Is it God’s will for married couples to have children?

Q: Does the Bible teach that it an obligation, or God’s will, for a married couple to have children? Or we just have to make the decision and go ahead with it? I believe that we have to do not only what we want, but also let God show us what is His will. However, I’m not sure if this is the way things really work. And I don’t know what He wants from me either. Could you please give me some guidance about this issue?

A (Gary Chapman): I think that overarching, the scripture teaches that husbands and wives, in God’s plan, are to reproduce. That’s what God says in the book of Genesis: be fruitful and multiply. If a significant number of people don’t do that, the human race will be gone. So for most people, God’s plan for them will be to have children. But let’s face it, there are many couple who, for many reasons, are not going to have children. Some would like to have children but physically can’t get pregnant. Others are not stable enough, either financially, mentally or relationally, to have children.

So I think each couple must seek God’s wisdom on what His plan for them is. I would not say that it is God’s plan for everyone to have children but that  it’s God’s overall plan that most married couples will have children–consequently the human race can go on. But it’s a personal thing that we need to pray about and seek God’s will. We need to look at how well we’re doing individually and also the marriage ought to be healthy because children put a strain on marriage. I would say: focus on building a strong marriage and then the two of you can decide whether to have children or not.


Gary Chapman, PhD, is the author of the bestselling 5 Love Languages® series, which has sold more than 8 million worldwide and has been translated into over 40 languages. Dr. Chapman travels the world presenting seminars on marriage, family, and relationships, and his radio programs air on more than 400 stations. He lives in North Carolina with his wife, Karolyn. For more information visit

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