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, May 3, 2011

A Reader Asks for Help

I received a message from a reader asking for help. Rather than have the message buried in the comments section of another post, I thought I would share my response here and invite other readers to weigh in on the dilemma.

“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?


  1. I'm a believer in discussing everything you feel strongly about before getting married, but in this case, it seems as though (1)they didn't discuss it, (2) he didn't express his beliefs truthfully and/or firmly, or (3) she didn't believe him and thought he'd change his mind later. When I was asked prior to marriage, "Well, what if your husband wants children," I always answered, "God would not bring someone in my life to be my husband who wanted children. If God truly wants me to marry, my husband will be childfree as well." (He is.)

    I do not think not having children is any more selfish than having children -- just different outcomes and viewpoints. I also have not found any biblical reasoning that shows that being a parent is necessary to be in God's will. If that were the case (as you mention), God would have given me the desire to have children and would have led me to a man who wanted children as well. As it is, we're both strong Christians who do not want children -- and we both came to that decision without even knowing one another and through a lot of prayer and thought. I have always known when I wasn't in God's will before, because there was no peace in my heart when I made decisions on my own against God's desires.

    That all said, you need to be praying and praying hard. Why do you not want children? Why does your wife want children? Do you feel as though you are in God's will with this decision? Remember, sinning isn't just about doing what God doesn't want you to do; it's about "missing the mark" and not being in His will. Choosing not to have children (when following God's will) is no more selfish or sinful than choosing not to get married (when following God's will).

    I firmly believe that having one children is definitely NOT a compromise to having no children or having more than one. You either have children or you don't. You can't take it back, no matter what, once you've had a child. I agree that children suffer when they aren't wanted, even if that desire has never been expressed to them. I also agree that if you are supposed to be a father, God will give you a father's heart and will lead you in that direction. If you do decide to go to counseling together or separately, please be sure it isn't a natalist minister or counselor, because there is nothing wrong with a Christian who doesn't want to have children. There is something wrong, however, with trying to get Christians to be outside God's will when they know they aren't supposed to have children and others in the church are attempting to lead them astray by demanding that they give in to the idea that everyone must procreate.

    Pray and follow the Spirit's guidance as to your future path. I truly hope your wife is praying for guidance and not just praying that you change your mind. There is a huge difference there, and praying that someone else's mind is changed instead of praying that God's will be done is not helpful.

  2. "If God truly wants me to marry, my husband will be childfree as well."-I need to steal that line. That's great!

    "I truly hope your wife is praying for guidance and not just praying that you change your mind."-My sentiments exactly. I think my mother prays that it'll change my mind. Prayer is not a competition. It's not about trying to out-pray someone else.