Questioning Parenthood: To Be or Not to Be A Parent

As a Christian married couple, have you joined the current “childfree” movement?

Have you signed up with “No Kidding!” a down with kids group founded in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, reported to have a growing membership of over 20,000 with 92 chapters globally?

Whether based on fear of the future, a concern for the environment, a sense of inadequacy, or a desire to spend their time and resources on their own pursuits such as travel, careers, or the comforts in life, more and more married couples are choosing to skip parenthood. Author Stephanie Zackarek hails the freedom that comes with being childfree, explaining how the baby she never had, has given her freedom.

Unlike countless couples struggling with infertility issues who are making every effort through medical options and possibilities to become parents; and those who are reaching out through adoption to embrace parenthood, there is a growing group of couples including Christians who are choosing to forgo having children.

God’s Purpose for Sex

Although God created sex to be pleasurable and beneficial for married couples, He specifically created male and female with a divine purpose.

Glenn Stanton, Focus on the Family’s Director of Family Formation Studies and author of The Myth of the Dying Church addresses the question.

“Must married couples have children? The question is as important as it is sensitive. Let me be frank. A married couple is expected to have children, both by God’s design and command. It is a huge part of what is about.

In God’s creation, His first command for marriage is fruitfulness. That is clear. God’s design for the man and woman coming together, with the union and cooperation of their gloriously unique bodies, is to participate with God in creating new life.”

God’s Plan for the Nature of the Marital Relationship

Stanton goes on to describe how, “Someone can purchase a beautiful car and never drive it, merely keeping it on display. But that is ‘unnatural’ if you will. The car was made for much more and cannot really be what it is if it doesn’t demonstrate its central capability.”

He believes, “This is how it is with a married couple who wants to keep their fertility in the showroom. It is contrary to the nature of the marital relationship.”

Stanton explains that, “The next generation of humanity demands that husbands and wives create it.”

God’s Plan for Parenthood

In Malachi 2:15 God explains that He is seeking godly offspring. Still a growing number of Christian couples today seem to believe becoming parents is merely a personal choice, with God not really caring either way.

However, it’s clear in Scripture that God gives children as a gift, as Psalm 127:3 explains, “Children are a heritage from the Lord, offspring a reward from Him.”

So because God’s enemy comes as a thief to steal and kill (John 10:10), is it possible the childfree movement is one of the ways he is robbing Christians couples of marital rewards? Is he pulling the wool over their eyes of understanding, convincing couples that by choosing childlessness they are making a better, more noble, more responsible, or even a more sacrificial choice? Yet, all the while cheating them out of some of God’s riches gifts and inheritance?

Is this option really a resistance towards God’s divine plan, the Giver of Life, and His will for godly couples? (1 Timothy 6:13) A way the evil one is persuading men and women to reject God’s first commandment to be fruitful, increase in number, and fill the earth with godly offspring? (Genesis 1:28)

Taking A Closer Look At Becoming A Parent

If as a Christian married couple you’ve been considering passing on taking the plunge into parenthood, please take time to pray and seek God’s heart on the matter in making your decision. Consider and examine what might be behind your leaning towards having a childfree marriage.

As well, please take a closer look at what is influencing your decisions concerning the whole parenthood question. Are their family members, friends, neighbors, or co-workers causing you to question the value and importance of parenthood? Are things from your past upbringing and own experiences causing you hesitation at the thought of becoming a mother or father?

Also, consider reviewing the films, television programs, books, websites, and more that are speaking into your life, to see if they are motivating your opinion on this very important issue.

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Lynette Kittle is married with four daughters. She enjoys writing about faith, marriage, parenting, relationships, and life. Her writing has been published by Focus on the Family, Decision, Today’s Christian Woman,,,,, and more. She has a M.A. in Communication from Regent University and serves as associate producer for Soul Check TV.

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