The concept of having children or not is a taboo subject among many Christians. There are many camps in this debate; however, the two major camps can be classified as those who view that Christians are to have children in order to fulfill their marital duties, and the other camp that believes having a child is found in a believer’s freedom in Christ.
Having children is a huge responsibility and should not be taken lightly. Christian couples should not get married just to play “house” and have children, only later to find out it was a mistake.
Before a Christian decides to get married or to have children, they need to consult God in prayer and understand their own heart motives.
New Kids on the Block
Over the past two years, many of my friends have welcomed their firstborns into the world. From my own personal experience, babies are extremely adorable, but I still do not feel confident with holding them.
I may hold a bachelor’s and a master’s degree, but I can’t hold babies. I’m terrified I may drop them, and I couldn’t live with myself if I did. Even though babies take a lot of responsibility, they are bundles of joy and gifts from God (Psalm 127:3).
Most Christians would agree that children are gifts from God, yet not many people address the circumstance of when a Christian husband and wife does not want to have children.
If you are unsure of this situation, let me give you some peace by telling you that it is completely okay if a Christian couple chooses not to have children.
A Christian couple is not sinning if they choose to not bring a child into the world. The sole purpose of marriage is not to have children. Marriage is supposed to reflect the love between Jesus and the Church.
Moreover, the sole purpose of women is not to bear children. Starting a family does not mean you have to have children. A married couple is already a family. In the same way, a person is part of God’s family regardless of being married or having children.
1 John 3:1-2 tells us, “See what great love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are! The reason the world does not know us is that it did not know him. Dear friends, now we are children of God, and what we will be has not yet been made known. But we know that when Christ appears, we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is.”
Automatically as a believer, we become part of God’s eternal family. Whether we are married, single, have kids or not, we are all part of God’s family. This should bring great comfort to your mind, heart, and soul.
With that being said, many Christians who get married decide not to have children. There are many evangelical leaders and theologians who would disagree with me; however, the source I look to is the Bible.
Without the facade of Christian culture and the overarching ever-present patriarchy in the modern-day, the concept of Christian couples choosing to not have children wouldn’t be viewed as a problem.
It is only because of these man-made views that so many people think it is a problem to choose to not have children.
What the Bible Says about Children
Nowhere in the Bible are we told that we have to have children nor are we told in the Bible that we have to procreate. The entire purpose of a woman is not to bear children.
Oftentimes scholars mistake passages in the Old Testament as reasons why married couples are to bear children, yet the Bible never tells us that we have to have children nor be married to have worth.
As children of God, we already have inherent worth because God uniquely created us, and He dearly loves us (Psalm 139:13-16; John 3:16-17). Nothing we could ever do or not do could take away the love He has for us.
Yes, having children is a beautiful thing, but it does not mean having children is for everyone. Just like some people decide not to get married, some people decide not to have children.
Before a person jumps to conclusions or labels someone as “unbiblical” for not wanting to have children, it is important to keep many factors in mind.
A person may choose to not have children because they feel they are not ready to have children, have certain health problems, or a myriad of other reasons.
Every person is given freedom in Christ (Galatians 5:1), which means a Christian couple has the freedom to decide if they want to have children or not.
Married couples are not sinning if they choose to not have children and married couples who decide to have children are not sinning either. If a married couple decides to not have children, it is perfectly okay.
The worth of a person is not based on whether or not they have children. All people’s worth is based on Jesus. In Christ, we are given fullness in Him, which means we are complete (Colossians 2:10). Since we are complete in Him, it means we lack nothing.
Despite many evangelical scholars, teachers, and leaders advocating that Christians are not full Christians unless they get married and have children, Colossians 2:10 tells us that we are already complete in Christ as we are.
Taking care of children is a huge responsibility and for those who struggle with anxiety, depression, and other illnesses, having a child could exacerbate their struggles and illnesses.
As an example, for someone who struggles with generalized anxiety disorder, having a child could worsen their anxiety because they feel as though their illness would bleed into their child’s life.
In the same way, a person struggling with depression might decide not to have a child because depression in and of itself is draining and can cause great pain and grief in a person’s life.
Not to mention that the person who struggles with depression may feel that they will not be able to give a quality of life to their child because of their chronic depression. As one can see, there are numerous reasons as to why a person may choose to not have children.
If you are the person who is deciding to not have children, it is perfectly okay. Not having children does not make you any less of a Christian or a person.
If you are somebody who does have children or wants to have children, don’t look down upon those who decide not to have children.
What Does This Mean?
Those who do not want to have children are not sinning by not having children. Christians do not need to judge one another based on their marital status or how many children they have or if they have any children at all.
As Christians, it is important to remember to have unity among each other. We should not quarrel and argue with one another over whether to have kids or not. A married Christian couple has the freedom to decide if they want to have children or not.
This decision is between the married couple and God. All Christians have freedom in Christ, which means it is biblical for a Christian married couple to choose not to have children. Whether you decide to have children or not, it is entirely up to you.
God loves you the same whether you decide to have children or not. Your worth as a person and a Christian does not change depending on if you have children or not. As a believer in Christ, you are complete, and you have the freedom to make your own decisions.
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Vivian Bricker loves Jesus, studying the Word of God, and helping others in their walk with Christ. She has earned a Bachelor of Arts and Master's degree in Christian Ministry with a deep academic emphasis in theology. Her favorite things to do are spending time with her family and friends, reading, and spending time outside. When she is not writing, she is embarking on other adventures.
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