know it’s important. I just want you to feel good about what you are doing too.” Bless her heart, the girl’s attitude changed completely, and I didn’t hear another complaint. One of her leaders took me aside afterward and thanked me.

My admiration for adolescents and young adults has influenced my choice of profession as a community college professor, and I describe this in an article published on The Childfree Life this week (Why Do I Need a Child When I Already Have 100 'Kids'?). I feel that I get all the perks of being in the lives of those young people without all of the headaches of parenting.

If only I didn’t have to survive pregnancy and all of those early childhood years, perhaps I would have wanted to be a parent (though maybe someday I will be compelled to adopt). But now that I think about it, being a role model or mentor to the scores of teens that I have worked with and will work with is probably far more valuable to society than my being a parent and focusing my energies on just my own one or two kids.


  1. I think doing the volunteer work and being a mentor is a great thing. Unfortunately, there are parents who don't treat their children properly or who just let them do whatever they want and so they get in trouble. They need guidance from an adult that they can trust and who isn't going to coddle them or be too harsh either. I think you're doing good work.

  2. This is the great part with choosing a path towards not wanting to have own children, the ability of reaching out to others that those whom have families might not have much time left for.

    God bless your work and passion for reaching out with His love and care! :-)