Is It Selfish to Not Want Children?
- Thursday, August 23, 2012
EDITOR'S NOTE: he said-she said is a biweekly advice column for singles featuring a question from a Crosswalk.com reader with responses from a male and female point of view. If you've got a question about anything related to singleness or living the single life, please submit it to he said-she said (selected questions will be posted anonymously).
QUESTION: I have had this question for so long and have been praying about it. Is it selfish to not want children? I am single and waiting on the Lord for the right man and I have always wondered, would it be right to pray for a godly husband who also does not want any kids? Would this be right in God's eyes? Does this mean I should not get married? I have been told countless times that my feelings would change later on, but I am aware of that. I like kids but I just do not see myself raising any of my own.
Most every culture, organization or group has some sort of written or unspoken standard operating procedure and is usually based upon tradition, values, customs, morals or a combination of each. Even though the family structure in America has been under attack and is slowly deteriorating through liberal ideals, it is still a commonly held belief couples (on the whole) should have children.
However, children are not for everyone. When born to a couple who is not willing to sacrifice their own desires, in lieu of theirs, is not a positive environment for the child. When they are “introduced” into a troubled relationship in order to “solve” relational problems, it can often intensify the differences and accelerate the demise of an impending break-up.
Your pre-relational decision to not have children is not being selfish, but rather quite the opposite. Knowing who you are and what you want even though contrary to “popular belief” is not wrong. Many of us “go along” with what other people think we should be doing even though it is not the best course of action for our own life.
Ask and you will receive, and your joy will be complete. John 16:24
God longs for us to spend time praying fervently and specifically for what we want. However, we also need to be open to listen to God’s desires and wishes. We may get so specific and focused on what we want at times, we don’t allow (or accept) what God’s (better) plans are when we hear them.
2 Corinthians 2:14 says we should “not be yoked together with unbelievers.” In the same way, we should also not be yoked with those who want and are seeking different things in life, especially when it comes to having children. The right man will share in your dreams and help you to accomplish those things God has placed on your heart as you do the same for him.
Throughout your single journey, continue to search for His desire and His wisdom for your life, it is often found on a narrow road. You will not be disappointed.
To get straight to the core of your concern, no - I do not believe it is wrong or selfish to not want kids.
Your future is crammed with endless possibilities of ways you can serve, live, explore, grow, minister and establish relationships. The Apostle Paul was a man like this. He wanted to dedicate his life to God’s work without the distractions of a family. And he was pretty blunt about his personal opinions that having a family limits your freedom and potential. I once had a theatre professor in the same situation. Both he and his wife are called to the arts: they act, teach, dance, and travel. They could not pursue this calling in the same way if they had children, so they have chosen not to have them.
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