Is It Selfish to Not Want Children?
- Thursday, August 23, 2012
To be specific, 1 corinthians chapter 7 cautions that it is better to live unmarried if you don’t want the distractions of family life. But, if we are honest with ourselves and not being over-spiritual, this is largely because in biblical times birth control varied from “nonexistent” to “highly ineffective.” If you had sex regularly, you were likely going to get pregnant at some point. With today’s modern medicine that is no longer the case.
Many people will probably tell you that the Bible does mandate children. However, it would be more correct to say that biblical writers were thankful for children and considered children a blessing. If you notice, God never speaks to childless couples admonishing them for living childless lives. Many biblical figures cried out in agony to God, longing for children which they couldn’t have… but God is never seen approaching any biblical individual to request that he or she have some kids.
That being said, I have some cautions. As a follower of Christ, I believe you have this responsibility:
“You must accept whatever situation the Lord has put you in, and continue on as you were when God first called you” (1 corinthians 7:17).
If you are able to find a husband who is fine with not having children (and believe me, they do exist) and you were to become pregnant, it would be your responsibility to accept that situation. Children are a natural fruit of sex- and if you aren’t willing to deal with the possibility of children, it would be safer to remain unmarried.
And, honestly, it is true: your feelings may change. My older sister grew up fairly terrified of children and is now the beautiful mother of three. She still doesn’t really care for children, but she really likes her own! God provides for mothers in that way. For that reason, I would caution you not to rush into any permanent surgery. You may find a wonderful man who would like to have children someday, and he may end up convincing you.
Regardless of the future, however, I want you to be at peace. Not all women were meant to be mothers. God is concerned with your heart and your life, not with how many babies you produce. Don’t let anyone make you feel guilty for not wanting kids! If anyone says to you “God told Adam to be fruitful and multiply!” – feel free to say, as Hodel tells the overzealous Perchik in the classic musical Fiddler on the Roof, “Yes, but he was not speaking to you personally.”
HE is … cliff young, a Crosswalk.com contributing writer and a veteran single of many decades. He has traveled the world in search of fresh experiences, serving opportunities, and the perfect woman (for him) and has found that his investments in God, career and youth ministry have paid off in priceless dividends.
SHE is … Debbie Wright, Assistant Editor for Family Content at Crosswalk. She lives in Glen Allen, Virginia and is an avid writer, reader, and participant in local community theatre.
DISCLAIMER: We are not trained psychologists or licensed professionals. We're just average folk who understand what it's like to live the solo life in the twenty-first century. We believe that the Bible is our go-to guide for answers to all of life's questions, and it's where we'll go for guidance when responding to your questions. Also, it's important to note that we write our answers separately (we think they sound eerily similar sometimes, too!).
GOT A QUESTION? 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). While we are unable to answer every inquiry, we do hope that this column will be an encouragement to you. Click here to visit the he said-she said archives.
Publication date: August 23, 2012
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