“I need help please” wrote:
I have been married for 3 years now and I have never wanted children. I am willing to have a child with my wife because she wants one but she just told me, 2 days ago, that she wants more than that. First, I cannot and will not have more than one if we do. Second, she wants me to want to have children, to want to be a father. Now she believes that if we separate for a few months and we go to counseling on our own that I will come back and want children with her. Its not that I don't want children with her, I don't want children at all. I have no desire to be a father. Am I selfish for this? Am I sinning?
I am humbled that you would seek my advice, though I am not sure that I am qualified to speak with any authority on your situation. If you do believe that I can offer any valuable insight, I would like to first direct you to some of my other posts on the topic of whether or not it is a sin to limit the number of children you have (including 0).
Is "Childfree Christian" an Oxymoron?
Rebellion Against God
The Purpose of Marriage
Being Childfree and Christian Part I and Part II
The short of it is that I can find no biblical evidence that not wanting or not having children is a sin. But as with all major decisions in life, we should consider where God is leading us.
I recall a story from a pastor whose daughter came to him in tears one day. “Dad,” she said, “I’m afraid that if I tell God I’m willing to go to the mission field, he’ll send me to Russia, and I don’t want to go to Russia!” The pastor wisely replied, “Sweetheart, if you open your heart to God, either he will not ask you to go to Russia, or he will ask you to and you will want to go.”
I have no idea whether or not God will ask you to become a father. But if he does, I believe he will give you the heart that you need. And if he is asking you not to become a father and you do anyway, the children may suffer for it. I have seen in my own extended family the agony caused by ambivalent parents.
Adults can suffer too. Study after study has shown that marital satisfaction takes a serious hit when children come along - and many of these were wanted children!
Are you selfish? Of course, as we all are. But you are no more selfish than your wife is for trying to push you into having children that you don’t want to have. And, I see modern procreation as an immensely selfish act, one that usually is done with little to no regard for what is in it for the child. In contrast, the fact that you are willing to have a child in the first place tells me that you are the kind of person who is willing to make a selfless sacrifice for the sake of someone else’s happiness. That your wife would ask more of you makes me wonder whether she is willing to make any selfless concessions in return. Perhaps there is more to this than just the issue of children?
I wish you the best and hope that you can find the answers you are looking for.
Readers, what do you have to say?