Generation Cedar

Interestingly, with this topic heavy on my mind this week, one of my readers sent me a link to a horrific site, which I won’t link to–a site that promotes a “lifestyle of childlessness”.

Of course what was blaring to me as I stared at the “top 100 reasons not to have kids” was how diametrically opposed each reason was to the life of a Christian.  Well, that’s mild.  In truth, here was a false religion of self-worship, just as God has hated and warned against from the beginning.  As I ponder a lot lately the “disease” of a self-centered culture and all the implications, there it was, staring from my computer screen, making no apologies anymore–“WORSHIP YOURSELF”.

Worse though, is that extreme as a site like this may seem to us, a careful look at it reveals hints of camaraderie many believers share regarding thoughts about children.  (“How will you….with those children?”) Let it not be.

(In fact, and I’m not trying to get flamed for this but…there is little difference, really, in “childless by choice” and “childless by choice after two”.  The premise is very close.) (Intended as a general observation, not a definitive statement for every family in every circumstance.)

Sometimes it takes an extreme look at where we are headed to reveal the errors in the way we are getting there.

Here are a few reasons the site gave for not choosing children:

1. You will be happier and less likely to suffer from depression.
2. (Assuming you get married), you will have a happier marriage.
3. You will have the capacity and time for meaningful, engaged, quality adult relationships.
4. You will be able to save for a comfortable retirement.
5. You are more likely to be an engaged and involved aunt or uncle because you are not jaded and worn down by your own kids.
6. You can fully pursue and develop your career.
7. You can fully pursue your educational goals.
8. You can decorate your home as you wish with as many beautiful and/or breakable things as you wish and you will not have to child-proof your house.
9. Your house will be free of junky, plastic kindercrap.
10. Your spouse will get all the love and attention he/she deserves. You will come first in your spouse/partner’s life.
11. Your pets will get all the love and attention they deserve.
12. You can eat whatever foods you wish at whatever time of the day you wish out in the open, whether it be a gourmet, exotic meal, or chocolate chip cookies.
13. You never have to yell, scold, correct or punish anyone (assuming your spouse and pets are well-behaved 😉
14. Your home will be a quiet and welcoming oasis, instead of a chaotic zoo.
15. Your identity will remain firmly intact.
16. You will enjoy personal privacy.
17. You will get a full night’s sleep every night.
18. You will have the time and energy to exercise regularly and take care of your health and appearance.
19. You will stay informed and engaged in current events and will remain an interesting conversationalist.

“Show me Your ways, O, Lord, teach me YOUR paths.”  Psalm 25:4

128 Responses

  1. Great Post!

    I’m afraid, though, that many Christians will look at that list and say, “So, what’s wrong with all that? Sounds good to me.”

    Changing our minds about children means changing our minds about virtually *everything*. We talk about children in terms of how many we can “afford”, but I really think that for most folks it doesn’t have as much to do with whether or not they can feed and clothe their little ones, but whether or not those children will hamper their lifestyle.

    Blessings!

    :)Tiana
    http://godmadehomegrown.blogspot.com

  2. I know this is probably wrong, but I’m always somewhat amused at the way God works in these things – you realize, don’t you, that folks who hate kids or think they’re burdensome are the ones who don’t have them? Which means they don’t propogate their foolishness to another generation?

    Meanwhile, child-loving Christians who are willing to have 2, 5, or more kids raise those kids to know they are cherished, valuable, and beloved of God, and those kids go on to take that attitude and share it with the next generation after them?

    In other words, kid-haters snuff themselves out in short order while the child-loving Christians continue onward. I find the wonderful irony in this just delightful. God is truly sovereign.

  3. I can see how the article you referred to could be very inflammatory and lead to some wrong and selfish ideas, but thank you… that list just made me OK with being childless for now. We have not been able to have children and I guess there were things on that list that are not necessarily bad and are, indeed, true for us (being able to get plenty of sleep, etc.) that I had not even recognized or appreciated. We hope to raise a family someday, but for now, maybe it is OK to enjoy some of the “benefits” of not having children.

  4. While I agree with you that this is sickeningly selfish, I think I disagree with you as you compare choosing to have two children as the same thing as choosing childlessness. And I say this as someone with way more than two kids, so it isn’t a self-defense.

    I get where you’re coming from when you say that. I do. The attitude of children being less than a blessing is sometimes glaringly evident in the reasoning of people who are adamantly opposed to having more than two children.

    But I also know that there are couples who love children, but who look at their situations (age, financial state, health concerns, etc.) and make the decision that their family is complete. Do I always agree with the reasoning? No, but neither do I think they are being selfish or worshipping themselves.

    In the case of the site you referenced, the self-worship borders on insanity because children are more than just a drain, they are also God’s way of caring for the elderly when they can no longer care for themselves. For those couples who CAN not have children, that is why we have the church.

    I hope my comment isn’t argumentative, Kelly. You know 9 times out of 10 I agree with you.

  5. Can I amend my comment above? When I said that children are “more than just a drain”, I was speaking form the perspective ofthe author of the list you wrote. That is not my view.

    I re-read it after it posted and was horrified at the way my words came off. This is what I get for trying to comment when I didn’t have the time to do so properly. Ugh!

    1. Terry,

      I totally get what you are saying. For the record, and I knew my statement would seem extreme, I realize it’s a bit black and white to say, “there is little difference, really, in “childless by choice” and “childless by choice after two”.”

      I say such to address a very broad, general attitude of the church, realizing fully that there are plenty of individual circumstances outside of selfish motivation, I just didn’t include the disclaimer.

      I just want to challenge the general idea of shutting off the womb, cause us to think deeply about why we do it, and most of all, to search out Scripture for wisdom in that area.

      1. Kelly, while it may come off as extreme, I think you raise a good point with saying, “there is little difference, really, in ‘childless by choice’ and “childless by choice after two.’” It is AMAZING haw many Christians I know who, while they love the children they have, still do not view children generally as a blessing.

        For example, in talking a few weeks ago with some friends who currently have two, I asked if they were planning on having more. From the husband came a list of excuses and lamentations eerily similar to the list you posted on why they were stopping at two.

        Now, this same man, if you asked if his CURRENT children were a blessing…would answer yes in a heartbeat…but when asked if ANOTHER child would be a blessing…you hear no (and the answer would have been the same before his second was born….that a second child would be too much).

        So, I think what you were pointing out (at least I think so) is how many couples can still think of children, generally, as a burden, even while thinking of their CURRENT children as a blessing. The way our human selfishness can endure sometimes truly is incredible.

  6. The thing that really strikes me about that list is how false it all is! When we were just a household of me and my husband, both in the workforce, it was a frazzled, stressful, broke time. We had no spare time in the evenings and very little on the weekends. We were always tired and trying to stay caught up on chores and errands.

    Now with an 18 month old and another on the way, life is more peaceful! And our finances have never been better! We are more money-conscious now, I guess. We will be able to save for retirement because we choose to live below our means.

    It’s really sad, those who avoid having kids for reasons like those. I can maybe see if someone had a debilitating disease and were disabled, or homeless, or were severely abused as a child and afraid for their own parenting….to me reasons like that are nit selfish.

    Our culture went from considering all children to be blessings, to now saying 0-2kids is the ideal.

    I have an in-law who is already worried about MY money and life because my husband mentioned a third child, whom we’d love to have. His concern was all about money and our ability to afford a house and their college. He is totally missing the point!

  7. I’m with Kacie on this one. I had the exact same thought while reading throught the list. I married my 24 yr. old hubby at 18 and our first daughter was born 10 months ago just after I turned ninteen. Previously we were told many times by well meaning people that the “choice” to have a child right away would be really hard on our marriage, escpecially because I was so young. But to this day, it’s brought us closer together than we ever could have dreamed! I’m really not sure where they got the idea from, but maybe I’ll find out when Charity learns to talk back, and I get all frustrated and take it out on my hubby, God forbid. We can’t even remember what life was like without her….what did we do for the first 10 months of marriage??? Now we have more incentive than ever to be in God’s Word, and study all we can about education, discipline, and raising a daughter to be feminine according to God’s design. Having a daughter has “gorwn us up real quick.” Hopefully. 😉

  8. Kelly,
    Your comment:In fact, and I’m not trying to get flamed for this but…there is little difference, really, in “childless by choice” and “childless by choice after two”. Struck a cord.

    People who have chosen to cut off children after two , do have a different attitude then those who have allowed God to decide how full their quiver is.

    How many people say they quit having children because if they get pregant they will die ? Most describe ” the two and no more” in terms of finances or mental/emotional health. Interestingly, I know lots of people (I live in California where is it more like “one or none” for Christians)who get divorced and then can have that one more child with the new spouse .All the other reasons are forgotten.

    GOd calls children a blessing and who decides to “cut off “God’s other blessing? I have yet to hear someone say ; I’m/We’re praying that God will quit blessing us with more income . No one has an operation to cut off their hand or leg to insure they can’t work so they can stop God’s blessing of work . Or takes medicine or poison to ensure they are not healthy and feel sick all the time.Who moves to a war torn country to take away the blessing of a peaceful life ? People want to choose the blessings they want to accept from God.They accept good health, incomes , peace and the multitude of other blessings He gives daily.

    Our culture has encourage people to play God for themselves. The Bible says that God opens and closes the women.Choosing to cut off what God calls a blessing does have consequences.

    By the way I had four children born twenty-two months apart. A single and triplets. The first comment out of the doctors mouth was” we have a specialist who selectively reduces, he’ll take the small fetus(Elizabeth) .

    I was considered high risk with my history. I had lost five babies and was on complete bed rest till six monthes with my first full term baby. I had zero problems with the triplet pregnancy, no bed rest not even water weight gain.The doctors and nurses were shocked.

    Every time I went in for a check up which after five monthes is weekly , I was asked by the nurse if I want to have my tubes tied .I would say no and the same nurses would ask the same question the next week. Our culture pushes sterility.

    By the way they were all born healthy even the thirteen inch, one lb 12 ouncer .We do have an amazing God. We made the choice NOT to close the womb after four children in 22 monthes and God has made the chose to close it. We have peace because we know it is God’s choice to decide our quiver is full .

    Two last thoughts. Before birth control one had to deal with having another baby.How many women do you know who want more children but, the husband says no and she is deeply grieved she can’t have more ?

  9. Kelly,
    I just want to say how much I appreciate you taking on this topic. Having children is always a matter of faith and obedience. There are no promises made to any of us with any of our children. If we only have 2, that is no guarantee that I will be able to afford college or retirement, a nice house or leisure. Neither will having 0 children guarantee any of these things. We merely assume that WE will be able to provide these things. Ultimately this seems to reveal our man centered world-view in which we are not trusting in a loving, holy, perfect father to provide what we need in each moment of every day. Rather we are looking toward ourselves and our own abilities for our provision. I know that I for one am not smart enough to KNOW how many children I need. I can’t see tomorrow (who am I kidding, I can’t see 5 mins from now), I do not know what lessons I need to learn through my children (or which one will teach me that lesson), I do not know what contribution to the perfect divine plan of a sovereign God any of my children will make (nor which ones God does not “need” so that I could be wise enough to “chose” whether or not to conceive them). If I am dependent on God for EVERYTHING I need, why/ how could I be so arrogant to think I could wisely “plan” my family? (full disclosure: we struggled with infertility for years and know its pain, the number of children in our families is not the problem. The attitude of our heart is – who is “deciding” how many children you have? You? Or a loving God whom you claim you trust?)
    Anyway, Thanks for tackling a tough subject and being able to say things that would be dismissed if said by those of us of the male persuasion.

    John
    http://apauper.com

    “Children are God’s gifts, a heritage, and a reward; and are to be accounted blessings, and not burdens: he who sends mouths, will send meat, if we trust him.” – Matthew Henry

  10. I know a 22 year old woman, always homeschooled, who has attended church regularly all her life. She has chosen a child free lifestyle (her parents think she will change her mind) and says she is content with just being an aunt. She was courting a man who felt the same way. She wants to be able to help others and not have the burden of a family. I can totally see her relating to the comments and articles on that blog. I agree with Jane. It’s all about me.

  11. i apologize if i say something that’s been touched on already, i read most of the comments but am running out of time… someone very early commented that ‘the people who think kids are burdens don’t have them’ but the problem with this ‘yay me, no kids is awesome’ attitude, is that even people WITH kids buy into it… my sister is currently on a ‘don’t have more than one kid’ rampage with people, focused largely on me… i’m kind of terrified for her poor kids! she (and many other parents i know) laments not having the things on that list… meanwhile my husband and i are hoping for a ‘honeymoon baby’… i’m sorry this is rambling and disjointed, i need to get off this computer, but as i said, my concern is not the affect these sorts of sites have on the childless… it’s the affect they have on those with children…

  12. Many of those statements on the list were absolute lies. Childlessness does not improve your marriage; it causes less bonding and less reason to stay together. It also does not improve your finances and your ability to save for retirement; sinful people spend more on themselves and don’t plan as well for the future because they don’t have to!

    I am often told, “We would have more children if my husband loved children as much as yours does” but the love (and mature fatherhood) did not develop until the children came. I have a husband who is an amazing daddy NOW but he certainly had a lot of learning to do when the children were all young!

    Now, if God gives us longer lives, we have the maturity and wisdom and love to enjoy our grandchildren with patience and delight.

    Barrenness causes the entire life of the couple to be sterile. It is no accident that couples who have learned to become less selfish from giving to their families also do very well in other relationships.

    There was a study published years ago which showed that fathers of large families eventually earn far more than those with very small families. I’ve seen it happen with my husband; there is nothing like a lot of mouths to feed to motivate a man to work harder!

    1. “Many of those statements on the list were absolute lies. Childlessness does not improve your marriage; it causes less bonding and less reason to stay together. It also does not improve your finances and your ability to save for retirement; sinful people spend more on themselves and don’t plan as well for the future because they don’t have to!”

      No, they are not lies. Me, married 25 years, and we still adore each other. Our marriage has truly been for better, for worse, and we’re all the stronger for it. I’m retired from a lucrative career that I enjoyed very much. Completely debt free, due to planning very well, thank you very much – including a healthy retirement. Augmented, admittedly, by inheritances from both sets of parents, but we have not been using hundred dollar bills for toilet paper. How ridiculous to state that people without children don’t “have to” budget and save their money! Man, what kind of fairy-tale world do you live in where there’s a certain type or class of people who don’t have to behave responsibly? Even those you regard as “sinful” still have obligations to their families, friends, and communities.

  13. Jill,

    “Many of those statements on the list were absolute lies.”

    So true…and would we expect anything else from “The father of lies”? I said to my children today: listen to NOTHING except God’s Word. Lies are screaming at you from every direction. Measure all you hear with what God says.

  14. Children have no value in our society. You only have to look to see that the more directly you work with children, the less $ you make. That says it all. What a horrible list. Children are the best thing in this world – until unfortunately so many of them get ruined by us adults. I have no problem with people who chose to lead a single life; perhaps to commit their lives to the service of others. And I think there is a big difference from actively trying to get pregnant every year, and just keeping your womb open and not using BC. But to actively discourage people from bringing children into the world is wrong. Do they expect OUR children to take care of THEM when they are old?

  15. Wow! This really floored me when I read it. I just heard on NPR how a new study came out recently saying men and women who have children are happier, healthier, and live longer. It’s so upsetting that people would just bold face lie like that and promote something so awful!

    I don’t understand when will people learn? Our bodies were created to make children. Whether or not someone believes in God, that’s just the reality. No birth control is ever 100% so unless someone chooses to remain a virgin or chooses to commit murder (i.e. abortion) then they must always be prepared to have children.

    *shaking head sadly*

  16. I see this attitude in the church and it breaks my heart. I’ve heard every reason to NOT have another child- finances, college, not enough time for another child’s schedule (teeball and piano lessons), vacations, not wanting children to share a bedroom (give me a break), etc. What I’ve noticed is Christians often frame this in
    the “what is best for the child” line of reasoning. It is still selfishness!

    When I was pregnant with my second, I had several Christian ladies share how guity they felt while pregnant with their second child. Why? They felt they were going to deprive their first born child by having another. I was shocked! I veiwed our having a second child as a great blessing for our first born. Our girls are only one year apart and have so much love for each other. After 11 years of barreness in our marriage, God “remembered” me and blessed us twice! We will never take any action to prohibit the blessing of children. With a two year old and a one year old, we are praying for God to send us more. Sleep is over-rated!

    Also, as a Christ follower, I never truely understood God’s love for me until I held my first child in my arms. I would do anything for my children. I hurt when they hurt. The thought of being estranged from them breaks my heart. This is a glimpse of God’s love for us, his children.

  17. Kelly, Have you heard anyone say this?

    “I am afraid that if I have more than 2 children, then the odds will be higher that one will be lost (rebellious, etc).”

    I don’ t know where he gets this reasoning. Maybe because he knows several families where they may have 3 or 4 and at least one turns out to be a rebel. I don’t know but it is really weird.

    I will remain anonymous on this comment….

    1. My husband has said he thinks our chances of having a child pass before us is higher with each child. I have two friends who have lost thier only children.Life is just risky.

  18. “Sleep is overrated”

    Thank you, KatieGrace, I loved that! 🙂 Just what I needed on a tired morning.

    I admit a few of those things can be true, but at what cost? The joys associated with my children far outweigh getting more sleep or having more time for myself. (Though eating chocolate chip cookies or going to the bathroom alone would be nice 😉

    We have three children almost 11, just turned 5, and almost 1. We are constantly asked if we’re having more. My enthusiastic “oh, I hope so” is often met with genuine surprise. (Up to this point no actual disdain). When I tell people that we’ve had a hard time conceiving, they always look at me incredulously…but you have three!!? Yes, and look at how far apart they are. One sweet young Christian mom at a meeting I was at thought it was so hard to get things done with her one little boy she couldn’t understand how I could possibly accomplish anything and didn’t know if they would have more. She was a genuinely sweet Christian and I think that just goes to show how warped we (even us God lovers) have become by society.

  19. I wonder what is interesting about the conversation one would have with a childless person if their reasoning contains fallacies such as those found in some of the arguments listed. (As a quick example, I can’t imagine how engaging a niece or nephew would find them if their home was a museum of breakables and devoid of “kindercrap.”) Not to mention the fact that even though most folks only have one or two children, they do have children. I know that even when I had only one, I could no longer relate to the lifestyles of my childless friends nor they to mine.

    This also points to a personal pet peeve of mine (pun intended!) that dogs and cats have seemed to replace children in our society. RIght down to products such as strollers and carriers. Many have more than one or two pets which often leaves their homes looking, sounding and smelling like a literal zoo rather than the figurative one listed. When our dog was a puppy, it took 6 weeks to get him to stop howling all.night.long. I wasn’t left with much time or energy to exercise the next day ;D Contrast with my 4 week old daughter who was up frequently for her first 3 nights and once a night for a feeding since. Finally, because the beloved pet doesn’t give flack or talk back, but is forever seemingly devoted, many pet owners have a closer (or better, more loving) relationship than with their spouses.

    Thanks again for continually bringing these matters to our attention!!

  20. i think the problem with the ‘interest of the child’ reasoning is that it breeds selfishness into the CHILD… if you are the center of your parents universe in every aspect growing up… why wouldn’t you expect it to be all about you as a grown up? now… having to share and thrive with several siblings… that can build character and a sense of ‘others’

  21. Quinn,

    I couldn’t get over the pet reason either. We have animals and I will submit that animals can be just as demanding as children, with much less return and certainly no eternal value (go ahead, launch a debate about pet heaven).

    So very twisted.

  22. A reader writes:

    “Do you really think God could be stopped by a birth control pill?…Your essay shows your sense of misguided power–that you think we can open and close the womb. Only He has that power, Kelly. Why do you think you are as powerful as Him?”

    Um…honestly this comment borders on insanity AND it’s totally off-topic. But, I have heard it before, so thought I’d give the quick answer:

    God can’t really be stopped by anything. But I bet if you stand in front of a bus and tempt Him to show forth His power He will leave you to suffer the consequences of your stupidity.

    Can we close the womb? Of course we can! We do it all the time. It’s not a matter of “can we”.

    Wisdom and obedience, not “power” is the subject at hand.

  23. “(go ahead, launch a debate about pet heaven)”

    LOL… nice. yeah, i love my pets (frankly, till i have kids, they are all the ‘parenting’ i get to do) but really? i could easily come up with a list of ‘100 reasons not to have pets’… and they’d be WAY more valid…

  24. I can’t bear to read this whole list. That people are so selfish and actually believe these lies…they truly are missing out on of of God’s most precious gifts. I can’t imagine life without my kids..it pains me to even consider it.

    Great post…

  25. I also noticed how the list is dishonest:

    -I am able to fully prusue my career (as a homemaker and mother!)
    -I like our decorations and find my home peaceful(you can put toys in toyboxes)
    -I still excercise and put make-up on
    -I have a great marriage
    -My husband said that he works harder at his business since having children because it is such a motivator.
    -I have meaningful relationships (especially with my children!),we eat delicous homemade food,still take the time to educate myself alongside my children, write music, have my neice over…

    I have to go….my 2 and 5 yo are suprising me flowers from the yard and want to comb my hair 🙂 This is the life! It is hard work and there have definately been difficult times but having children has been such a blessing in our life.

  26. I pity these selfish people who will never experience the joy of having your own child hug you and say I love you. Yes my floors are never clean and I cannot do whatever I want whenever I want, but I would never in a million years trade my three precious children for any reason they listed. My children are worth far more than any sleepless night I have had or any cookie I have not been able to eat. Seriously are these people for real??

  27. You know Kelly, I was prepared to come here and state how I disagree about birth control and all; you know how I feel. But I find myself having the same worries you did about this site. Personal decisions are one thing; making a list creating children as a nuisance is another, a dangerous and coldly sterile thing.

  28. What about those (like me) who keep having child after child and ARE getting exhausted, worn out, and possibly becoming a bad testimony for large families by the very fact of being completely frazzled?
    I completely agree that that list is bogus, and people who choose to be childless are almost always just choosing to have a selfish me-centered lifestyle.
    We decided to let God plan our family, and from year 1 of marriage have had children 16-18 months apart non-stop. That leaves me currently with 4 children 5 and under.
    On the other hand we know MANY many Christian families who have decided to stop having children after 3, 4, 5, 6, all the way up to 11.
    I still strongly believe that Christian men and women should give their fertility back to God, and that children are a blessing. However, I find it hard to believe that Christian women can’t and shouldn’t use natural family planning at all.
    I know this opens a whole ‘nother can of worms, but I recently talked to a woman who’s husband has a hard time keeping a job, they could barely afford the basics, and were on government welfare, and having child after child as well.
    What would you tell this woman? Run yourselves right into the ground? Each child means more govt support?

    I hate to be devil’s advocate, because this is an area God has convicted me about, and I do agree with all of you. Although here I am (and I’m sure I’m not alone) struggling with the practicality of it.
    We are not ones who have struggled financially (praise God!), however, mentally and spiritually I am running on empty. God gives MORE grace, sounds like an empty cliche most days.
    And if anything, the daily running of this household causes me (and us as a family) to be VERY inward focused just to survive!

    1. anon, I am pretty sure somewhere that we are allowed to take a time to live chastely with our spouse. That is different from birth control, if you need to “take a week off,” so to speak. There is a big difference from actively trying to conceive and just not using birth control. I hear where you are coming from – not all of us are the serene mom with perfectly behaved children like ducks in a row behind her. Mothering is wonderful but is hard too. In my opinion there is definitely a place for natural family planning, whether you are just doing a calendar thing or something with temperatures and all that. Obviously you are keeping your womb open.

      I don’t think the Lord expects us to be going like rabbits all day. Especially, once you have all those kids, who has the time? I know I have said this before and people did not like it – but I stand by it.

    2. Anon,

      I want to handle your comment/concerns VERY carefully, and honestly, this may just be a bad time to answer this question because of where I am mentally, due to some different influences in my life.

      Having said that,

      I understand “exhausted and worn out”. I understand frazzled and physically worn. I understand emotional struggles. I never want to minimize real feelings, real trials and real women in need of comfort. I have been that woman many times.

      And at the same time, lately there has been a “movement” to implore our feelings and pity as ammunition against large families.

      Namely, if a woman is tired, frazzled or sleep-deprived, she is by definition the victim of an abusive husband who insists on this “insanity of having child after child”, keeping the focus man-centered, and ignoring the role of God in giving life.

      What my “beef” is these days, is that we treat hardship like it’s a plague. We default to comfort and ease. So, now that we can avoid children, if a woman goes through a season of difficulty due to having many children, we assume she’s either crazy or oppressed. Why would she “choose” hardship?

      When in reality, if we viewed children as not only a blessing, but a very real result of married life that God gives, but which can also mean challenges, we accept whatever hardship just like we accept other trials of life.

      I know I’m not articulating what I’m trying to say very well, but most often, it is the trial, the hardship the revealing of our weakness that God most wants to use to show forth His strength. It’s always been that way through history.

      I’ve often compared what you’re saying to Paul’s situation. God led him to preach the gospel. Simple enough. As soon as he began, life became terribly burdensome for him. “Hardship” doesn’t begin to describe what he suffered.

      But he never questioned God, or questioned why he was suffering. He only learned, that “whatever state I am in to be content”.

      I think it’s too easy for us to let our trials cast doubt. Would we feel differently if it wasn’t possible to prevent children? Is it the ability to control that now causes us to question during hardship?

      I’m asking out loud. I have infertile friends who tell me, “Relish this season of sleepless nights and a messy house. It is short and I would give anything to exchange sleep for a nursing infant.”

      I mean to encourage you, please understand! I think sometimes we just need to revisit some saints of the past, take a look at the persecution that makes our hardship look like fun, and praise God for where we are. Do what we can do to ease the temporary discomfort, but accept what suffering might come and trust that He is molding me to look more like Him.

      1. I agree that Christians should accept hardship when God calls them to it. However, in an area like fertility, there doesn’t seem to be a set precedent. Other than the concept that children are blessings from God, and not curses as our current culture would have us believe.

        I’ve often thought about the “is it the ability to control that makes us doubt” question. I honestly don’t think that’s it.
        Don’t you think somewhere waaaay back there, some smart woman figured out natural family planning? I’m not an anthropologist, but I’m pretty sure NFP has been common knowledge for a while. What if some of the godly women we see in the Bible actually used knowledge of their cycles to prevent pregnancies? It’s concievable (no pun intended).

        So, knowing that you can simply abstain on certain days provides some level of control naturally. Is abstaining on these days on purpose an attempt to thwart God’s plan?? Is it wrong? and if so, where is the Biblical back up?

        Any number of things could make preventing pregnancy *for a time* more responsible than not; Adultery, special needs children, health, finances, etc.

        I’m not part of the pack crying abuse or that I’m a victim. I know God convicted me to let Him plan my family size, and my husband as well. However, at the time, it was a specific conviction to not use convential birth control. It’s been a long and vascilating process trying to figure out what NFP or barrier methods mean to a Christian, and more specifically to me.

        1. Anon,

          I forgot to address NFP. I don’t personally hold to a hard and fast rule about this. I always revert to the heart. In the first place, I am careful to maintain that I do not believe it is a sin to misunderstand the blessing of children. I think of it much more in terms of wisdom.

          By the same token, I think many negative implications have come of not following the wisdom of Scripture regarding children and have easily slid into sinful practices.

          I say all that to say, then, that I don’t consider NFP a “sin” if I don’t consider birth control at all one. I just like to tread very cautiously when I answer these questions because I think it’s an easy, slippery slope.

          Obviously, the heart matters. And yet, we must be careful to avoid using that as the “license”. I could also use the “I haven’t been called to have more children” but I think mostly that would be incorrect.

          Rambling here, I know. Seek the Lord. That’s what I would tell you. I don’t believe in formulas or a bulleted list of when it’s OK or not. Just a pure, soul-searching answer from the Lord. My prayers are with you, dear one.

        2. anon-
          I had 3 within 4 years, making it 5 under 10 yrs old. I cried in the shower, at 3a.m. while nursing, while driving…but blessedly had beautiful women around me (and in the media!) say “I did, too!”. So to you, beloved, it gets better, just keep looking to God! I was sure more children would compound the stress and mess, but now, with #6 just 3 mo. old, and trusting my womb to Him who loves me, my skills have improved (by neccessity), and as the children are old enough to be taught how, they help with so much, and my house and life are neater than in year one of marriage! Far from perfect, but I can enjoy them – it’s not just mom cleaning and caring for everything in the house.
          AND – my second is special needs. We did not know at birth – only after #3 was born and I was preg. with #4 did we begin to find out why Brynna, then almost 3, was not walking or talking. If we had known, might we have “avoided” having #s 3 and 4? It might have been so much easier not to have to take a 6 yr old, a toddler and a tiny baby to all the dr. appts (five hour round trip), with Brynna. But could anyone look at Ian (#3), and Evy(#4) today, and all they have learned and taught, and wish I hadn’t let God give me them? If anything, they kept me busy enough to not fall apart at a crushing diagnosis. And what has God in store for them that a special needs sister is preparing them for?
          Please, please, stay the course, be encouraged, cry alone if you need to, but smile when you can – He is faithful, loving, and WISE!

    3. i was in your shoes 4 children under 5 my home was a mess and all i could do was keep up with the laundry diapers and meals.One baby would lay and cry while I dressed the others for church.Of the four the last two where only 11 months apart.I kept thinking life would eventually get back to normal.It never did.I also didn’t get blessed with another child for 6 long years.I ended up begging and pleading with God to just bless me one more time.I am 40 now.My oldest is 14 my youngest 18 months and if I could change anything I would have loved for God to have given me a few more children in between my last two.The kids are all very good friend and a great help to me.I do know it is really hard and you must be purposful with your time but your children are only young and needy for a very short time. soon they will become your little helpers or in my case a home full of young men who take very good care of thier momma.I have to admit I really miss taking care of them as the sweet babys they once where.It really does all change very swiftly.TRY TRY TRY to enjoy it.

  29. anon,

    When speaking of large families, one of the things people like to throw around is “they will/do/might need government assistance”. Do you not consider public school “government assistance”? The government DOES fund public schools, does it not? So, most families I know use government assistance. Even though they may only have one or two children.

  30. We don’t plan on using government schools, and would also balk at the idea of accepting government assistance. I guess I haven’t thought through the concept of whether or not claiming the child tax credit is ethical or not, but the key for us is we don’t NEED it to maintain our family.
    Being in a place where your family is literally dependent on the government for survival, and purposefully continuing that situation, seems wrong for a Christian. However, that’s just my opinion.

    1. Anon – if someone steals your money (even if it’s for a purpose they claim as worthy) you are allowed to seek reimbursment (you have to sue for it though).

      The Bible entitiles you to a double portion in fact.

      So, are you robbed by the gov’t (unlawfully taxes – and if you look at the Constitution I think you’ll find you are)? Then there’s no problem getting back the money they stole. It’s not the same as welfare. It’s a tax return. Will you forgoe all other tax returns?

      1. Which is why we have no problem in theory with the child tax credit or homeschooling subsidies for example. However, I think it’s completely different to use government support as a means of supporting your family (i.e. paying for the basic necessities of life).
        You know, there ARE people that have children specifically for the govt money. I’m not saying poor Christians are doing this, but motive is beside the point if you are in the same financial situation as a drugged out single mom in the ghetto.
        I do agree that the government is extracting more tax money from Americans than would be constitutional, but at this point in history, it’s against the law to not pay your taxes, so as Christians we obey our earthly authority and we pay them. I don’t consider that theft by the government, and I can still be outraged by govt spending and the level of taxation.
        Letting the government give something back, to a finanically sound family, should be like gravy, not something we are dependent on. I don’t think there is biblical ground for saying the govt is stealing so we have a right to demand it back, that’s a quick slide into socialism there, also part and parcel of America’s entitlement mentality.
        But once again, these are my opinions, although I’m sure I could make a biblical case for providing for your own family.

  31. While reading that list, I couldn’t help but think how much of it wouldn’t be an issue if you managed your finances well and didn’t over-schedule yourself. I have two kids, ages 13 and 10, and I have no problem getting a full night’s sleep or doing pretty much anything I want to do.

    On the subject of number of children, my husband and I tried for several years for a third child, but it never happened. I had become infertile. And while taking medication might have helped, my husband decided he was too old to have any more (he’s 41 now) and had a vasectomy last year.

    As for Jesus not having children. He wasn’t married. Paul said that it’s better to be single if you can do so without sinning because all your focus will be on pleasing God. Had Jesus decided to marry, I’m sure he would’ve had kids. But His focus was on saving mankind.

  32. To Anon: I hear you since I have often struggled with the same thing. God knows your heart and I do not think it is displeasing to Him if you and your husband prayerfully decide to take a break. I don’t think you are wrong fir wanting to be able to breathe and enjoy the blessings you already have. There are methods of birth control that are safe and don’t mess with your hormones. Barrier methods or natural family planning are in line with God’s will, I believe. I know a lot of people won’t agree with me on this, but after hours of thought and prayer, and speaking with many wise people about it, I’ve come to the conclusion that as long as we are open to children and don’t have motives like wanting to take better care of our pets, that it is okay to choose the spacing of your babies and even to draw the line somewhere. For me, not having a good testimony because you are run ragged is reason enough.

    1. Laura,

      I answered anon about NFP above (I keep thinking these nested comments get missed). I mostly agree with you. We would probably draw a different line, but I certainly think couples are free to explore that option with a pure motive.

  33. I am one of the women who always wanted more children but my husband said no after 3 children. I will always regret not having more children. I now have 2 grandchildren and they are wonderful. My oldest son and his wife say they can’t afford any more children and don’t want anymore. I don’t know what I can say to them to get them to change their minds. I will just have to pray about it.

  34. Excuse me but how does choosing no kids make you so evil I see how people treat their kids and wonder if they really wanted them in the first place. It amazes me how some hold up ‘poverty on purpose’ as more godly. To me it is just as bad as frivolity. Children aren’t blessing if you don’t want them. Life will be miserable for the parent and child. Read the news and you will find some make terrible parents Ever heard of Casey Anthony, Susan Smith, or Andrea Yates?

    “Childlessness does not improve your marriage; it causes less bonding and less reason to stay together” How come so many I know are divorced with kids? I’m not childless by choice and either way my husband and I are together regardless. I’m 40 so that makes me pretty wise. Our young people are being mislead by religious leaders who think they have all the answers.

    “In other words, kid-haters snuff themselves out in short order while the child-loving Christians continue onward. I find the wonderful irony in this just delightful. God is truly sovereign.”Was Jesus a child hater? Mother Teresa?
    So you see,most aren’t against large families but the judgment toward those who pick different paths. Until those who ‘leave it to God’ stop judging we will continue to criticize. Stop and think about it. ‘Judge not least ye be not judge.”

    1. “It amazes me how some hold up ‘poverty on purpose’ as more godly.”

      That amazes me too. But what does have to do with this post or blog? No one has said anything of the like.

      “Children aren’t blessing if you don’t want them. Life will be miserable for the parent and child.”

      You may not have read here long enough to know, but this blog and this post is written to Christians, in relation to the Christian life. We are commanded to love children.

      “Stop and think about it. ‘Judge not least ye be not judge.””

      You’ve used this verse horribly out of context AND, no one here is judging. We’re making a plain observation about the culture of death that defies even science and nature.

    2. Umm, slightly divergent, but you HAVE heard more than just the name Andrea Yates and Susan Smith, right? I mean, you actually know *about* them, right? Because Susan Smith committed a pre-meditated act of violence against her children. Andrea Yates had a post-partum psychotic break, in which a chemical malfunction in her brain cause her to hallucinate and be delusional. It’s an illness. It has *nothing* to do with whether or how much she wanted children.

      And children are a blessing whether or not you want them. If God says so, that’s good enough reason to call them so.

  35. The list makes lots of assumptions… that the homes of families with children are zoos! I resent that and work hard to make my home a welcoming oasis and for our visitors, especially those who have no children or have children who have flown the nest and come from homes where no children roam, they say it is meeting our children that makes their visit special. And I don’t put away all my breakables – move something very precious to a higher shelf perhaps but I have taught my children not to touch and if the occasional item is accidentally broken, it is no drama, they are only possessions after all. Cannot take them with me to Heaven but my children will be there!
    That our pets will be unloved and uncared for – it is quite the opposite, our pets receive more love and attention because we are home all day. So many ads for dogs being given up in the local paper state ‘needs family home.’ That we are not up on current affairs and cannot engage in informed conversation. .. so many of our talks around our family meal table centre on current affairs and a Biblical response.
    I smiled at the home will be be free of ‘plastic kindercrap’. I have a bit of an aversion to plastic and do my best to keep it out of my home – so no plastic play kitchens to trip over in my home but you will find my children ‘playing’ in the kitchen with real ingredients. Those top chefs of the restaurants they can visit probably did this when they were children. Can’t avoid the plastic lego blocks though but maybe the architect who built their home discovered his passion for designing buildings when he was a child!

  36. I meant to add, before anon even commented, that it just so happened this was in our Bible reading this morning:

    ““Behold, the people of Israel are too many and too mighty for us. 10 Come, let us deal shrewdly with them, lest they multiply, and, if war breaks out, they join our enemies and fight against us and escape from the land.”…

    But the more they were oppressed, the more they multiplied and the more they spread abroad. And the Egyptians were in dread of the people of Israel.”

    There is a word here for us. These were God’s people.

  37. I’m not sure that list had the desired effect. It discouraged me. I began only scanning it as it was a hard reminder of what I’ve sacrificed for the sake of motherhood. My precious blessings are well worth all the sacrifices, but it is hard not having a clean house all the time like I used to and not having the privacy I once had. My flesh desires those things. Selflessness is painful!
    I think rather than looking at all the things we don’t have (even if many of them are lies) we should be focusing on all the blessings of the hard decision we have made for our children.

    1. Ginger,

      “Sacrifice” has taken on a new meaning for me since we’ve been reading “Martyr of the Catacombs.”.

      I don’t mean to downplay what we mothers feel and endure (some days I am THE biggest baby of all and take the selfish trophy) so I’m talking to myself all the same….

      but reading about Christians who gave up everything–friends, family, home, safety, comfort–even their health, to live underground in a suffocating, moldy, dark passageway–no sunlight, risking their lives just to secure food each day, and ultimately knowing that they would be caught and fed to the lions–

      Geesh, it’s just getting harder for me to complain about anything I would call hardship here.

      My worst day is bliss. I still get tired, lose my temper, feel overwhelmed, because I’m human.

      But I am being reminded that to “partake in the sufferings of Christ” is really something I know nothing about. Whatever hardship comes of being a mother, no matter how messy my house or how tired, or how frazzled I feel, at the end of the day, it’s a whole lot better than being eaten by a tiger.

      Just sayin’.

      1. I was only comparing stay at home motherhood to nonSAHM, not SAHM to being eaten by lions. That choice would be easy. 😉
        I just got Foxes Book of Martyrs. Will crack it open for a little perspective. Thanks!

  38. I thought taking a break/abstinence was for a time of prayer and fasting not to avoid children? I could be wrong.

    1. That’s the only time I find it mentioned in the NT, menstruation was another time for a break mentioned in the OT.

  39. Kelly,
    GREAT POST!

    I see it all the time, and I just don’t understand! People in my church, in my community, in my family, some my friends! All “Choosing” to NOT have children or to severely limit family size!

    God intended part of the marital relationship to be procreation!

    I just don’t get it! If your having marital relations you should be ready and willing to accept the GIFT of a child from God.

    Many times I don’t even know how to begin to defend my view, because I honestly just don’t understand rejecting a Gift from God!

    Children are a precious beautiful gift straight from heaven! (Though in the midst of a fit or meltdown its hard to remember that!)

    Thanks for this encouraging post!

    1. Not every marital relation, Tawny. People are simply built differently, as hard as that is to believe.

      1. Your Right.

        Not everyone and certainly not “every martial relation”. However, that gives us no right to choose to go against the “general” plan God has for families and “choose” to not have children.

        If you CAN NOT have children or God has chosen for you to have a relatively small family or adopt, then that’s God’s Plan!But we can’t CHOOSE God’s plan! However, we as sinful human beings cant see the big picture. We may think “oh I only want x children” but that may not be God’s plan for you! That one or two or three children above number x (whatever God decides) may be a brilliant child who will cure cancer as an adult, or become an amazing minister and lead others to salvation. Or that child may turn out to be the mother or grandmother of the next president of the united states! But if you selfishly “choose” to limit your family size, you kill that life! (or potential life if you use a barrier method). You, your family, your community, the world, could & likely will miss out on some amazing blessings because you “choose” to limit your family size.

        Also if your preventing childbirth, from a biblical standpoint, you may indeed be destroying a life, even using a barrier method! We have no way to know the “when” on Gods definition of life! There is a verse in the Old Testament in which may show God considering the creation of life being well before the coming together of man and women!
        Hebrews 7:10 “for he was still in the loins of his father when Melchizedek met him.”

  40. Wow. Me, myself and I. The crazy thing is most of her reasons are independant of having kids. Having all the money, maybe, maybe not. Being totally relaxed and peaceful at home, maybe, maybe not. Having a loving, intimate relationship with your husband? Perhaps. Perhaps not. Not having children doesn’t gaurantee peace, prosperity and lots of loving at home. The one that actually made me laugh was her comment about being able to do whatever you want with your back yard. Obviously this poor woman hasn’t seen some of the backyards we walk by. Yes they have playgrounds, but they are also professionally, very expensively decorated. And many of her issues with the home and money wouldn’t be a problem if mom was guarding the home front, and kids weren’t in day care.

    1. “And many of her issues with the home and money wouldn’t be a problem if mom was guarding the home front, and kids weren’t in day care.”

      So true! Amen!

  41. Emily, that is silliest to the 100th degree. The reason you choose to support Planned Parenthood is because you believe a woman has the right to kill her actively growing child in her womb. THAT is why you support it. Place the blame firmly on your own shoulders. I appreciate you giving us in this “group” the power to make you do things, but it is an illusion only. You choose to do what you want because of your own heart, which we have no part in. Take responsibility for your own lack of concern for children’s rights and stop blaming others.

  42. No one is saying children aren’t blessings.Im so tired of those with no children are child haters. Some don’t just want children of their own. They dont hate children. Rusty Yates insisted Andrea have more children after the doctor flat advised against it. Rusty clearly never cared about Andrea. From what I read, an ex friend of Andrea never thought she would have this many children let alone give them bible names. I agree with commenter Emily. I can see why cults gain entry. If children are such blessings, provide them with adequate education, emotional support, and health care.
    ” Many times I don’t even know how to begin to defend my view, because I honestly just don’t understand rejecting a Gift from God!” because maybe some of us don’t have the means to provide for bunches of kids or maybe another child may leave a dozen without a mother
    Children are private decisions that shouldn’t be influenced by anyone else.

    1. “No one is saying children aren’t blessings.”
      -No, that’s just the thing – lots of people are saying that. I appreciate that you didn’t though.

      “Im so tired of those with no children are child haters.”
      -Sorry, who said that? I missed it. The question is, are people choosing pets and fancy lifestyles over children on purpose? I don’t know, but it seems that evaluating the worth of a human on the basis of *their possessions* (plastic kindercrap) is pretty hateful. But it’s rebellion to God (Gen 1:28, Gen 9:1)* which is a much bigger issue.

      ” Rusty Yates insisted Andrea have more children after the doctor flat advised against it. Rusty clearly never cared about Andrea.”
      -I’ve heard this too. But we have NO way to verify if it’s true (if you have access to court papers or something I would be very interested, thanks). Besides, when this happened, so little was known about PPP (post partum psychosis) that it’s unlikely they would have had any idea this would happen. PPP is very rare, and odds of the forms of PPP that turn mother on her child/ren are as atronomical as winning a lottery.

      ” From what I read, an ex friend of Andrea never thought she would have this many children let alone give them bible names. ” This proves NOTHING. People can change. I gave one of my children a virtue name which I always swore I’d never do. I also said I wouldn’t give birth to more than 3 kids do to overpopulation (coughSNORT).

      “Children are private decisions that shouldn’t be influenced by anyone else.”
      -I have to say, I don’t believe that “open womb” is commanded in the Bible, but multiplying it. Increasing is. And to that end, Christians should be encouraging obedience to God. Now, it’s possible that people seek to have children or more children, and God denies, but it’s the wilfull disobedience that must be addressed)

      “I’m 40 so that makes me pretty wise.”
      -I’m sorry, but it’s a myth that wisdom naturally comes with age. Wisdom comes from the Lord. The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom. If you have been living your life in the fear of the Lord and obedience to Him for 40 I’d say you are a wise woman. But it’s not guaranteed that you’re wisee for being 40. This is nothing against you, but I wouldn’t want a younger woman, perhaps newly married, to get reaffirmation of this myth, and being hurt because she went to the wrong older woman for advice.

      *I know there’s a certain temptation to say that Gen 1:28 and Gen 9:1 don’t apply. But Gen 1:28 is a Creation Mandate, which means it applies to all the decendents of Adam and Eve. They recieved the mandate by proxy for ALL mankind. Noah and his sons also received the mandate by proxy for all mankind – please note that in that passage the mandate was to every single man in. the. world. It still applies to every man in the world. Again, it’s *entirely* possible that you seek godly marriage and family and God says no, but you must be in the business of trying your hardest to obey.

  43. The sad part is that its so common now for christians to use b/c or prevent from having any more children, that for those who are making a choice to have more then 2-3 children are looked as crazy and not very wise. I agree with the fact that we all think we are so smart and can only provide for this many children ONLY, that we forget that God is the one who provides, the one who will take care of the whole family. Sad… but this is part of life, nowdays. I just hope that when we are before the throne of God, he wont ask each one of us, I gave you 5 children, where are the 3 that you prevented?

  44. Emily, “uneducated” – I think you will find that most of the people who frequent this blog are well educated. We are not only educated by the world’s standard but we are also educated by God’s standard and are seeking to deepen our wisdom of what it means to follow Christ. “preachy” – maybe so since this blog is from a Christian perspective. We are called to recognized false teachings and refute them. “judgemental” – of other Christians – we are called to hold those accountable who call themselves Christians. As for non- Christians, I don’t see how our recognition of and disagreement with a false teaching of the world is being judgemental. No one here advocates denying anyone their right to be childless by choice. However, we should encourage Christians to not live this way.

    As for your annual donations going to Planned Parenthood, that is completely your right. As for me, my annual donations (other than my church tithe and offering) goes to children – sick children, orphaned children, severly impoverished children, children rescued from slavery, children on the verge of starving, and children whose mothers decided not to look to Planned Parenthood for their solution to an unexpected pregnancy. I see ALL children as a blessing. You choose to give your money to help ensure a woman’s right to abortion while I give my money in the hope that it will meet the need of a helpless child. Which is more fruitful, to give money to an organization that makes millions each year by destroying life or to give money to nonprofit organizations that help save and better lives? Being a Christ follower, I’m in the life saving business myself!

    1. Wow, Planned Parenthood. Created by a woman hoping to cause racial genocide. Teaching children to have sex however they want as young as eleven. Good choice there, good choice. Better to destroy than to judge those who do so, right?

  45. We had 4 children in under 6 years. For the most part, they weren’t “planned.” And while it’s been stressful at times, and I AM tired, my husband and I feel much more meaning in our lives. We also have more joy, as there’s no way we laughed as much in our DINK lifestyle as we do now at our 2 year old’s silly antics. Our faith has grown, and we are much wiser and more purposeful with our money and time. And best of all, we are forced to become less selfish, and that in and of itself is freeing and liberating!

  46. Wow, It is not very often that I run accross a fellow believer that shares my beliefs exactly on this topic. I agree with you 100%! Who are we to tell God He doesn´t know what he´s doing when he blesses our womb with fruit! So suddenly God is not very good at being sovereign over how many children we have, however, He can be sovereign over everything else in our lives? It is the same as saying,..”God, I give you my life and my all,…..except for my womb,….now I am going to keep control over that, because,….well God, I don’t trust you to do the wise thing. You know, having more children than I can handle, or afford, is not very wise, and it wouldn’t be very wise of me to give you this area of my life, because well, I’ve seen your track record of big families, and I don’t think it’s very wise of you, Lord.”
    Really?
    Really

  47. That is not the aim of Planned Parenthood. And I say this as a believing Christian.

    It isn’t truly fair to call strangers “selfish.” I do not know their hearts. That list was not created for believing Christians. It is not a harbinger, it is merely one opinion.

    1. Lala,

      Your comment only reveals the relativism that is part of the problem. That is, “we can’t make ANY calls because that’s judgmental”, “we don’t know their hearts”, etc., etc.

      Bleh. I’m not calling “strangers selfish” or judging anyone’s heart. Nor am I going to apologize for stating a blaring truth–with Scripture as my measure, this list of reasons to avoid children is positively selfish, I don’t care who you are.

      Some things ARE black and white. Heart motives aside. I can quote Scripture if you wish. That is our guide. Period.

    2. Lala – Planned Parenthood was founded by M. Sanger.

      On M. Sanger:

      (This article first appeared in the January 20, 1992 edition of Citizen magazine)

      How Planned Parenthood Duped America

      At a March 1925 international birth control gathering in New York City, a speaker warned of the menace posed by the “black” and “yellow” peril. The man was not a Nazi or Klansman; he was Dr. S. Adolphus Knopf, a member of Margaret Sanger’s American Birth Control League (ABCL), which along with other groups eventually became known as Planned Parenthood.

      Sanger’s other colleagues included avowed and sophisticated racists. One, Lothrop Stoddard, was a Harvard graduate and the author of The Rising Tide of Color against White Supremacy. Stoddard was something of a Nazi enthusiast who described the eugenic practices of the Third Reich as “scientific” and “humanitarian.” And Dr. Harry Laughlin, another Sanger associate and board member for her group, spoke of purifying America’s human “breeding stock” and purging America’s “bad strains.” These “strains” included the “shiftless, ignorant, and worthless class of antisocial whites of the South.”

      Not to be outdone by her followers, Margaret Sanger spoke of sterilizing those she designated as “unfit,” a plan she said would be the “salvation of American civilization.: And she also spike of those who were “irresponsible and reckless,” among whom she included those ” whose religious scruples prevent their exercising control over their numbers.” She further contended that “there is no doubt in the minds of all thinking people that the procreation of this group should be stopped.” That many Americans of African origin constituted a segment of Sanger considered “unfit” cannot be easily refuted.

      While Planned Parenthood’s current apologists try to place some distance between the eugenics and birth control movements, history definitively says otherwise. The eugenic theme figured prominently in the Birth Control Review, which Sanger founded in 1917. She published such articles as “Some Moral Aspects of Eugenics” (June 1920), “The Eugenic Conscience” (February 1921), “The purpose of Eugenics” (December 1924), “Birth Control and Positive Eugenics” (July 1925), “Birth Control: The True Eugenics” (August 1928), and many others.”

      ****

      “Her first handbook, published for adolescents in 1915 and entitled, What Every Boy and Girl Should Know, featured a jarring afterword:

      It is a vicious cycle; ignorance breeds poverty and poverty breeds ignorance. There is only one cure for both, and that is to stoop breeding these things. Stop bringing to birth children whose inheritance cannot be one of health or intelligence. Stop bringing into the world children whose parents cannot provide for them.”

      (who gets to decide what level of provision? Unhealthy children shouldn’t sully the earth? Less than intelligent children shouldn’t mar our race?)

      via: http://blackgenocide.org/sanger.html

      “Sanger’s publication, The Birth Control Review (founded in 1917) regularly published pro-eugenic articles from eugenicists, such as Ernst Ruin.”

      http://blackgenocide.org/negro.html

      “Planned Parenthood is the largest abortion provider in America. 78% of their clinics are in minority communities. Blacks make up 12% of the population, but 35% of the abortions in America.”

      http://blackgenocide.org/planned.html

      SEE ALSO
      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kEja-1emRic
      “Birth control is not merely a national questilon…it concerns the ultimate destiny of the human race.”

  48. Kelly,
    I went online and found a statement of purpose for one Planned Parenthood nand an article from a former Director.

    STATEMENT OF PURPOSE

    Planned Parenthood Ottawa offers education, counselling and referral services to assist and support people in making informed sexual and reproductive health choices.

    We are a pro-choice organization promoting healthy sexuality.

    Planned Parenthood Ottawa is non-judgmental, pro-choice, confidential, supportive, GLBTTQ(Gay,Lesbien,Bi-sexual,Trangender,___and Queer) positive, youth positive organization.

    Here is the article from a former P.P. Director. This should enlightenment one on Planned Parenthood’s objective.

    The former Texas-based Planned Parenthood director who recently quit after seeing an ultrasound video of an abortion says high Planned Parenthood officials wanted her center to meet quotas for the number of abortions done. Abby Johnson had been the director of the Planned Parenthood in Bryan/College Station.

    Now, Johnson tells WorldNetDaily that Planned Parenthood officials were pushing her to keep abortion numbers high and that she, in turn, pushed employees to meet abortion goals as well.

    “There are definitely client goals,” she said. “We’d have a goal every month for abortion clients and for family planning clients.”

    She said her facility did abortions every other Saturday but began increasing the number of abortions in order to increase revenues. One method involved increasing the number of abortions done with the dangerous mifepristone abortion drug.

    “One of the ways they were able to up the number of patients that they saw was they started doing the RU-486 chemical abortions all throughout the week,” she said.

    Johnson told WND that abortions using the drug, which has killed 13 women worldwide and injured at least 1,100 in the United States alone according to the FDA, would bring in between $505 and $695 depending on the age of the baby at the time of the abortion.

    The former Texas-based Planned Parenthood director who recently quit after seeing an ultrasound video of an abortion says high Planned Parenthood officials wanted her center to meet quotas for the number of abortions done. Abby Johnson had been the director of the Planned Parenthood in Bryan/College Station.
    she said the move to increase abortions came as Planned Parenthood experienced financial difficulties due to the troubled economy.

    “Abortion is the most lucrative part of Planned Parenthood’s operations,” she said. “Even though they’re two separate corporations, all of the money goes into one pot. With the family planning corporation really suffering, they depend on the abortion corporation to balance their budget, help get them out of the hole and help make income for the company.”

    LOOKS LIKE MONEY IS THE REAL GOAL !!!!

  49. Not knowing me personally, you couldn’t possibly imagine the reasons I don’t have children. To judge all women who don’t have kids – including those who choose not to – by your standards is as absurd as you claim it is for others to judge you for your choice (god’s choice?) to have the number of kids you do.

    If God truly does create children in the womb, had he truly wanted me to have a child he would have made it happen regardless of the measures I’ve taken to thwart him. Instead, all birth control has worked just fine for over 25 years. Apparently god doesn’t want me to have kids any more than I want them and in that I guess I am doing his will.

    Funny how that happens on an individual basis, isn’t it.

    1. To quote Kelly from **just yesterday**

      June 23, 2010 at 12:59 pm

      “Um…honestly this comment borders on insanity AND it’s totally off-topic. But, I have heard it before, so thought I’d give the quick answer:

      God can’t really be stopped by anything. But I bet if you stand in front of a bus and tempt Him to show forth His power He will leave you to suffer the consequences of your stupidity.

      Can we close the womb? Of course we can! We do it all the time. It’s not a matter of “can we”.

      Wisdom and obedience, not “power” is the subject at hand.”

    2. Tia,

      (Thank you Lori, I was going to refer to that comment.)

      Also, Tia, this puzzles me: “To judge all women who don’t have kids – including those who choose not to – by your standards is as absurd as you claim it is for others to judge you for your choice (god’s choice?) to have the number of kids you do. ”

      Where did you determine that I am “judging all women”?

  50. This article, but mostly the comments have spurred a lot of thought in my mind. Because there’s so much rattling around, I’m going to do a blog post or two myself. Just click my name if you’re interested.

    Anyhow, I want to ask this question. There are many people who are advocating “leaving your womb open” and allowing God to decide the number of children that you have. And there’s a little bit of an undertone, (although I don’t feel that anyone has been overly “judgmental”) that choosing a specific number of children for your family, is not biblical. So, here’s my question. God has closed my womb. After my son was born, I needed a hysterectomy in order to save my life. We have since adopted a little girl. I know no one would look down on me for adopting, however, if I allowed God to choose the number of children in my family by simply leaving my womb open, then I technically shouldn’t have adopted and shouldn’t adopt more because His choice was one child.

    (Now, there are no doubts that God created my daughter specifically for our family. And how she came to be with us is an incredibly God-ordained story. But you get my devil’s advocate of a question here, right?)

    1. I have a friend who can not have children because here husband had a kidney transplant and the chemo killed everything.She has expresed the same concern you have about adoption being an option for her.that maybe God does not want them to have chilren.I can not awnser that for them.I do know however that God want orphans cared for.I also know he places the desire to adopt in some peoples hearts.I have wanted to adopt hard to place children as long as I can remember.I believe adoption is for some people a calling.Just like being called to a ministry.Also I might add that as hard ad it is to deal with all the red tape that goes alomg with the adoption process not to speak of the emotional roller coaster you had better pray God is for you.

    2. I have 2 adopted girls, then had 2 biological boys (and have a new baby on the way.) I think one of the many problems with our society, including Christians, is that most people see adoption as a “last resort.” People adopt because they can’t have children, can’t have more children, don’t want to have biological children, etc. Christians, especially, need to see adoption as a mandate. We are to take care of orphans. Period. Not only if we can’t have our own. I’m so happy that you’ve adopted- I’m not really preaching to you- but you opened a way for me to address something that’s dear to my heart. Everyone assumes that we adopted first because we thought we couldn’t have children. We adopted first because we love children- all children. And we pray that the Lord will open the opportunity for us to adopt again :).

    3. Stacia, I see what your getting at. Can God not work through multiple avenues to create a family? Can a couple not only leave their womb open but also adopt or foster?

      Through our years of infertility, we tried multiple times and types of adoption. Everything fell through. We had to accept this as God’s will for us. We are still thinking of adoption and praying about it. And we are also leaving our womb open. I know, this probably sounds crazy, but we’d have a dozen if we could.

      1. The first 11 years of our marriage we were unable to conceive, and after trying all kinds of interventions that were unsuccessful, we eventually adopted, twice. At age 40, I was told I needed to have a hysterectomy right away and the odds of me ever conceiving or carrying a baby to term were nearly 0. Two months later we were shocked to find out I was pregnant, and now here we are with 3 amazing sons. Though we couldn’t see it at the time, had we not been infertile, we never would have considered adoption, and therefore would not be here today with our two beloved oldest boys. The journey of adoption has blessed and sanctified it so much; we never would have imagined. I believe with all my heart that God is absolutely sovereign in matters of opening the womb, and that He does what He wills in his own perfect timing.

  51. “Planned Parenthood Ottawa offers education, counselling and referral services to assist and support people in making informed sexual and reproductive health choices”

    And they show no prejudice for age; they’ll advise eleven-year-olds too!

  52. Hi Kelly, I stumbled upon your blog a few days ago and have been soaking it up! I have read so many encouraging entries that have blessed me so much! This post is one of them… but I have to ask your opinion on my situation and maybe others in my place. I have had one baby via c-section because she was breech. My husband and I are hoping for many more blessings and I would like to have my others by VBAC if possible, but my doctor has said it will only be possible if everything goes well with the birth. What about those of us who have had c-sections and it would be medically dangerous (according to the doctors) to have multiple c-sections?

    1. Claire,

      I would challenge you, first, to talk to other doctors and read up on the proposed danger.

      Danger, I’m sure there is. But to what degree? Of the women I know personally who have an open womb, I can think of 4 off the top of my head who have C-sections. All four of them have had at least 6, some 7 or 8, with no complications and no physical evidence of increased risk. I just think the danger is overrated, but that’s my opinion due to personal observation. There is always some danger, just as there is every time I get into my car, or eat (some people choke to death), or walk in the woods…you get my point 😉

      I certainly don’t mean to underestimate your fears by a light-hearted approach, I’m just trying to encourage you that it may not be as dangerous as you’ve been led to think!

      Also, contrary to what people think about my convictions, if a doctor convinced us that there was serious risk involved in getting pregnant again (and his convincing would have to be solid), we would consider that seriously.

    2. I just wanted to say I have had 5 c-sections and my doctor told me he sees no reason why I could not have another.Of course everyone loves to tell me how dangerous it is.

  53. 1. We know the world is full of sinners–we are sinners. Why are we surprised that people who are not Christians promote an attitude that differs from the Bible?
    2. It seems clear that the author of the website that sparked this message has not heard the Good Word. Who has taken the time to share it with her?
    3. If we are Christians, why are we not praying for the writer and subscribers of the website that promotes being childfree, rather than using them as a measuring stick to show how “righteous” we are?

    Just some thoughts.

    1. Amanda,

      We are not surprised, nor did I bring up this post for any benefit/insult to its author. The reason I linked, the reason I always have for what I write here was this (what I wrote in my post):

      “a careful look at it reveals hints of camaraderie many believers share regarding thoughts about children.”

      Christians are SO easily swayed by the culture around us. If we don’t carefully watch and address it, we become swallowed up with the lies around us.

      Evangelizing/praying for the lost is certainly a command. But it must begin by a proper understanding and living out of God’s Word in the believer’s life. That is what I feel God has called me to share with other believers as I journey through these things myself.

    2. Amanda, I don’t think we are using this post as a way to show our righteousness. Our only righteousness comes from our salvation through Christ. Nothing we can ever “do” will make us righteous.

      I think most people who have come to a conclusion to let God decide the size of our family, have come to this decision after much prayer, study, and conviction. I find encouragement in sites like this because in my circle of friends, I am the only one who views fertility this way. My friends are wonderful people who I love and love to be around. They know our (hubby & I) views but I think they think we’ll eventually change our mind :). I see a lot of the attitude “the 2 I have are cramping my style enough so I sure don’t want another one”! I just think that’s a sad way to view a child.

  54. Thank you so much for your advice. It is encouraging to hear that and I do need to do more research on this. God bless you!

  55. What good is a full quiver if the arrows are poorly constructed? Better to have one strong sturdy arrow than twenty weak ones that miss their mark.

    1. Brenna, I’m sorry but I just don’t think I understand what you are trying to say with this comment.

      1. Brenna,

        I’m with Katie Grace. Your comment doesn’t reflect anything I find in the wisdom of Scripture. We are to train all of our “arrows” and according to EVERYTHING I read in Scripture, there is no indication that more arrows equals “less constructed”. It seems a flimsy stab, at best, and one that smacks of humanistic thinking.

  56. Speaking of alarming views re children and the womb: Doug Phillips just posted some info about several new repulsive ideas concerning unnatural childbirth. Many here know my feelings about him, but I’m pretty sure my alarm equaled his when seeing these awful new ideas. Check it out: http://www.visionforum.com/hottopics/blogs/dwp/

  57. Excellent post.

    We are allowing the Lord to determine the size of our family and although He has not blessed us with any biological children over the past 11 years, He has blessed us with 6 adopted children (and we hope more to come).

    I am amazed at the amount of people who say – “when do you get time for yourself”, or “you are always working”. I am blessed and happy when I am serving my family and wouldn’t want it any other way.

    We currently live in England and it amazes me how many people would rather have dogs than children – oh how they are missing out and they don’t even know it.

    Michelle

  58. So very sad.

    However, the “better aunt/uncle” one made me chuckle. I became a new auntie last week. I find my infant nephew absolutely delightful (as to my own children) and love him not just for the cute baby he is but because of the hilarious toddler and fabulous young man he’s going to grow into. We are going to get along wonderfully.
    Where do I get that vision for his future?

    From my experience as a *mother*. 😀

    Not to mention, I was able to help my sister during labor and those first few overwhelming days as a new mom because I’d been through it all before and could tell her with authority and experience the encouraging words she needed to hear.

  59. I frequent this blog looking for scripture-based wisdom and encouragement because the choice to stop using birth control and allow God to bless you as He sees fit is HARD.
    At first, when you only have a few kids the idea seems great. The real test of your conviction comes when you have four little ones including a special needs baby. Like Anon, I pray for God’s grace but so much of the time I fall completely short. I often feel like a super failure.
    Having multiple small children including a nursing infant really does put you in survival mode. I miss the feeling of being competent, in control, and attaining my goals.
    I was told I would be more effective home schooling if I forced our 8 month old baby to cry it out every night so I could get some real rest. Our baby has a genetic syndrome and seems to really need my comfort at night- or maybe I’m just spoiling her; hard to say. I tried to make her cry it out tonight and my husband brought her to me after she cried hysterically for over hour. guess sleep is not in my near future. Our baby has some delays also and I think she is going to be “our baby” for awhile.
    If I get pregnant right now with a new baby I’m concerned I won’t be able to give our still-nursing baby daughter who has Turner’s Syndrome the attention she deserves.
    My husband, who is Air Force, wants to deploy again before the end of the year which would require him to be gone for more than 3 months. I am torn because I feel like as a military spouse I’m supposed to support him whenever he wants to deploy- especially since he’s very needed. My husband is so talented and loves his career which allows him to provide for our family. I had thought about asking him to find a job where he wouldn’t have to leave me and the kids.
    I do not do well when he’s gone. Our 9 year old is one year behind in math. I can barely manage household duties of cooking and cleaning when he’s gone. I suffer from depression and loneliness when he’s gone although I have never requested medication. I told my husband I don’t want to raise a large family like a single mom and reminded him how much the kids (especially our 2 year old daughter) need him.
    Knowing his job is to leave me and the kids frequently, that our youngest baby has special needs, and that I’d like to “catch up” home schooling, it seems the obvious “practical” no-brainer thing to do would be to prevent “yet another” pregnancy.
    But, I know that what the world calls wise is often foolish and true wisdom often can not be understood by the world.
    I am feeling guilty. I am a bad military wife because I absolutely go to pieces at even the thought of my husband deploying again.
    I feel guilty because I would like to be more competent; perhaps I should be able to handle the house and the kids and home schooling while he’s gone. I’m very “type A” and am used to not only succeeding at what I do but being one of the best. Now I don’t even feel competent.
    Last year, my sister told me it would be stupid to allow myself to get pregnant right before an international move to Japan. We allowed God to bless us and the ensuing complicated pregnancy resulted in the pre-mature birth of our special needs baby (who is our treasure). We had to immediately move BACK to the states in order to get access to the long list of specialists required for our babies care… yet I can’t imagine life without her.
    or can I? I see the other home schooling moms of 2-3 kids who’s youngest child is 5 years old and they are studying Greek and Latin root words and have a nice neat schedule and their house is clean. They bake bread from scratch, get plenty of sleep, and have time to exercise…
    I definitely need frequent encouragement. The fleshly prideful part of myself SO wants to be one of the women in the above paragraph (not saying there’s anything wrong with those got-it-together women).
    sorry for the long disjointed ramble. any thoughts on military careers (requiring deployments) and large families/home schooling welcome.

    1. I don’t have any advice, but I sympathize. I really can’t stand feeling completely out of control. Which is probably why God convicted me in the first place and allowed me (and maybe you also) to have so many kids so fast…to learn that He is in control.
      One of the main thoughts that helps me get through is the idea that this is going to pass, and probably all too quickly. And when I’m an old lady, what will bless me more? Having it all together, or watching my many adult children serve the Lord, get married, start their own families, etc?

  60. I’m kinda in the nether worlds on this one. i have no problem with having more kids. He thought 3 was enough and cried when his ex-girlfriend got pregnant giving him a 4th child (other 3 to his ex-wife). He got an added 3 by having me in his life from my 3. He goes out of his way despite thinking 3 was enough to make life wonderful for all 7 (yep us crazy over populating planet killing fools). Further he was raised catholic and I was raised baptist although I did attend mass in the summers with my cousins and grandmother until my mother figured it out and put a stop to it. We attend the catholic church. I had to get a special dispensation (sp?) to have Essure close my tubes the rest of the way (they were already severely scared due to miscarriages) and during the nearly 2 years we waited had yet another miscarriage. Lastly we discovered my problems, that until the holidays this past season had come and gone every spring, are likely MS and are now not going away and now severe enough that I can barely move in this heat (no ac) and am having trouble keeping up with the toddlers we already have. All that said if God wanted to shock the drawers of his family (both mom and step-dad came from poor large catholic families and thus have very poor views on having more than a few children due to their own childhoods) by undoing the closer and sending another baby I’d be smiling and laughing the whole way to the delivery. I know it would be a big strain esp on him since he’s trying so hard to do everything (going to school so he can make more money), trying to hide his own fears etc. I know it might mean putting my oldest 2 in local public schools for a time and praying that their minds do not become to warped in the process. It really comes down to willingness to follow Christ where ever and what ever even if it does make life more difficult. If that never happens though I’m content in our 7 children (only 2 of which where intended and 2 of which prove birth control isn’t a guarantee–bonus those 2 are the oldest and youngest and share a birthday 10 years apart). I wouldn’t go back to having just 3/normal sized family for all the money and riches in the world.

  61. Hi! Blessings to all those who love what (and who) God loves!

    To the overburdened Mama – I wished I lived nearby. I’d bring a supper
    basket, get your older children to help me do loads of clothes, sing silly songs with them as we sat and folded clothes and made piles and piles and piles… and then put them all away. Do you have anyone who really could come help you out?

    I think that your baby needs her Mama – awake or asleep. Could you bring her into bed with you, and let her nurse you both to sleep. There are many ways to safely co-sleep… ((((((hugs)))))) to all of your family as you adjust to receive this latest blessing from the Lord!

    I found this post searching for “The Religion of Self.” This is not exactly what I was looking for, but I instantly thought of this poem by Edgar Guest. Methinks he addresses well the selfishness of the blog-that-wasn’t-linked!

    Childless
    By Edgar A. Guest

    If certain folks that I know well
    Should come to me their woes to tell
    I’d read the sorrow in their faces
    And I could analyze their cases.
    I watch some couples day by day
    Go madly on their selfish way
    Forever seeking happiness
    And always finding something less.
    If she whose face is fair to see,
    Yet lacks one charm that there should be,
    Should open wide her heart to-day
    I think I know what she would say.

    She’d tell me that his love seems cold
    And not the love she knew of old;
    That for the home they’ve built to share
    No longer does her husband care;
    That he seems happier away
    Than by her side, and every day
    That passes leaves them more apart;
    And then perhaps her tears would start
    And in a softened voice she’d add:
    “Sometimes I wonder, if we had
    A baby now to love, if he
    Would find so many faults in me?”

    And if he came to tell his woe
    Just what he’d say to me, I know:
    “There’s something dismal in the place
    That always stares me in the face.
    I love her. She is good and sweet
    But still my joy is incomplete.
    And then it seems to me that she
    Can only see the faults in me.
    I wonder sometimes if we had
    A little girl or little lad,
    If life with all its fret and fuss
    Would then seem so monotonous?”

    And what I’d say to them I know.
    I’d bid them straightway forth to go
    And find that child and take him in
    And start the joy of life to win.
    You foolish, hungry souls, I’d say,
    You’re living in a selfish way.
    A baby’s arms stretched out to you
    Will give you something real to do.
    And though God has not sent one down
    To you, within this very town
    Somewhere a little baby lies
    That would bring gladness to your eyes.

    You cannot live this life for gold
    Or selfish joys. As you grow old
    You’ll find that comfort only springs
    From living for the living things.
    And home must be a barren place
    That never knows a baby’s face.
    Take in a child that needs your care,
    Give him your name and let him share
    Your happiness and you will own
    More joy than you have ever known,
    And, what is more, you’ll come to feel
    That you would do some thing for real

  62. I used to frequent Planned Parenthood. I have 5 children and one on the way; they never once pushed me to have an abortion-in fact, it was never brought up!

    I have no health insurance, and used their women’s services to get low-cost gyn exams, free mammograms (my mother had breast cancer at age 30), free condoms, etc.

    I felt they treated me with more tenderness and compassion than any doctors I’ve seen to date.

    Now, I am not saying anything concerning the ‘other’ services they do referals for. I am saying that they do also uphold and encourage women to get decent helath care. It actually turned out I had problems and had to have gyn visits every 3 months, then every 6; I am so fortunate I had them to provide these needed services.

  63. I read the complete list on the website, which was appalling. Almost all the reasons given start with “you”. Because we all know it’s all about you. Reason number 53 was ironic: “You’ll never have to worry about losing a child.” Why would that matter, since children are such an apparent burden in the first place?

    1. Rollins,

      Right. That reason reminds me of something a (Christian) mother said to me last week:

      “My daughter wants to finish her 3rd degree and do some traveling before she has children. Which is better; she’s going to go live in Europe for a while and I don’t think I could handle having a grandchild that far away.” ????

  64. Hello,

    I don’t think there has been any discussion on this thread in a while so I don’t know if I will get any response. I do not know how I stumbled upon this site while researching a study about couples who choose to remain childless, as my husband and I are. I have often been conflicted as to whether or not my feelings to not have children are the right ones. This site would seem to shame me into feeling that I am being selfish for even questioning this. Maybe because I am surrounded by people who think very open-mindedly, but I have never heard the kind of discourse that I am hearing in your blog or on the comments. I understand your faithfulness to God and I am a Christian. And I was raised to understand that being a good, kind, and accepting person was a Christian tenet. I always thought that I was a good Christian for being thus. People on this blog would think that I am a selfish person because I question whether it was God’s plan for me to have children and therefore have purposefully remained childless until this point. And so, I would like to ask you opinion on the following: in your mind(s), is it possible that God has another purpose for a woman besides childbearing? Would it ever be acceptable in His eyes to lead a fulfilling life without children? I was raised to believe so. For those of you commenting that it is sad that “people would rather have dogs than children”, did it ever occur to you that some people just enjoy animals and don’t see themselves as suited to be parents? Why can’t people live their lives the way that they feel God wants them to?? I think you are the ones who are missing out by seeing things in such a narrow minded way. I simply don’t understand this, and I don’t hope to persuade anyone, but these comments shocked me so much I was compelled to comment.

    1. Melissa,

      I see several flaws in both your theology and your presumption about what “narrow-mindedness” is.

      First, the line about “always thinking you were a good Christian” bothered me. I know what you’re saying, I do. But actually there are no “good” Christians. A Christian is so by the imputed righteousness of Christ, not by what we do. But a Christian, as a true Christ-follower, will bear fruit in his life–Jesus said so. But you used the word “accepting” as the trait of a good Christian. Accepting what is the question. A true Christian doesn’t just “accept” whatever anyone else does just to be nice. Jesus, contrary to popular opinion, didn’t just “accept” what others did. They came to Him and were changed. Either that or they joined the crusade to kill Him. One or the other.

      To be “narrow minded” is not always a bad thing, but it also is defined differently by different people. You are using it as an insult against those who would disagree with your choice to be childless. Is this really narrow-mindedness in a Christian sense? Keep in mind that the comments in this thread hinge on the article posted, which unabashedly described selfishness as the choice to remain childless. It isn’t narrow-minded to comment on what has already been admitted.

      In your case, perhaps you don’t feel that selfishness is the motive. My only challenge to you, as a Christian, is to search the issue out. You can’t choose to have babies. That is a miracle only God can do. As such, that makes Him, exclusively, the Creator of life. It is my firm belief that the Creator would have some opinion of his creation, especially where eternal souls are concerned.

      Since He built into our design the miracle of bringing forth life, it is a fearful thing to intervene so drastically as to refuse any gift He would want to give you.

      Since Christians are called to “lay up for ourselves treasures in Heaven” and not treasures on earth, the question is, what are heavenly treasures? The answer, of course, if people–souls. And since married couples are the only means of producing said heavenly treasures, and since God designed us to procreate with no “decision” of our own, I would enter any kind of prevention with fear and trepidation.

      Logically speaking, artificial birth control/surgery (which is the closest way to guarantee you remain childless)has only been popular a very short time–60 years or so. Birth control pills are not an option for a believer as they can cause abortions (it’s even written in the instructions).

      Just because we have medical means by which to break parts of our bodies doesn’t necessarily mean this is a good or right thing to do. We are essentially taking what God calls “good” (our reproduction–part of His creation) and saying it’s “bad”, and finding a way to circumvent it.

      Just things to think about….

  65. Hi,

    Thank you for your quick and thoughtful response. I do see many of your points. Just for clarification, I don’t believe in accepting “whatever anyone else does.” But I understand where you are coming from. Your viewpoint still seems extreme to me, but I do appreciate the opportunity to discuss, and your thorough and respectful answer.

    Melissa

    1. You’re welcome, and thank you for your clarification. For the record, my view seemed extreme to me too, when I first heard it. The Lord wouldn’t let me rest, though, until I had willfully committed to studying what His heart toward children was. Now, in His grip, I have found the mission of motherhood to be one of the most profound ways He desires to build His kingdom. It is my desire that every Christian mother would embrace this privilege with her whole heart. I wouldn’t want you to reach old age and say with grief, “Why didn’t someone tell me I would regret this.” So I blog.

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