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.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Insights on Being Childfree and Christian: Part II

Part II of my interview with Laura Carroll, author of Families of Two.
Continuing my interview with childfree Christian blogger I.Am.Free:

Laura: Many childfree Christians have a hard time reconciling not having kids with their faith--you have. How?

Quite simply, during my formative years no one ever told me that such a thing was wrong! I attended church regularly from the time I was born, both of my grandfathers were ministers, my parents read me Bible stories and devotionals before bed every night, I went to a Christian school where I rigorously studied the entire Bible… I was completely immersed in Christianity, and yet I never saw anything in my Bible nor heard anything from the pulpit to convince me that there was something immoral about not having children.

I should probably add that while I attended churches that some might describe as conservative and fundamentalist, they were fairly mainstream Protestant churches. Individual opinions might have varied about birth control or family size, for example, but there was never a church mandate against birth control or a mandate to have children. As such, my personal experience with mainstream Protestantism is undoubtedly vastly different from the experiences of my Roman Catholic sisters and brothers who hear the opposite message from their pope.

Even now that I have been exposed to Christians who believe there is something evil or rebellious about purposeful childlessness, I have still heard no compelling spiritual argument against it. No one has been able to present to me clear, Biblical evidence that every (married) person must bear children. Even “be fruitful and multiply” is considered by some scholars to be a blessing to humanity and not a command; but if it were a command… well, humanity has been fruitful and multiplied to the tune of about 6.7 billion. I think we have fulfilled that directive.

Laura: How have you dealt with pressure from family, friends, and the church to have children?

I.Am.Free: I have always been a woman of my own mind, and I have been well-known for bucking societal trends in many areas, including my career, my marriage relationship, my gender role, my financial decisions, and so on. Though some of my family and friends have given me a little flack about not having children, they have come to realize that I think carefully about everything I do and that I will do what I know is right, regardless of what anyone else has to say.

Between that and about twenty years of me being matter-of-fact about not having children, most of my family and friends have seen no point in trying to change my mind. As for the church, I have experienced no direct pressure to have children. Whenever I do feel any indirect pressure, I focus on the relationship I have with God and the confidence I have that I am following the right path. I also seek out churches that welcome people from all walks of life, and I would not hesitate to leave a church if I found it to be intolerant.

Laura: What advice would you give to other Christians who are struggling with being Christian and childfree (or who are wanting to be childfree)?

I.Am.Free: The first piece of advice I would give is to know what you believe and why. Some of what is taught in church is not based on Scripture or even church history, but is completely the invention of some person who misinterpreted or added to the Bible. Read the Bible for yourself. Look at the historical and cultural context of what you read. Question your church leaders. Determine which aspects of your church’s teaching are from God, and which are nothing more than human tradition.

The second piece of advice is to listen to what God is telling you. I do not want to sound as if God is some sort of crystal ball or the great vending-machine-in-the-sky, but I do believe that when we are open and receptive, earnestly seeking God, and prayerful, that God does give us direction and a peace about what we should do.

Lastly, stand strong. Doing the right thing is not always easy and often does not please others. For heaven’s sake, I have even heard of Christian parents who tried to discourage their children from becoming missionaries! But I think it will be difficult to be content unless you live the life to which you were called.


Thanks so much for your thoughts and insights. This topic needs to be talked about more to help those who may be struggling with being childfree and Christian.

So to you out there: Let’s hear your thoughts.

From I.Am.Free re: online discussion: In my experience with the childfree community online, many are quick to criticize religious viewpoints. I am certain that to the nonbeliever, much of what I have said about my faith will sound absolutely ridiculous, and I can appreciate that. While I am happy to answer any follow-up questions or make clarifications, I am not interested in defending my faith to anyone who is merely attempting to make me feel foolish.

As some of my dear friends are atheists or agnostics, I have had plenty of time to engage in challenging philosophical discussions on the spiritual and to analyze my beliefs in the presence of great skepticism. I welcome this, but I have found that it does not translate well into the online world. I hope that discussion will not deteriorate into a debate about religion.

Laura Carroll: I'm especially interested in sharing with others your stories about being childfree and Christian!
Dear readers, feel free to comment here or to share with Laura at http://lauracarroll.com.


  1. I have to tell you how refreshing I am finding your blog. My husband and I are also Christians who happen to be childfree. I have always felt that God was leading me to a life of childlessness and I never gave it a second thought. Other Christians when I was in my teens and early 20s asked me what I'd do when the guy I wanted to marry had children, and I would just comment that if God wanted me to get married, He'd bring me a guy who didn't want children either, and so He did. I voiced my decision early (as a child) as well, so I've never really felt pressure from my parents, who accepted my decision when I never wavered from that decision throughout my adult years. (My mother is a Christian. My father is not.) I have been a church-goer since early childhood and have been a self-professed Christian since I was 11 (after I started proclaiming my life of childlessness even), and I have to say that I rarely feel the consternation of other Christians in regard to our decision. (Our biggest battle was, surprisingly, my husband's friends, who are mostly Christians who are our age -- late 20s and early 30s. I think it was one of a long line of non-traditional things that my husband and I did, though, when we married, so maybe it was a combination backlash and too much for them to take. They made a ruckus over my not wanting an engagement ring and that soon morphed into outrage about our not wanting children, and so on...)

  2. Jessica, thank you for sharing your story with me! What you said about your husband's friends reminded me of one of my husband's friends who was furious about me not changing my last name. Really? If my husband doesn't care that I want to keep my name, why should this other guy care?

    Anyway, it is nice to meet you. :)

  3. I love reading this blog; I'm also a married childfree Christian, and I was beginning to think that I was the only one! I've noticed that most churches I've attended put pressure (either subtly or not-so-subtly) on singles to get married, and married couples to start having kids as soon as possible. It's nice to see others out there who feel that God has a different path for them to follow.

  4. Thank you for your feedback, Twilight. I have noticed that churches sometimes don't know what to DO with people who don't fit the "norm." There are classes for newlyweds, parents, retirees, people going through divorce, college students, etc., but not usually for anyone who doesn't fit in a clearly defined group. For example, the churches I attended in college often stuck the singles in a "college and career" class or a "transitions" class. They always seemed like a group of misfits, stuck together with nothing in common except that they were unmarried.

  5. Nice answers to read :-)

    I do can relate to also thinking all things carefully, I often like to even think twice before doing something. I am also a very practical lady, I think more about what is of good use or good quality for me, more than what looks preppy and perhaps might get broken after a short time.

    I did used to having two friends whom themselves easily did or said things without thinking too much, and they have also tried treating me as I am this way too. I find this a bit comical; As those who puts the blame over unto someone else, it truly shines through who is really the guilty one. Some seem to feel better if they can blame others for their own sinning and unhappiness. But by judging quickly on others, this same judging will come over them as well.