On Being Christian and Childfree

Why does it seem that people react so strongly when the choice not to have children becomes known? Do they feel threatened by that choice? Is it because the idea is so alien to our culture and the world we live in? Perhaps expectations play a part.
Choosing to remain single may also be looked at adversely in a culture which values family and marriage. Yet even those who do not get married may still have children. Those who choose not to, especially when married, seem to be considered odd, abnormal, and on the fringes of society. Though the views of what constitutes a family may be changing, the choice to not have children still evokes strong responses.
The decision not to have children brings even more animosity when it is a Christian couple who makes this choice. Though infertility brings about sympathy and understanding, if the decision is deliberate, then the couple is viewed strangely. Some even go so far as to consider the choice sinful. After all, did not God command us to be fruitful in the book of Genesis?
The scripture – “Be fruitful and multiply” is used to support the argument that married Christians are to have children if they are able. Yet this Scripture, in the original language, is actually a blessing, not a command. Here’s an article about Genesis 1:28 –
Be fruitful and multiply. Children are a blessing. And many couples grieve the lack of this blessing in their lives. Perhaps this is why many find it hard to believe that couples would voluntarily choose not to have any children.
Some may view this choice as selfish. They think those who choose childlessness do so out of selfish motives or ambitions. But isn’t that making an assumption on another person’s motives? Who are we to judge someone’s reasons for a decision they make? Perhaps there are health reasons we are not aware of. Or for the Christian, there is a desire to serve God in other ways than raising children. Perhaps there’s an abusive background and a desire not to put children in a difficult situation. Others may feel that they are not able to handle the challenge of parenting and don’t want a child to suffer. Many other reasons abound, including overpopulation, lack of interest or desire, and financial concerns. Whatever the reason, it is a personal choice, just as having children is a choice.
 This can be a volatile topic and quite controversial, especially among Christians. There are those in Christian circles who believe that a married couple who chooses not to have children are sinning against God. Here’s an article from that standpoint Deliberate Childlessness: Moral Rebellion.
Obviously I don’t agree with that viewpoint. Here’s an article from Christianity Today with a different perspective
Is It All Right for a Married Couple to Choose to Remain Childless?
There seem to be a lot of Christians out there that think it is wrong for a Christian couple to choose not to have children. Verses such as “be fruitful and multiply” are quoted as proof text (see above). Yet the reason that God created a wife for Adam was to be a helpmeet, a companion, so that he would not be alone. Obviously they had to have children in order for the human race to exist, but I think we’ve pretty much taken care of the “fruitful and multiply” aspect! My hubby put it like this “man shall leave his father and mother and cleave to his wife and the two shall become one” – “not five or six”. Reproduction is a benefit of marriage, not a requirement.
Sometimes I struggle with how to reconcile being a Christian with being childfree by choice. Most people who are childfree by choice are also pro-choice or for abortion. I don’t agree with abortion as I feel that life begins at conception. But I don’t have a problem with using birth control as long as it’s not abortifacient. And I don’t think the “be fruitful and multiply” is applicable to today’s Christian. But sometimes I feel like I’m on the edge, tottering. It is possible to be a Christian and yet choose not to have children, but sometimes I feel like it’s a difficult balance to handle. And I wonder how much flack I’ll get in conservative circles about the choice that we’ve made. 

I do a Google search for childfree or childfree blogs and am amazed at how much animosity is out there. There are some extreme childfree folks who not only don’t want children themselves, but actually despise children and those trying to have them. I do not think they are the norm or standard when it comes to the childfree by choice. I certainly hope not!

I have made the decision (with my husband) not to have children. That does not mean that I hate or even dislike children. On the contrary, I like other people’s children. I love my niece and nephew. I can enjoy other people’s children without feeling the responsibility of raising them myself.When my husband and I made the decision not to have children (a decision we discussed during our engagement), I didn’t realize how that would impact my life. I had never heard the term “childfree” at that point. I knew that I had never really had a desire to have children, something that was talked about when I was a teenager. My mom even mentioned that I had never been very “motherly”. As I began to fall in love with boys during my high school years, I realized that I would probably have children for the sake of the man I loved. Having reached that conclusion, I spent the remainder of my high school and college years assuming that I would have children. Imagine my surprise and delight when my fiancé and I got into a discussion about children and I learned that he didn’t really care whether or not he had children. We both determined to wait before taking any “drastic measures” to see if we changed our minds, but both felt confident that we would not have children. In early marriage, I heard the “you’ll change your mind” comment when stating we didn’t plan on having children. This comment would irritate me for it assumed that the other person knew my mind better than I did. As time went on, it became clear that choosing not to have children was a decision that few people make, especially in Christian circles. I began to realize that the decision not to have children was a major lifestyle choice, one that would impact the rest of my life. Choosing the “childfree” lifestyle put me in a minority, especially among other Christians. It also seems to be a controversial and even volatile topic, ranging from it being considered a sin to being perceived as selfish.

Many of those who choose not to have children get asked the question why. There is not always a simple answer. There can be multiple reasons for choosing not to have children. Health issues are one reason and a reason that many consider valid. Others get married later in life and feel that having children is too risky for their age. For me the decision had mostly to do with lack of desire. Some choose not to because of financial reasons, others because of concern for the environment and over-population. Whatever the reason behind the decision, it is a personal decision and one that most childless couples take seriously. I was thinking one night that I can’t understand the desire that so many women have to be a mother. I’m happy for my friends that are able to have that desire come true, but I don’t really understand it. That all-encompassing, soul-wrenching desire to have a child of their own, to be called “mommy” – it’s just not in me. I don’t seem to possess that motherly instinct, that nurturing aspect of womanhood. Maybe it has to do with my independence streak. I’m naturally independent and a loner. I like my space and my time alone. I also have a very low tolerance for stress. My energy level also seems to be low, though that may be due to diet and lack of exercise. 

Why have I chosen not to have children? The simple answer is that I don’t want them. It’s not that I don’t like kids, I just don’t want my own. I don’t want the responsibility of taking care of them. I don’t want to be a parent or mother. Is that selfish? Maybe. But I’d rather run that risk than have a child and resent the child. I’m an independent person and like my alone time. I need my alone time in order to function and keep from getting too stressed out. The responsibility of a baby and then a child would be too much for me. I know myself well enough to know that. I’m also not very responsible when it comes to money. We are in a lot of debt, mostly because of unwise choices and foolish spending. We couldn’t afford to have a child, even if we wanted one. I need to learn to be more disciplined when it comes to money. How on earth could I expect to take care of another human being when I’m so irresponsible with money? I haven’t proven to be a wise steward in this regard. 

Some people might wonder why I have scrapbooking as a hobby when I don’t have any children. For me, scrapbooking is a creative outlet. I have found lots of things to scrapbook. I started with my childhood and also did a small album on my hobbies. I’ve scrapped past vacations and our wedding story. Also, football games that we have been to, family get-togethers, my niece, and our 2 cats. I’ve made an ABC album of my best friend and I growing up, as well as an ABC album of my cats. I’ve scrapped my brother’s time in Africa. I’ve scrapped my sister on a cruise and their house getting built. I don’t even have to be part of an event for me to scrapbook it! I also enjoy scrapbooking my friends and their kids, as well as baby showers for my friends. And scrapping my 30th birthday party was a blast! 

My take on Mother’s Day:  Mother’s Day is a great holiday and one in which we can honor our mothers and the impact they have had on our lives. However, for many people, this is a painful holiday. Perhaps because they long to be mothers themselves. For others, their own mother has passed away or they don’t have a good relationship. Perhaps they live far away from family.
For the childfree, Mother’s Day can be a good opportunity to spend time with our own mothers, thanking them for all they’ve done for us. But Mother’s Day can seem artificial and superfluous since we are not mothers ourselves. In Christian circles, most churches seem to emphasize mothers on this particular day, making it difficult for the childfree to feel comfortable going to church on this holiday. Even if not being mothers is a choice that we have made, the over-emphasis on this particular holiday can be difficult to endure.
While honoring our mothers is important, it is also important to remember that not being a mother is fine too. In many ways, we can offer our contributions of being women to society without the motherhood aspect. We all have unique abilities and gifts which we can offer to others. Often our time and money is freed to contribute to important and worthwhile endeavors. For the childfree that like children, being a part of children’s lives while not being the parent can be very rewarding. Perhaps we can make a difference in a child’s life.
Let’s honor our own mothers, but also honor women in general for the many contributions that women bring to society. And remember to use your unique gifts to better the world and community in which you are a part.

Church issues for the childfree: It seems most churches are geared towards families – parents and children. There are some with good singles ministries, but I haven’t come across any that are geared towards the married without children, unless they are newly married and haven’t had any kids yet. Children’s ministries abound at most churches. AWANA is a ministry where children gather weekly to play games, do crafts and recite memorized Scripture verses. Most churches have a yearly Vacation Bible School with a theme to attract kids. For all these children’s ministries, the church needs adults and teens to run them. But what if you don’t enjoy working with children or don’t have a talent in that area? In my experience, churches tend to focus on making sure their children’s ministries are run and they scramble for volunteers wherever they can find them. If you’re not good about telling people no, you may find yourself involved without really meaning to. I think it’s good to have children’s ministries in a church. But I think the focus is skewed. The childfree often feel like outcasts in their local church, especially if they don’t enjoy working with children. My gifts lie in the realm of drama and interpretive dance. Yet I don’t have much opportunity to use these gifts in a church that has multiple children’s activities and is focused on running them.

165 responses to “On Being Christian and Childfree

  1. Susan

    I completely understand where you are coming from. I too am single and do not desire children. I get the same reactions from other people as you do. I also have the same problem of feeling like an outcast at Church. Yes, some Churches have singles groups..but I don’t see any for single and no children. I feel I have nothing in common. You comment on not wanting kids because you enjoy time alone and would feel overburdened by children, is exactly how I feel. I do not understand why people view that as strange. I have a very low tolerance for stress as well..and I certainly could not deal with trying to work the long hours I do, come home and have to deal with kids. Anyway, I am with you on all that you had to say. Its good to see someone speak out on this subject.

    • Andi

      Susan,
      I find it concerning that you claim to be with Debi on all she says. The fact that you begin by saying “I TOO am single and do not desire children” when Debi’s entire text is about being a Christian *married couple* who have chosen to be childfree suggests that you didn’t carefully read or fully understand the issue being presented. I understand that you are relating to her in being a woman and not desiring children. However her feelings of being judged for being married and not desiring children are no doubt different than your feelings.

      • Jane

        Andi,
        I find it concerning that you felt the need to correct her on that! I think we all know what Susan meant to say. Instead of judging (which might be faulty on your part, btw), how about giving her a break and showing a little compassion?

  2. J.

    It is indeed difficult to be childfree and Christian at the same time. Many churches focus completely on the needs of married couples with children, to the exclusion of everyone else. I think that’s something that needs to change. God calls everyone to love and serve him, whether they are married and have kids or not.

  3. Brandy

    As I read your comment, I felt relief wash over me. I am not alone! I am 34, happily married and have never had a desire for children. I am also a devout believer in Jesus Christ, and I have struggled over whether my lack of desire is sinful. I have prayed for God to give me the desire for children, and I believe that God is faithful and will give me that desire if it is His will for me. All the same, now I am viewed by others as an oddity at best and a monster at the worst. I believe my husband would like children eventually, but he knows I do not want any and has not pressured me at all. Sometimes I am overwelmed with depression because of guilt that I cannot make others happy and just have a child. It gets worse at the holidays because I know I will be confronted by relatives who, along with the masses, do not understand that this is a sensitive issue. Thank you for sharing your views.

    • Sugar

      I am in your same boat, early 30’s, married, no need to have kids. And I feel constant guilt too. I get questions too, and I want to scream at them IT’S NONE OF YOUR BUSINESS. I am so happy I have been googling, and seeing other married Christian couples out there with the same heavy heart about kids. I hope I can feel comfotable in my descion soon. It’s been a such a struggle the past 6 years, the worst of it lately.

  4. A.

    All of you, my sisters, may as well be me. Down to the last sentence.

    I am 29, currently in college, and have never been “motherly.” The thought of having children makes me feel depressed and afraid.

    My (formerly understanding) husband has lately taken to calling me names and treating me like a roommate/stranger to convince me to give birth and become a stay-at-home mother and housewife (read: maid).

    I feel like a total outcast at church (where essentially all of the married women my age have multiple children), and now with my husband alienating me, I feel completely alone in the world. I am hoping to see a counselor sometime soon to help me with the depression that I have been experiencing due to my church and my husband trying to stuff me into this box.

    Whom the Lord sets free is free indeed…so why do I feel like a prisoner?

    • Noma

      hi, i’d like to say that the decision to not have children should have been discussed with your husband before marriage as this recent problem could result in the end of your marriage. Because of our faith in christ, we cannot allow anything get in the way of our marriage-even the decision to have children. I and my husband decided not to have children before we got married. If he changes his mind at anytime during our marriage, i would have to go with his decision and trust God to give me the grace to raise children.We have to be sensitive to our spouses and be selfless in our decisions. This is the way of Christ.

      • A

        hi, i’d like to say that the decision to not have children should have been discussed with your husband before marriage

        We did.

        Because of our faith in christ, we cannot allow anything get in the way of our marriage-even the decision to have children.

        Two people whose life goals grow in opposite directions should not be obligated to stay with one another. And no woman should stay in a relationship in which all of blame and work rests on her shoulders. Women were not put on this earth to be stepstools and work mules for demanding, childlike men.

        If he changes his mind at anytime during our marriage, i would have to go with his decision and trust God to give me the grace to raise children.

        Then you are not childfree. Your “childfreedom” is conditional upon someone else’s wants and needs; who you are as a person and what you desire out of life is completely subverted to the decisions of another person.

        In other words, you’ve lost yourself within marriage. How sad that women do this to themselves and allow an ideology to support it. Think about what kind of beliefs you espouse where an ADULT has to “submit” to another ADULT in an ADULT relationship.

        We have to be sensitive to our spouses and be selfless in our decisions. This is the way of Christ.

        Since when? Christ did not teach that women are obligated to do whatever some man tells them. Be who YOU are, because if Christ loves you, he loves YOU, not the person your husband is trying to create. Be YOURSELF, not your husband.

      • Erin

        Whomever you are who replied to Norma “that she should have spoken to her husband about this prior to marriage” should remember that we are called not to throw our stones. And to be compassionate. Clearly Norma is reaching out for love and support, which she needs. I also think it might be unwise to have a child that you do not desire in your heart? Better to wait and see what wisdom the holy spirit gives your first before making such a big decision. (We can always ask God for direction/widsom, and He will be faithful to answer us). Abraham and Sarah thought they were doing God’s will when they decided to have Ishmaal, when in fact that was not God’s will, and it created many problems.

    • Kelly M

      A, Despite what your ‘church’ and husband says you deserve the right to be happy. I suggest you begin to get your affairs in order and prepare for divorce. Because the subject of having children is non-compromisable. He wants children and you don’t. I also suggest for you to find another church (preferrablly on line) with like-minded individuals who are more open to what YOU want for your body and your life. Good luck.

      • Sugar

        A, I sincerely hope you’re husband realizes what a fool he is. I am going through a similar stage in my marriage at the moment, with me being the one who wanted kids (kind of, I am coming to terms with the fact that I mainly felt pressured to have kids).

        I always ASSUMED I would have kids. Like everyone else. My husband and I talked about kids before we married, and we both thought we would eventaully have them, but if for some reason we couldn’t, we would never go to the ends of the earth to get pregnant. That would be that. We both have enough hobbies to keep busy, we both are loners, and are happy by ourselves too. If I fell pregnant, I would love that kid forever & do anything for it…but I am seeing I don’t really have that desire. I defintely pressured my husband, horribly so, and it’s eaten me up over the past few years. But just in the past few days, I am seeing the pressure I put on him, to do something that I just assumed we SHOULD to do, not really WANTED to do. I am so happy I am coming to the conclusion that I don’t need kids to be fulfilled. I felt like I was being burried under the pressure to have kids, and I’m sure I made my husband feel the same.

      • A.

        Hi Sugar, thank you so much for your reply. I am glad you and your husband, unlike us, were able to iron out your differences and be happy regardless of what your family structure turns out to be. I am happy that you appreciate your spouse, mine did not appreciate me and I think that makes all the difference. Best of luck to you. :-)

  5. Carey

    Debi, would you get in touch? I’d like to discuss this further.

  6. Anna

    Debi,
    I know of a book i think you might enjoy, if you wanted to get in touch?
    Best Wishes.

  7. Idetrorce

    very interesting, but I don’t agree with you
    Idetrorce

    • Jane

      A lot of people won’t agree. Simply stating you don’t agree doesn’t do much to persuade anyone – it just seems close-minded, as if there’s no thought put behind it.

  8. Jill

    Thank you for this blog. It is a salve on a wound. For years I have felt like a misfit at my church because my husband and I do not have children, like we are the only ones who have not been given that specific blessing. Now understand that everyone in our congregation is friendly and kind; we have been spared the implications that we are commiting a major sin by not reproducting. But because we do not have any kids, we just don’t seem to really fit in anywhere. There is no nitch for us. Too young for the senior group, too old for the youth group, and don’t really mesh with the married group because they all have children and guess what it frequently the topic of study and conversation. Like we have anything to contribute to those discussions.

    Sadly, over the years I have watched my involvement in the church dwindle down to almost nothing because there is no ministry for me to draw renual from; no group that really understands my needs as a childless, married woman. Lots of oppertunities to give and minister to other people (especially those with kids as the original post pointed out) but none to be ministered to by. I thought the Body of Christ was supposed to take care of all its members, not just those that fit neatly into predetermined norms.

  9. Eliza

    I loved your article! Yes, I am a Christian and I love God and I want to fulfill his promise and the good deeds and blessings He has in store for me. But I don’t see how having children can become a goal for my life. I too agree on the “we’ve pretty much covered the <> part” and I think many Christian couples have children that they subconsciously NOT want, but they are haivng them anyway because they were told it’s a must and they never really got a chance to think outside the box for themselves. As a Christian girl who seeks love, the fact that I don’t want any kids ever is a big wall between me and . . .well, guys. I have never met an available decent guy who shares my conceptions. It’s sad. . .I feel stranded, I am oftenly reprimanded by other Christians. They say I must pray that the LORD will change me, they say I might be loved IF I CHANGE, some say “aww, you will surely change” but I know it’s not so. I don’t want to be loved by someone who hopes I will change. Anyway, thank you. Today I read some stuff written by men who didn’t want any kids, too. I am pleased to know I’m not alone. :)
    May God bless us all with the blessings of Jeremiah 29:11.

  10. Jenn

    Thanks so much for sharing this with us! My husband of 5 years and I are still on the fence about whether or not to bear children, and pressures from church family make us lean more toward having children than would be the case if we were not Christians and led a different lifestyle. It’s frustrating since the childfree are a minority to start with, but when you add being a Christian into the mix, the numbers REALLY start to dwindle. I long for Christian fellowship that doesn’t involve sippy cups or little league games I also have to fight being resentful at being treated as a 2nd class citizen and being made to feel immature just because I haven’t given birth. If we do decide to have children, I will always question my motives since the pressure to procreate is so great in our circle of friends and family. It’s nice to know that I am not alone.

  11. Ann

    Excellent article! Everything that was written in this article was an echo of my feelings exactly! I must be naive, because I really didn’t think there was anyone else out there like me! And just like many of you that have commented, I have never had the motherly feelings either. Thank you to whomever wrote this article! It truly makes me feel better to know there are others out there that feel the same way I do!

  12. Margaret

    I am 48 and my husband is 57. We are a childless christian couple in a beautiful church family with lots of kids. I have been pretty comfortable with our decision to remain childless. However now that we are getting older I have been struggling more and more. The difficult times have been watching my friends with grown children experience the growth of their families through marriage and grandchildren. I am finding it hard to see the kids coming home for the holidays, being there for their parents during illness and other difficult times. Recently my husband was in the hospital and I felt very alone. This hurts because we are there for so many during their illnesses..trying to be supportive an serve. I have a young woman in our church who is like my daugther…her mother abandoned her and I have been her spiritual mom for many years…even planning her wedding and helping to pay for it. Yet the pain of the reality is there. She is not my daughter. I know the Lord uses my husband and I to uplift and encourage the young men and women in our church. I frequently get calls from the girls to who want some counsel on various problems. I must frequently go to God and ask Him to remind me of the eternal perspective in my life. It is easy to focus on ME and MY feelings…as opposed to Jesus and His calling on my life.
    Marge

  13. Jason

    I have made the decision not to have children and I believe that God honors it as a sacrifice. I have read that there are 2.2 billion children in the world and over a billion live in poverty. God’s Ole Testament blessing for Israel to grow into a large powerful nation, I believe is somewhat trumped by the New Testament command for Christians to care for orphans and widows and others in need. I believe I can do so more effectively without raising my own children. I’m learning to be a healthcare provider and hope to serve in inetrnational missions. I dream of one day adopting children in need. My problem is that I don’t want to sacrifice having a wife. Maybe things will change in the missions field, but I have never met a young, single woman that shares my feelings. And what’s more, meeting one that would be attractive to me and a good match. I feel like my chances are pretty slim to none and I may have to compromise my dreams. Anyhow, thanks for the article it means a lot to me!

  14. Jess

    I knew I didn’t want kids since I was about 7. Currently 28. I personally cannot understand the desire to have kids, and I view pregnancy as one of the grossest things ever. Sorry–there it is. I’ve suffered the sneers and condenscending remarks also. From people who are jealous, or are too brainwashed or not mature enough to realize that there are different strokes for different folks. (I have never critized others’ decisions to have kids.)
    I met a man who shared all these beliefs and we were married. Last February, he phones me up to say he’d filed for divorce. (?) It wasn’t related to childfree viewpoints, I was never sure what exactly happened, although there was some comments regarding jealousy over my career success. Neither marriage nor divorce have made my mind change at all. One interesting thing I’ve encountered is the “I’m SO sorry for your divorce. Did you have kids together?” That is the most common question, because, you know the world revolves around parenthood and babies. When they discover there was no kiddos involves, sometimes there’s this dismissiveness, as though the marriage wasn’t really a “marriage” without him impregnating me.

    So, I am now too thrown back into wondering if I will ever find a childfree man who understands my belief in God’s love. Good luck to all with all the suffering and misunderstanding we childfree go through.

  15. Kathy

    Very well put. Thank you for posting this!!

  16. Jennavie

    Praise God this is so encouraging, I’ve received alot of condension and hostility for choosing to be childfree. I’ve never wanted to have children even when I was a kid, I like children I just don’t want any of my own. I’ve never felt called by God to have children but to remain childfree so that I have the freedom to witness to as many people as possible also I have a strong love of animals and feel God has called me to take care of his lesser creatures afterall it says in Proverbs a Godly person cares for their animals.

  17. Richard

    The article is very helpful, my wife and i have decided not to have children but instead to serve God where He wants us. I have no compulsion to explain why we have decided to be childfree even when friends and people from church keep asking why. Only been married less than a year so enjoying married life as it is at the moment.

    We are happy with the decision we have made and taken time to talk this through.

    A very good article

  18. Cheryl

    Well! I think God has given me a sign through this blog that He doesn’t want me to be side-lined by my child-free marriage and any judgment I may feel from others about it. I believe He wants me to serve Him more fully as who I am — not focus on who I am not. peace, Cheryl

  19. I want to thank you all for your comments – it’s so great to know I’m not alone! I want to invite you to join me at my new personal blog – “Diagonally Parked in a Parallel Universe” where I talk about not fitting in along with various other topics.

  20. SM

    Hi there, just chiming in to say thanks for being a voice for Christians without children. I did a web search and there’s not much out there for people like us (sometimes the secular childfree rhetoric is a bit much). I am a Christian, 30, married for almost five years. I don’t hate kids or have an agenda or anything – I’ve just never wanted children. Simple as that. I am lucky in that a) I found a fabulous man to marry who is OK with that and b) we do attend a church that has a group for young singles & couples without kids (it’s the reason we started attending our church), and have never felt any pressure/guilt from church or family about having kids (my mom knows we don’t plan to have kids; don’t know about the in-laws but even so that have been great about it thus far). Anyway, thanks again.

  21. Minnesota Viking

    I am a Christian woman, and from a very young age I knew that I just did not want to ever be a mother. I don’t have anything close to a “maternal instinct”, I have virtually no patience for children, and to be frank I find pregnancy and childbirth repulsive to say the least. Also I too am very much an introvert with a low tolerance for stress and I need my alone time just to function. I believe that although God gave women the physical ability to conceive and give birth that doesn’t mean that all women are required by God use that ability. God calls some to be parents, others not to be parents. Unfortunately many in the Church don’t see it that way, and many Churches focus almost exclusively on those who are married with children to the exclusion of almost everyone else. As a result I too feel like a black sheep in God’s family much of the time, and am still trying to find a good Bible preaching Church where I won’t be looked down on for my decision to be childfree. I wish the whole childfree thing wasn’t an issue, I wish it was possible for a Christian to be childfree without being judged or pressured to have children they don’t want, but until then I encourage all my fellow childfree Christians to trust in The Lord and do what is best for them.

  22. christian girl

    this is a wonderful blog and i agree with you. i think it’s people’s CULTURAL views that get tied up with religion that make many think that women must have children. i read an interesting article online about how “be fruitful and multiply” was interpreted. in the article, the author thought it meant that taking care of children (like orphans and such) could be a fine substitiue for your own children. i also see it myself as “multiplying” the number of believers. i still STRUGGLE with my thoughts, because i feel like “well it’s only natural to have children, and to prevent it is UNNATURAL” but at the same time i would HATE my life with a kid. i’m only in highschool but this is what i feel, and i don’t want to DISOBEY God, and i feel like not having a kid just because i don’t want one is SELFISH. i don’t think my mind will change about having children, i want to go and travel the world (is that SELFISH too?)

    i think about this stuff like everyday, and i just want to be a good Christian, but i also don’t want to live my life in misery because i had to have a kid (that is, if i even find a husband). i just want to be married with no kids and please God.

    if you’ve seen “17 kids and counting” (a tv show about a woman who has 17 kids of her own) that makes me wonder even more if i’m doing something evil by not wanting kids, since these wholesome people find so much joy in a situation i could never stand.

    so friends, what do you think?

  23. Emily

    “Having a baby nowadays is like having a little black dress or the right pair of shoes. Everyone else has them, so you should run out and get them too.”

    I think this is all too true. I know, for myself, there have been a few times I really felt I wanted a baby. After watching “Juno”, for example, I really felt like being pregnant might be the sort of experience that I’d like to have… but I realized that I didn’t want a child because I felt I could handle the responsibilities of it, but because I thought I’d look cute pregnant and because of all the attention that friends had recieved when they became pregnant. For me, *having* a child came from a selfish desire and I don’t think this is something God would support.

    Does that mean that I see myself as always being childless? Not necissarily. I am entirly open to God bringing a child into my life– but I want to be sure I am doing His will, both in having and in not having a child.

    I think one thing that frustrates me about “Childfree Christians” is the emphasis on their own desire for no children. They seem to imply that if they don’t want kids, they shouldn’t have kids– and push God from that picture. I think the subject of children is something between the married couple and God, just as I believe all major aspects of our lives (our jobs, who we marry, ect.) should be given to Him. And really, when it all comes down to it, who is better at making these decisions? An all-powerful god or myself? I would pick Him everytime (even though it can sometimes be really hard, especially when I think I’ve got everything figured out already…)

    • Ajah Hyten- Jamiel

      Well if it’s Gods will to have me pregnant, he could always give me Immaculate Conception..? I mean he’s done it once before! Lol! But with all due respect, there is no commandment saying “you must have children” and if God were to force that in anyway, that would nullify the whole Free Will of Choice he gave us..

  24. Minnesota Viking

    Emily,

    My decision to never have children isn’t pushing God out of the picture. If someday God decides he wants me to get pregnant and have a child then I’ll end up pregnant despite whatever measures I take to keep a pregnancy from happening. I have, with much prayer on the subject, decided that I’m never going to have kids not just because I don’t want them, but because I know myself better then anyone else except God, and I know that I just am not cut out to be a parent. Period. My mother has done home day care since before I was born. I grew up surrounded by children, and by the time I was a teenager I knew that I don’t have the patience, aptitude or desire to be a mother. Like I said in my previous post, I don’t believe that God calls all people to be parents, and just because I as a woman have the biological ability to get pregnant and give birth does not mean that I am automatically required to use that ability. Not having children is not a sin, and if a Christian (married or not) decides that they genuinely don’t want children then noone else has the right to tell them that decision is wrong.

    • mj007

      Minnesota Viking,

      My mother has done home daycare my entire life as well (not to mention having 5 younger brothers and sisters). I totally understand. I think when you only have brothers and sisters and they actually “grow up” having kids doesn’t seem so bad. (I’m laughing while I’m typing). But living in home daycare and waking up to kids driving cars and trucks over you and wetting in your bed will kill any maternal drive you have-at least mine. I have always been a Christian and very maternal, but always thought I’d wait until age 30-35 to have my kids to recover from the endless high pitch noises and kids running and crashing into me. Now I’m 38 and for the first time have considered having children, mostly out of guilt and fear of being in a hospital bed alone at 90. :) My maybe fiance is 40 (came from a poor Catholic family of 11 kids) and has the same feelings as me. Maybe we are selfish, but we pay our tithe, and I’m sure God understands.

  25. Emily

    Minnesota Viking,

    I’m afraid that maybe you misread my post? I just re-read it and it was a lot more confusing than I remembered it being. :P My post merely said that I feel like many of the Childfree Christian boards/forums that I’ve read all seem to have Christians who take the view that they will do whatever they want, whevever they want, however they want… I simply meant to say that the couple and God should be making this choice… so a lot of prayer and reflection and honest questions should happen, too. I guess from people’s posts I’ve gotten the impression that the answers came a bit too quickly and with little real thought about alternatives… but that easily could be because people aren’t sharing their life stories here and are simply expressing their opinions…

  26. Jane

    @Emily,

    How do we for sure know what God’s will is for our lives? I would never have children merely because I thought that “maybe” God was trying to tell me that I should. I would have to feel “very, very” strongly that God indeed was trying to convey this to me. I have heard so many stories about people who “thought” God was revealing His will only to find out it was just in their heads… scary.

    Also, I don’t know any child-free by choice people who have come to this decision “too quickly and with little real thought…” The people I know making this decision are all highly intelligent, deep-thinkers who have given it a “lot” of thought… a lot more thought than the folks who simply have kids because it’s what everyone else is doing.

    Anyway, I “do” see and respect where you’re coming from and know you have good intentions, but I just wanted to expand upon it a bit. :)

    @Debi,

    Thank you for this wonderful and insightful post. I’m 31, single, and plan to remain child-free – and feel quite strongly about it. Luckily, I have friends who understand and agree with my decision, so it’s great to have that support, but it can still be difficult at times to be so different from the majority. It’s nice to know there are others, and I’m thankful for all the comments here as well.

    Like you, I’m very introverted, a loner, need a lot of alone time, get stressed easily, and am also low energy most of the time. However, I’m usually quite at peace when I’m alone and it’s just me and God – or if I’m with a kindred spirit. Thankfully, I experience much joy from the simple things in life and generally have a happy nature. I am also very different in a LOT of other areas besides just being child-free. If I did have kids, they wouldn’t be raised the same as other kids, and that would make it ever “more” challenging for me as a parent. All in all, I look very forward to being an aunt, but I’m going to pass on the mom ticket!!

  27. bigsky

    I am in my early 30’s, married 12 years, and my husband and I have decided not to have children. No one at our church’s have ever outcasted us for that. Our families are understanding (my parents are a bit dissapointed, naturally, at the thought of no grandchildren, but they understand). I think it’s important to first attend a “bible-teaching” church. My pastor is always saying “don’t take my word for it. Go to the Bible and look for yourself. Question me anytime. And don’t ever let anyone tell you not to question or think for yourself. The Bible has everything you need…..so go and read it for yourself”.
    Additionally, it sounds like a lot of folks feel the need for church groups geared towards childfree married couples. Well, if your church doesn’t have one, why don’t you be the person/couple who starts one?!! Don’t always rely on others to give you what you need. You want to be involved – get involved. Maybe this is your gift?!! Use it. (I know it’s not that simple……..but then again, maybe it is!).

    • sunny

      bigsky, I can tell you from personal experience that getting involved in church does not guarantee acceptance. I have willingly and joyfully served in many areas of our church (Vacation Bible School, Bible studies, small group leader (3 groups), assisting pastors with projects, etc). My dh and I are still excluded from activities, events, and get-togethers outside of official church functions because we don’t have kids. When we invite others to get together, only twice in 2 1/2 years has anyone accepted. I have one friend I have lunch with about once every 3 months, but that’s all I have.
      As far as starting a group for married childless couples, even though our church’s attendance is around 500 weekly, we are the only such couple.

  28. Debrah

    I am also a Christian and I have chosen not to have children. However, in my church (which is small, close knit, insular and very traditional) I have received NO judgments of any kind. My church is a strong part of my life and I am active in almost all activities. Generally, all activities include the community as a whole and are not geared for “families with children only.” There are activities for children but it’s usually encompassed in an overall community event. Traditionally large families are common, there are 1 or 2 married women without children, including myself. I have never felt excluded or envy for/by women with children. I agree with “Christian Girl” it’s ones culture that often dictates ones experiences in this issue.

  29. Sandy

    I didn’t even know that there were people in the church who thought not having kids was wrong until I tried looking for a small group for childless couples. Yeah, there aren’t too many of those around.

    Saying that a couple is selfish because they don’t want to have kids is hypocritical. The motives behind having children can be just as selfish, I’m sure.

    I love my husband with all my heart and we desire the very best for ourselves, which includes placing God in the center of our lives. I can say without hesitation that I will be able to serve Him better in my marriage and my community than I ever could by having a child I did not want.

    It’s one thing to reprimand an individual for blatantly committing an offense against God and/or the body of Christ, but the choice to have children or not is one that is between God and each individual. Keep your nose out of other people’s business.

    And for those of you with children, spend less time complaining about people who don’t have children and more time raising your own. Kids today have a complete lack of respect for themselves and the people around them and that is something that can only be taught at home.

  30. Jane

    @Sandy,

    You said,
    “I can say without hesitation that I will be able to serve Him better in my marriage and my community than I ever could by having a child I did not want.”

    I so agree with this statement!!! Nobody can know ourselves as “we” know ourselves. “We,” along with God’s guidance, know best how having a child will affect us, those around us, and our service to God. I believe God has given me “plenty” of reason to doubt having children.

  31. Liz

    The New Testament teaches us that all 12 disciples were handpicked by Jesus to start the early Christian church, yet only one had a wife and children (Peter).

    Later, the apostle Paul was chosen by Jesus to spread the Gospel throughout Asia Minor. Paul was highly educated and without a wife and children. His journey was partially financed by a wealthy businesswoman named Lydia–also unmarried and without children.

    There are many powerful examples, both obvious and obscure, of effective Christian lives from the New Testament who were unmarried and/or childfree…including the Savior of the world.

    Next time a brother or sister in Christ is compelled to comment on your unmarried and/or childfree lifestyle, respectfully remind them of the biblical examples above. And with a smile on your face and love in your heart say, “Thank you for sharing that, but I’m perfectly at peace with the life God has given me.”

    To be content with less is great gain.

  32. Jane

    Liz,
    What a great comment!! Thank you for pointing out all the wonderful examples of child-free people in the Bible!!

    Sometimes, as a child-free by choice person, I “do” wonder a little if God disapproves of a married couple purposely choosing to not have children, but I also think that He gives us a brain and wisdom (of which I’m always asking for wisdom), and that if “we” know children aren’t for us, then I feel that must be for a reason. If God really wants me to have kids, I suspect I’ll conceive anyway!

    I have a lot of health issues – lots of days where I just flat out feel sick – low energy, feverish, light-headed… the works!! haha For years I’ve tried to overcome this, but it looks as though it’s my lot in life. It’s enough to just take care of myself. I can’t imagine God wanting me to take on the responsibilities of motherhood.

    So anyway, I so agree with you – it’s best to be at peace with our lives (and thankfully, I am), and being content with less is my motoo as well! Less, and simplified, is more!

  33. Tami

    Hi Jane: I hope you are getting adequate healthcare – remember that Jesus wants us to have life abundantly. I have had health issues too but have decided not to give up- still hoping for deliverance!

    Re the childfree issue, I got married 4 years back and during the marriage we discovered that I had fertility issues. My husband (my on again off again boyfriend since 1996) became more depressed about it than I realized. He had an affair and the woman got pregant and recently gave birth. I have decided to stay with him because I think there have been mistakes on both sides over the years.

    However, now that I have a weekend to myself to think straight (like Jane, I love alone time) I am wondering to what extent I want children. Looking back over the last three or four years, I think a lot of pressure has come my way to have kids and somehow with the pressure off me to produce a child and be a dutiful wife, I realize that my wanting children mostly came from a desire to get back my child from a termination a decade ago (I’ve finally accepted that can’t happen as he or she is with the Lord) and the desire to please my husband and cultural expectations. In my mid-30s, I feel like I love my life partner and that he is enough. Trying to juggle a job, postgraduate studies, a new marriage, infertility and goodness knows what else was an energy-sapping disaster that helped cause my marital problems and left me feeling incompetent, inadequate and incomplete. I have been such a bad housekeeper and very absent-minded and disorganized. Oddly, I feel a strange sense of relief that my husband now has a child. I can now be a complete woman without children.

    This is also a good time to listen to the Lord. I do not believe that we are all created to be mothers. I have always loved babies (can’t resist them – so cute!!) but don’t really like kids that much especially if they are ill-mannered. I definitely didn’t want to be a mom in my 20s as I’ve said. Now that I’m older and wiser, being an aunt for life sounds great.

    Thanks so much for this blog – it’s a relief to find other Christians that also feel there is no obligation to have kids and that they can serve the Lord in many other ways.

    On another bright note, I recently moved to a new town and I went to my local church for advice. The female associate pastor encouraged me, in making my decision about whether to continue with the marriage, to also think about whether I really want kids. To be honest, I don’t think we are that much of a minority.

    I am not from a Western country and I have to tell you that if you think you’ve got it bad with your choice to remain childfree in the developed world, you don’t!

    • Jane

      Tami,
      For some reason I decided to scroll through these old comments and just saw your reply and that I never responded. I wanted to say thank you for your encouragement! I have been battling health issues for a long time, and my hope of getting better never ceases. I am constantly trying new things and currently working with a really great M.D. who knows about and respects many alternative treatments as well (what I believe in). Somehow, I stay optimistic. I don’t know why I’ve had health issues and had to get sick, but I thank God for it anyway!! Only He knows why we go through what we do. However, I do pray for healing anyway! Good luck to you as well!! I hope you also soon get deliverance for your health problems. :)

  34. salinza

    You can choose to have or not have kids, your decision but when people start to imply that I had my kids because “the church or my family pressured me” than you are also a hypocrite. My kids are not like a little black dress or a pair of shoes, they are my flesh and blood. You want to be left alone to make your own choices? Well than do your best not to judge mine. This is for many of the comments above, not the original author.

  35. Jane

    Salinza,
    I don’t believe I was one that said the church/family is the reason people have children, but even if I did, I don’t see how saying this makes one a hypocrite. A hypocrite of what exactly? From my experience churches and families are normally “very” pro-having children, are often “very” against not having children, are often judgmental towards not having children, and people “do” have children because of this pressure. I just saw this happen recently with a friend of mine.

    Does this mean everyone who has a child did so out of pressure? Of course not.

    I do agree, however, that we shouldn’t judge each other based on our choices. I think we’re all just doing the best we can in life.

  36. Melissa

    Wow! Thanks for posting such a vulnerable and insightful story about yourself. My husband and I are a Christian couple and we do not feel the desire to have kids right now.

    I was beginning to feel that my sister and I were the only ones out there. And both my sister and I are exceptionally good with kids. I love to hang out and play with kids. I like being their “friend” but I have never had a desire to be a “mother”.

    We are pressured and nagged by some who don’t even bother to ask “why” before they condemn us. Then, there are those who just plain exclude us because we don’t have kids just like them.

    I think that being a mother is a ministry or calling from God. I feel God has “called” me to other ministries.

  37. Gloria

    The way I figure it… Paul said that it’s better to be single (for either sex) than to be married and listed the reasons. That was even more of a controversial thing to say then than now (before birth-control, open education for women and careers which delay marriage and family and 401ks to ensure financial stability in old age) .

    To me Paul’s statements mean that the ultimate purpose of humanity (Christians in particular) is not marriage and family (although these can be good things). It follows then that even after marriage, it is not wrong to not have children especially when it frees you up to minister more effectively.

    In fact, as a PK (and a friend to many PK’s and MK’s) I truly feel that those seeking to become ministers should seriously consider whether they will be able to balance their ministry desires with the responsibilities of marriage and family (without putting undue stress on their spouse or kids) or if they need to defer one of those dreams until they can devote the appropriate amount of attention to either.

    I had an amazing childhood that exposed me to a lot of experiences that I would not have had if my parents weren’t in the ministry, but I would give those experiences up in a heartbeat if I could have seen more of my father and lived with a mother who wasn’t constantly stressed.

    A sidenote about Child-free people being called selfish: Why is it just young child-free couples that are considered “selfish”? If you were the good Christian couple who marriage and had children early and now in your 40’s and 50’s you are still healthy and are financially stable (or trust in God to handle your finances) doesn’t it follow that you should ALWAYS have kids in the house whether natural-born or adopted? Why is it not considered selfish for a couple at ANY age to want to enjoy each other’s company without children to care for?

  38. Jane

    @ Melissa and Gloria,
    Thank you both for those insightful posts! It’s wonderful that we have a place where we can openly discuss our personal experiences and personal truths as a way of helping further each other’s understandings. :)

  39. tara

    Now I don’t feel so alone, reasonable child free christians. I have looked at other sites and have been dismayed by such hateful, mean attitudes towards “breeders”, which I know are not pleasing to the Lord. All I know is I have never had any interest/desire for children of my own, and neither has my husband. I have never felt bad about it before the Lord, but am realising it can be a problem for other people. I sure hope it’s not a sin, all I can do is ask forgiveness and move on. When we were engaged my husband got a vasectomy, we didn’t want any accidents once we were married. My brother was such a troubled teenager and put my parents through hell. I had what I would have considered excellent parents, and when I saw them unable to do anything about his behaviour it really did a number on me. I never wanted to be in that position. You really don’t have as much control as a parent as you think you do. We later found out that my brother had ADHD. I don’t hate kids but I don’t particularly enjoy them either. My husband and I have been attending a new church for approx 8 months now. It is full of mostly young families (i am 39) and I couldn’t understand why we just can’t seem to be a part of things. The ladies rarely greet or even look at me, the people seem so cold. Granted I am shy and this doesn’t help matters, but it’s hard to approach when they will barely look in your direction. I think people don’t know what to make of a couple of our age without children, nobody has ever even talked to us about it so for all they know we’re infertile or could even have lost a child. I’m just feeling really sad and lonely about the whole thing. So it’s nice to find a site like this.

  40. Jane

    Tara,
    I so agree that you have no control over how your children will turn out. I know “way” too many nice families with “bad apple” children, most of which are now grown, but nevertheless, a problem still. I don’t think I would have the energy to deal with a lot of what I have seen. I just don’t handle stress well. I don’t think anyone has the right to “judge” us for having or not having children. We know ourselves better than anyone else. If we don’t feel “called” to have children, then it’s probably not for us!

    I’m sorry you’re feeling ostracized at church. I hear that Methodist churches are more tolerable of child-free couples. That might be an option? Married with children or not, sometimes it can be really hard to find kindred spirits at church (believe me, I have seen this over and over again). Some people are there for the wrong reasons, some are hurting and find it hard to reach out to others who may need it, some are jealous, etc. Perhaps a “mixed” ages group? And honestly, we’re not actually commanded to attend church. If doing so is pulling you down, then perhaps church time could be between you and your husband at home? Good luck to you. :)

  41. claudia

    Hi
    Good on you. I admire you.we need more people like you in this world.
    We are childless and not by choice but due to my husband’s infertility problems.I am a christian
    and feel very left out at church when as you said all focus is on families and children so it not only the couples that have made a choice to remain child free it is the childless couples as well .You seem to be valued and judged for how many children you have which is not God’s word .God loves us unconditionally,whether your decide to have children,not have children or cannot have children.God loves us all unconditionally and i cant see as you said any where in the bible that commands us to have children. In fact the total focus is on the relationship between husband and wife and children are rarely mentioned at all .I honour and respect your decision because it takes courage to stand up for what you believe in and that is between you and God nobody else.God does command us not to judge others because if we do we are playing God.
    I totally agree with you ,God created man and women and then joined them together to become one (God did not say you need children to become one)even though it was heartbreaking when we found we could not have children now i can see it happened for a reason and now as i look back over my life having children would not have been good for us as i would have not been able to cope as my stress levels are also very low and i also suffer from depression/anxiety disorder and just had enough time to look after myself let alone children it would not have been fair to them .God in his wisdom knew that having children would
    not be good for me and i had to put my trust in him and to be honest if we could have children now we would not bring them into this
    fallen world to suffer as this world can be a very cruel and unjust place.I believe a decision not to have children because of the reasons you mentioned is not selfish at all for me you are very wise and not wanting to have children for the wrong reasons and you are thinking of the children not yourself which is definately not selfish.
    I believe most people have children for selfish reasons and because they are insecure within
    themselves I see many parents making their children and families into idols and place them above God which is a sin according to God’s word.
    Our one true relationship should be with God not husbands,wives,children etc.
    I also feel very hurt and left out at church and not supported because it makes me feel like your said “like and outsider”
    The bible says God loves us for who we are and when we leave this world to be with him we will leave alone not with my husbands or children,families etc.
    today i try and live by God’s standards not mans
    standards.
    God’s love & Blessing be with you always. Take care

  42. Kim

    Debi, thank you so much for writing this piece. It is brave and honest and it makes so many people feel that they’re not alone. What a blessing!

    I am turning 30 this summer and have been married to my wonderful husband for over 7 years. I was so encouraged by this article and by the many readers who were also encouraged by it.

    I never thought I would be child-free after 7 years of marriage, but as each year of marriage passed, neither my husband or I had a desire to pro-create. We have had literally dozens of friends having children within this time period, so our childless state has been difficult for me to deal with because I feel like I am odd and that others think I’m odd (because they have said so). We are open to it if God decides He wants us to be parents, but left to our own wishes, I don’t know that our current perspective will change. It could, and if it does, I pray that I would know from God that He’s the one doing the change of heart, and not the outside voices of family and friends.

    A friend who is now pregnant with twins via in vitro, once said, as she was unsuccessfully trying to get pregnant, that on weekends, when she was not working and distractions were gone, the thought of not being able to reproduce made her want to die. I’ve never forgotten that statement because it made such an impact on me. I was so sad that she would feel that kind of unanswered longing, but at the same time, I could not wrap my brain around that kind of reaction, when my thought was: “There are millions and millions of unwanted children in this world. You’ve got financial resources. It’s a lot of work, but go get one of those babies and fulfill your longing to be a parent. – But I recognize that in thinking that way, I was being judgmental too. I don’t want anyone to judge me for not wanting children, and I’m sure that those who want to conceive their OWN children do not want to be judged for their lack of desire to adopt. And I could understand that.

    The lesson in the end for all of us, I think, is that we are all God’s unique children – as someone above said, with our own personalities and preferences – and because we are different, we all have the freedom and responsibility to get to know ourselves and to ask ourselves what we really want. If we don’t have a desire, we don’t have a desire. To judge me or even be disappointed in me for that is like forcing me to like mayonnaise when I have no taste for it. I think the only One who can change any desire within us is God. And those who condemn or question us for not desiring children, if their basis is that we’re not “multiplying and being fruitful” as God commands, to me, really have no understanding of the Bible. Honestly, it makes me wonder what other verses they use out of context to support their faulty perspectives.

    If God has plans for me that I don’t see right now, which include having a child, then I have to trust He will give me that desire and the ability to love and care for that child. End of story. (Though easier said than done!)

  43. Jane

    Kim,
    I completely agree about God giving that desire!! Having a child is a *huge* responsibility, and it’s not one anyone should take on unless they truly want it and feel they can handle it. In my heart, I believe that if God wanted me to have children, He would fully give me that desire and the *confidence* as well to take on that role. I would never want to just have children and simply hope for the best – that all will fall into place. I see and hear of way too many parents who are in over their heads. I already feel like I’m in over my head a lot as it is – adding a child wouldn’t be a good thing. haha You are so right that we should all refrain from judging each other – none of us can truly know what’s in the heart of another.

  44. Greta

    I’m so glad to see I’m not alone, i just have no desire to have children at all. But my husband wants to have children from day one. He always know I don’t like children but I thought I would be ok to have one because of love. But that’s not true, the more I see the babies from my church friends, the more I don’t want to have kids. And my husband is the other way around. I’m truly believe that God will change me or call me if He wants me to have kids but I just can’t feel it. My husband has got some pressure from his family and he also thinks a complete family must include children.
    We just can’t get a solution and we are going to see a counsellor next month. But truly would we get a solution out of it? We should not have married at the beginning, or at least not until we compromised.
    Can anyone please give me some advice?

    • Noma

      well, like I said previously on this thread I hope this does not ruin your marriage. If you trust God, he will give you the grace to raise children and see it as a sign that you should have them. You must be sensitive to your husband’s feeling as this is quite a sensitive issue.Let the will of God be done. But it is always best to discuss such sensitive issues before a marriage so one partner does not feel left out. If you love your husband, then I think it is wise to have a child-there is nothin wrong with it and God will give you all the grace you need if you trust him. This is the selfless way of christ.

  45. Kelly

    Debi and commenters,
    Thank you for this. My husband and I have been married for nearly 18 years and neither of us has ever wanted children. The first 10 years of our marriage we spent deliberately trying to *not* get pregnant. Then we “fixed” the situation surgically. During this time neither of us were Christians (though I had grown up in the church). In spite of this, God preserved our marriage. When Christ came to us, we were both well into our 30’s and I had finally found the career I wanted, something I was actually good at. We found a beautiful little church which is like a family to us. They don’t belittle us for not having children, but all of them have many. My husband & I think they are admirable for being good parents!

    Sometimes I feel like I am less of a woman for not being a mother. I feel that I have no right to comment on any child’s behavior (even if he is misbehaving directly to me!) I feel, like many of your posters, left out and insignificant at many “ladies’ teas” and on mother’s day. I feel sometimes that I am inferior to women who are nearly 20 years my junior, and that I have no wisdom or knowledge to share with them, just because I am not a mother. It hurts!

    But then I remind myself that God is indeed sovereign. During the first 10 years of my marriage I was not by any means perfect with contraception, but in all that time there were no “accidents”. I have never believed in abortion and should I have ever become pregnant I would have done the very best I could at being a parent! But it never happened. I have a strong suspicion that one or both of us is infertile, but I will never know for sure. I believe God knows what He is doing. I believe that if He wants us to be parents, He will make it happen, even now!

    I will be the first to admit that my reasons for not wanting children in those days before I knew Christ were very selfish! I don’t think the Lord excuses us from the consequences of our sins, even though He forgives us. I don’t know if not wanting children is actually a sin, but my selfish motivations were undoubtedly sinful. I can’t say for sure whether I would choose the same path now, but that is a moot point. Even as I enjoy my career and my very quiet house, I am just beginning to understand that we all have crosses to bear. Perhaps these things that we women without children complain about are that cross. The fact that we have to do the extra work while women with children get extra time “off”, the fact that we don’t get certain tax breaks, that we will always feel left out on certain holidays, maybe these things are simply ways that we can serve the Lord in a quiet way, and I am thinking about how I can do that better. It is hard not to feel bitter inside while I smile outside as I am treated as an anomaly, a not-real-woman, a less than valuable person, not really a “grown-up.”

    God created us all so we could glorify Him, and I am guilty of not having always focused on that. I have to believe I can do that with or without children. I know I have no talent with children, (I even taught public school for a while) and I don’t volunteer for the children’s ministry at my church. They’ve become accustomed to that and stopped asking me. I serve in other ways, using other talents that I have. I often question whether or not that’s good enough. I struggle with this often. I don’t know God’s plan for me – sometimes I don’t feel like I am any use to Him. I’m not a good evangelist, and though I am a good teacher (at least to adults!) I have no place in the women’s ministries either because I have no children. In any case, I am so happy to know that there are really other women out there who are like me. I pray that God will use all of us for His glory!

    • Noma

      there are many ministries out there for women who are single or who have never had children and for childless or childfree couples. You just need to search the internet. Alternatively, you could volunteer with missions in various parts of the world-like work with ophans. homeless children, the poor and deprived. In this way you will be serving God and indeed this saying will be true ‘ many are the children of the barren woman’ from the bible.Consider it prayerfully and seek to devote yourself to the lord.Your life will be so fullfiling as you walk in the selfless way of christ.

  46. Penny

    I am 38, my husband is 44, and we have been very happily married for nearly a year. Neither of us feels the inclination to be a parent. His father has severe Parkinson’s, and he’d always heard the illness skips a generation. At my age I have concerns about complications, especially as I have a cousin with Down’s Syndrome and I am familiar with the challenges her parents had to overcome in raising her. Health issues aside, my husband and I just don’t feel this overwhelming need to have a baby to love. We work hard, we are kind to others, and we have a very respectful relationship. Our home is a good place to be together, and we are very devoted to our animal companions. I think a lot about what it means to be a good Christian wife, e.g. making our home comfortable, supporting my husband, being loving. I stopped attending church awhile back. While my church never criticized contraception, I knew that married childless couples (not newlyweds) did not have a specific ministry. We were all encouraged to use our talents for God’s glory, but I’m not sure what that means for me, as children won’t be part of my goals. Reading other’s posts here have helped me feel I am not alone. Thank you!

  47. Jane

    Greta,
    I just wanted to drop by to say to just hang in there. I’m glad you and your husband are doing counseling. I know a lady who went through the same struggle with her husband as you. In the end, he ended up agreeing with her and being okay with not having children. I think it was just him needing to get over that feeling of, “…but this is what married couples do!” I think seeing the struggles of parents around him and really giving that some thought (with the help of his wife to point it out) really helped with his decision as well. His wife had put a lot more thought into it than he had, and it just took her a while to get her points across to him in a way that he could understand and agree with. Anyway, not to say this will work for all couples, but I hope it works out for you. :)

  48. AP

    What a refreshing read. I had to endure a bit of criticism from in-laws this Easter holiday for the choice my husband and I feel is right for us. This article and many comments mirror our thoughts and lives. Having children is a desire God plants in one’s heart, just as marriage is. I know many people who have been persued to marriage, yet they refuse because they do not believe that is their calling. They should not be criticized for what God’s plan in their life is.

    Some Biblical scholard (John Piper, for example) believe having children is not absolute. I believe that his position is: Marriage is meant for making children disciples of Jesus; this is not the same as the condensed version that so many force on the childless: Marriage is meant for making children.

    Read more of Piper’s sermons and on this topic at: http://www.desiringgod.org/ResourceLibrary/Sermons/ByDate/1996/946_Raising_Children_Who_Are_Confident_in_God/

  49. Renee

    I don’t view myself as child”free” or child”less.” I just don’t have children. God has not given us children and we have not pursued having them. More often than not, I am relieved that I don’t have the responsibility. I love that it’s just my husband and me! I love every minute with him and frankly don’t know how good I’d be at sharing! But what guilt and isolation comes from being a Christian couple with no children! Not necessarily just guilt for not having children, but guilt that I’m not “torn up” about it! It is a relief to know that I am not alone. Thankfully, my own family and my in-laws have not one time pressured us or questioned us.
    It is difficult though, to feel isolated from good friends because our lives have gone in different directions: lives with children and lives with no children. And churches do seem to offer more to couples with children. There seems to be no good fit for those of us who don’t have children.
    Thanks for all these comments! I am not alone. Thank you, Kim, for your comments!

    • Kim

      Renee, thanks for your post. I’m so glad that any word I write can be an encouragement to another person. I do understand what you mean about guilt and isolation.

      Our pastor challenged our congregation a few months back to consider/pray whether some of us out there should adopt, because there are so many children who need loving parents. I know that I would be a loving parent to my kid if I had one, but that doesn’t mean I should have a kid, right? – I felt guilty at times, thinking about that challenge, because I wondered, “Am I not doing my part in this world? Am I not fulfilling a role that God would equip to meet?” (And I’m also sure Satan is most often the author of the guilt, but I hate feeling it nonetheless.) – I am very much pro-adoption and try to support my friends who have adopted, but I’m convinced that supporting an idea or role doesn’t mean that I must also take on that role. For instance, I can support you for being a vegetarian but not become a vegetarian myself. Most people, I think, would take that position when it comes to our preferences. But why is it that they don’t react similarly when it comes to an even bigger decision – like parenthood? Why is it that people have such a negative reaction to those of us who say, “I support your decision to be a parent but do not want/need to become one myself”? Do they feel attacked? Do they feel insecure because they realize that it’s hard for them to discuss something else other than their role as a parent? Do they not support us because they think we are wasting our life, or not leading the kind of quality life that they’re currently experiencing? I don’t know. But I know that I very much hate the criticisms I have received because of my decision to not have a child. I hate that my friendships with new parents change because they have a child and I do not. I do believe, like someone else above said, that perhaps this mental battle is one of the crosses that we bear for not doing what everyone else is doing. This is really hard for me because I like being able to relate to other people; I like being able to say, “I get what you mean”, “I know exactly what you’re talking about”. But I can’t just have a child and make a life-long commitment to him/her because of my desire to be popular and have more things to talk about. High school is over, and my husband and I have to do what we believe God has called us to do, or not do, for the time being…. or for forever. He will have to determine that!

      ~ Kim

      • Ajah Hyten- Jamiel

        Hey Kim! I get the same feedback as you. I think people get so offended about our choice to be child free because sometimes they get jealous of the reasons we choose not to. Whether that’s perusing your career, to focus on your marriage, to finish school, travel, or to get your finances in order.. It’s something they gave up in order to become parents.. Or at least should have to so a degree.. I seek a lot of people with kids that live like single partier lives and I think it’s only detrimental to the kids.. But like they call us selfish.. If you only have kids to satisfy your own needs rather than devoting your life to parenthood, it’s also selfish.. (Btw I’m not saying you cannot work or have a social life as a parent, but I know a lot of people who take Don’t take parenthood seriously and put their kids second to their own wants and desires)

  50. Nancy

    Hi. I happened upon this discussion after a Google search on the issue of being without children. I do this from time to time because I, too, am someone who has no children (for reasons strange even to me at times when I think about it and probably unable to be understood by many even if I felt compelled to tell anyone) and from time to time feel lonely (odd, a misfit) in what seems to be a child-obsessed world. I also am Christian. I have felt the insensitivity of other people in the church like most people contributing to this discussion; I have had people (usually other women) walk away from me upon meeting me and finding out I have no children , and I have had numerous pieces of paper passed to me with names of adoption agencies written down on them. My husband and I have had people ask us if we have any children even before they have asked us our names. On my past Google searches, I have found discussions by people who are child-free but are not Christian. This is, I think, the first discussion I have come upon written by other Christians, and I am thankful for it. I feel better after reading it and knowing I am not alone. Being human as we are (and frail), it is nice not to feel alone. But perhaps we are focusing on the wrong thing. In a world that has been emptied of any transcendence, children seem to have become one more idol, both outside and (sadly) inside the church. The church seems to have become just an extension of the world. I have sat in many churches of a Sunday morning, and after the service is over, the talk turns to soccer games and allergies. The topics in Sunday school can range from child-rearing to how to build happy marriages. But there is usually no word for Jesus, the One Who saved us. God has become “second banana” in His own church. When Jesus was asked what the greatest commandment of all is, didn’t He answer “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments” (Matthew 22:37-40 NIV). ? Our God is a jealous God. He wants nothing to come before Him in our lives, and that includes, as wonderful and as precious and as beautiful as they are, children, or whatever else we are worshiping in His place. Perhaps we all desperately need to change our focus. I hope you will forgive me for sounding preachy. I am writing this to remind myself (as I find I need to over and over) as much as anyone else. Thanks.

  51. Kim

    Hi Nancy,

    Thank you for your post. I wholeheartedly agree with you and appreciate your sharing this message. I have felt convicted of that very thing – of whether God has my whole heart and devotion (the answer is, sadly, more often a resounding “no”) – as I listened to our pastor’s message from Sunday on envy. We do need to remind ourselves of that first and foremost, so that our spouses, children, jobs, family, whatever it may be, do not take the place of God in our lives. I definitely needed to read (and re-read) your reply. Thanks again.

    Kim

  52. Sharon

    Hello. I came across your site a few weeks ago and enjoyed reading your views on being a childfree Christian. I too am childfree and single and in my 40’s. Most churches do a terrible job of ministering to the needs of older singles without children and married couples without children. it seems that most of the churches focus on parents and kids and hardly anything for those of us who don’t fit this lifestyle model. If you are a single woman in most churches I can guarantee you there will be someone that will point out there is something wrong with you and that you need to get married and start having kids right away. I get so sick of this and this is why I don’t attend church too much anymore. People like me are made to feel like lepers and outcasts. I also did not realize that most churches treat married couples without kids almost as bad as they do older singles. I thought that the church should be a place of refuge for all people, not just a select few. If God blesses a woman with a nice husband and kids, that’s great! But that is not always the case for some of us. 1 Corinthians 6 or 7 mentions a lot about being single vs married. Paul says that as a single person, you can focus more on serving God without any distractions.
    It’s too bad that the majority of today’s churches focus a lot on marriage and family. I truly believe that it is not God’s will for everyone to get married and have offspring. I believe that God wants some (not a lot) of us to stay single or to be married without having children. There are over 6 billion people on this planet and food, water, fossil fuels are going to be in short supply very soon. The earth’s resources and environment is rapidly being destroyed by overpopulation and overconsumption. In the 21st century it is not necessary for everyone to reproduce. I wish that the church would start accepting single people of all ages (not just college age), and marrieds without kids as much as they do married people with kids.

    • claudia

      Hi Sharon
      i totally agree with you
      we are child free and not by choice we just could not have children and we get treated the same.
      There is no mention nor support for childless, childfree or single people in the church.
      I now accept that God has his reasons for not giving us children and in God we trust.
      We also feel left out at church because the main
      focus is on couples who have children and we also feel like an outcast . Like you i beleive church should be a sacred supportive refuge for all Gods’s people but
      as i said i have found the opposite which is very painful and as you said we feel like outcasts as well.
      For me children have been made into idols and the bible is totally against idols. The Bible teaches
      to love our God with our whole heart etc. and not to place idols before him because it is a sin.
      In society today children and partners are placed
      before God and so are so many other things.
      Your comments about the state of the world’s
      resources etc are so true and the reality that society doesn’t seem to see or care which is so sad
      and difficult to accept for those like us who do care about God’s creation on planet earth which is
      on the road to total destruction because of over population, society just keeps taking from planet earth and giving nothing back.
      The way i see it is that man because of his selfish
      ego is obsessed with reproducing replicas of himself.

      • Sharon

        Thanks Claudia for your comments.I agree 1000% on what you have to say about having/not having children and making idols out of earthly relationships (husbands and kids). There are numerous examples in the Bible of people who did not marry and/or did not have children. We as christians are supposed to serve God with an undivided heart. Many people in and outside the church put their earthly relationships ahead of God and make idols out of them. No human relationship, no matter how wonderful, can take the place of having a relationship with God. As far as my own life, I do not want to be in a bad marriage and go through divorce. My siblings went through bad marriages and divorces. I just want to spare my life from such miseries. I would rather spend my entire life as a single, childfree woman than to be in multiple marriages and divorces. Many people, especially women, are always looking for that fairy tale life that they think will make them happy.

  53. Jane

    Sharon,
    I had to comment about your post on being single, as I so agree!! I am in my 30’s and single as well. Like you, I do “not” want to be in a bad marriage. I’ve been pursued by men that most would find a real “catch,” however, I always knew I would “never” marry unless I found the guy that I knew was right for me, and my intuition told me “no” about all of these men. I would “much” rather be single than in a miserable marriage!! And even if I do find the right man, honestly, there’s a lot about being single that I’ll miss!! haha We have quite a few benefits by being single. Our lives are calm, quiet and uncomplicated (if we chose). I like (and need) a lot of alone time, and it may be that God knows I’m better off single! haha I’m going to continue to be thankful for all the great things I do have in my life – and to be so thankful that I’m not in a horrible marriage – hopefully, I’m right where God wants me to be.

    Oh! I wanted to comment on church too!! Sadly, my family, friends and I have all encountered a lot of drama and back-stabbing at church. I was talking with a single friend of mine just yesterday about this. She is involved in a ladies home bible study, but she rarely goes to church anymore, as she got tired of feeling stressed out from it!! haha She says she feels much closer to God by staying home and having quiet time with Him.

  54. Jane

    Being childfree in American churches is quite difficult. Churches today are geared to revolve around children–time, money, and energy are devoted to ensuring that Christianity takes root in children since so many people believe that the 1-18 age range is when Christians are formed (that such a belief is contrary to the Bible seems to be a lost idea). American churches lament that college-aged people aren’t there, but like the childfree, that group probably is absent because there is not place for them–during college and the twenty-something years, unless the person has children, American church culture doesn’t know how to embrace the childfree. It’s only when adults return to church once they’ve started a familythat they plug back in since they can once again enter into the revolution as it has cycled back to children.
    In a church culture that says the unifying factor among believers is not God but children (based on how many conversations and resources are consumed by this topic) childfree couples don’t fit the matrix. Singles of any age don’t do much better since the church culture has no place for them. To be married to a non-Christian AND to be childfree is to be left out of the church culture completely.
    Sadly, it has been my experience that it doesn’t get any better as you grow older. In my 20s I didn’t fit because I was unmarried. In my 30s I didn’t fit in with all the other women since they were focused on “Mommy” things. In my 40s, there was a new crops of women who were obsessed with all of the”Mommy” things while the ones who are my age and older had moved on to the high school/dating/college/marriage/ obsession. By 50, it shifted to an obsession with grandbabies. Womens’ conversations in church revolve around their children and grandchildren–currently it’s all about first day of school, the junior high school angst, and taking the kids off to college and the lament of empty nesting, and grandbaby this and grandbaby that. The circle of life in the church is all about children.

  55. Leigh

    I stumbled upon this today and I am happy I did. This is the first time I have found anything related to child free Christians.

    I am 37, married without children and a Christian. I often get frustrated with others perceptions and comments about my life and my choices. Especially other Christians that say things like “you should let God make that decision for you” *UGH* How about you are not suppose to judge me?! And how do you know what plans God has for me?!

    I have always felt that if God wanted me to have children He would have filled me with the desire to. The only time in my life when I though I might want kids was when I was younger and everyone pushed it on me. But even then the thought of dirty diapers and screaming babies made me cringe. Of course everyone said “You will change your mind” and “You will feel different when it is your baby”. But once I was able to stand up and think for myself, I knew kids were just not for me.

    This sort of thing is one of the many reasons I have almost no friends anymore; I just don’t have anything in common with anyone. And the way many Christians judge you is a big reason don’t go to Church. But I know that God is with me regardless, so I am ok with that.

    The comments used to be worse and more often but even now that I am getting close to 40, people still seem shocked. Sometimes they will ask me why and say things like “What will you do when you are old?” If you only have children in order to take care of you when you are old, well I think THAT is selfish!

    Of course there are plenty more comments I could go on and on about. I wish people would just butt out! I mean, I get why some might want kids and I feel bad for those that want it so bad and can’t (but can’t help wondering maybe they are not suppose to), I love my nieces, but I am glad they are not mine! I am perfectly happy with my life the way it is and I don’t need children.

    I have dogs and I love them and sort of jokingly refer to them as my “furkids”, but they are not replacing a void or anything. I feel the responsibility is similar, but they are way different (much better for us) than having kids!

    Anyway, I am sorry to go off on a tangent there. I was glad to find this today and glad I am not alone.

  56. Lynne

    I am very thankful for your thoughts. First I would like to say I like children and was a nanny for 8 years, but I have been struggling with the same outlook for as long as I can remember. I am in my late twenties and still don’t want children of my own. I am yet to find the root of my outlook, but the constant push and isolation from a church body, once they find this out, can become weakening. At times I just want to serve in a body of believers 1) Without feeling like a piece of meat at the auction house (“Hey, Hey! We have a nice one here! Young and fertile!” and all the single guys flock to you trying to fulfill some purpose to procreate thrust on them by society) and even when you mention to people that you are perfectly happy single, they completely ignore your statement (thinking you have no idea what is best for you) and try to set you up, I understand they think they know what’s best for people, but give me a break. 2) I was even rejected by my closest friends because I have been given a womb and have no desire to house a beautiful child inside. I don’t know if they think if they associate with someone like me they might catch “leprosy of the womb” and it can spread just by talking to me, but I must admit the rejection and lack of understanding is painful. It makes it so much harder to serve in a church.

    I am in a new relationship, just at the beginning, and haven’t had the “kids” talk with him, but he has mentioned wanting kids and to be a good father to them. He is actually quite the catch and if I mention to much about him, every single girl might track him down and take him away (hehe), but, I digress.
    I don’t think some men understand the gravity of kids and the amount of pain (emotional, physical, etc.) for the woman and the sacrifice both partners need to make. At times, it seems they think that the woman naturally does all the work. Don’t get me wrong, once they realize the financial burden they might flip out. (in my observations, when they finally see the impact, some men revert back to a child like state and add even more weight on the woman. Not every couple is like this)

    I guess my dilemma is wrapped up in a number of things….
    And as a christian I feel many different emotions about it and I am still at the beginning of this issue.
    If there is anyone out there, I need prayer for this. I want God’s best for my life, but I feel so abandoned in my choices and that I am the one who twisted and evil.
    Please keep posting on the issue!

    Thanks
    Lynne

  57. Jane

    Lynne,
    I just wanted to drop by to say that I am praying for you and understand how you feel. I’m in my 30s, single, and don’t have the desire for children either. It’s enough to just take care of myself! I honestly don’t think I could handles the demands of being a mother, and I really think that if God wanted me to be a mom, that He would give me that desire.

    I have come across many, many posts online of very unhappy mothers who chose to have children despite not having that desire. They love their children but are very unhappy in the role of being a mom. I don’t believe we are all called to do the same thing. You know better than anyone else what you can handle in life. Don’t let people make you feel judged – be strong in your beliefs and believe in your choices, and feel fortunate in that you are strong enough to stick by your choices and not simply follow the crowd. If you want to know what can happen when you “give in,” just google, “I hate being a mom.” It’s very sad, but it’s also a real eye-opener.

  58. Julie

    I just stumbled across this post and wanted to thank you. I’m a Christian and have felt so alone and so guilty for deciding that I didn’t want to have children. I hope I haven’t sinned but it’s comforting to know that there are actually other couples out there like us.

  59. sunshine

    I’ve read and re-read this blog, I’ve finally decided to write my story.
    My husband (of 5 years) and I realized we didn’t have a longing to have children after we’d gotten married. I agree with the people who have commented earlier that it is wise to discuss this before marriage. I praise the Lord that my husband and I were on the same page though. I grew up in a mennonite family and you can just about imagine the reaction I’ll get when I tell them we want to be childfree (I am dreading that day). However I can tell you that we are not selfish in our reasons (though most people would speculate). Its not just one or two reasons but rather a large number of them! But I would like to clairfy that finances are not one of them- I don’t believe one should put a “price tag” on a child. The Lord will provide and along with that people who say they can’t afford a child should re-evaluate where there finances go (prioritize). Would it be so difficult to disconnect the satalite? High speed? Fast food?
    Anyways, sorry I went on a rabbit trail…
    I do love other peoples children, that’s for sure, but I do enjoy seeing them go home with their parents at the end of the day :)
    I’m in the age group where ALL my friends and family are having children… I had no idea how tough it would be! I’ve shed many tears over it and I know lonely evenings and weekends will come but I guess this is reality? How I long to know another God-fearing childfree couple….

    • CD

      Me too, Sunshine. Mennonite family. I have about a million cousins. And I love kids too. I loved growing up in a big family. My sisters are all begining to have kids, and as I am the oldest, they are confused as to why I haven’t had kids yet, and are asking me to give their kids cousins. I have also been married a while. I am in my early 30’s, and just working through this…lots of tears. I’ve been by myself this weekend to think and pray, and so far finding these comments has really helped me see things for myself, and see through all the pressures I’ve been facing. I feel SO much pressure. I feel like I don’t fit in, like there is something wrong with me. I would LOVE to be a homemaker, but honestly, my husband keeps me busy enough, I don’t know how I would ever cope with children…I dread telling my family & my in-laws too, as right now, we are their only hope for grandchildren. I also dread the thought of having them as grandparents…Lots of family dysfunction, and I feel like we would need to move away to have children. A few bad things happened to me as a child too, that I have tried to tell my mom about, but she brushed it off. I just can’t imagine a small child going through the things I did, and then feeling as alone as I did. I just can’t take that risk. But I also don’t feel comfortable telling people that, when they ask “when are you guys having kids?”.

      • sunshine

        CD, i hope you found this weekend to be a time of refreshment and feeling the Lords direction. i will pray for you! reading your comment makes me realized we possibly have ALOT in common. wondering if you want to contact me by email: Sunshine_gurl46@hotmail.com

  60. vintagegirl

    Wow. I don’t even know where to begin. I was married for 24 years. A year-and-a-half into my marriage I became a Christian. I knew from the beginning that my marriage was going to be difficult, but upon my conversion I knew I had made a promise to the Lord and vowed to honor my commitment to my husband. I ALWAYS wanted children, even as a kid, and when we were engaged I made it clear to my fiance that I wanted a family and I couldn’t marry him if he didn’t want a family. He assured me that he did want a family. But something didn’t feel quite right because he never talked about kids or showed any interest in them at all. Right after we were married he told me that children were not in the forseeable future. For years I was devestated as I tried to bring up the subject of children and I would receive a cold response. I was watching my married friends getting pregnant, going to their baby showers, which really hurt. I even got angry at God because I felt that I had been lied to by my husband before we were married and I was now stuck in a childless marriage. I told the Lord I would stay in the marriage but He’d better “fix” it, because the thought of not having kids was incomprehensible. One day, at a friend’s baby shower I burst into tears and ran out of the room. Upon coming home, my husband was upset with my for some minor infraction, of which there were many, all the time. I remember thinking “you have no idea what I’ve been through today”. And then I felt what I knew was the Lord telling me I was not going to be a mom and it would be OK. I felt peace, which was weird because I desperately wanted to be a mom.

    Spring forward several years… I was in my late 30’s (young by today’s standards) and had become comfortable with the idea of not having kids. Especially because my marriage was less than ideal and we were very much unequally yolked.

    Well, my husband finally decided he was ready for kids. So we tried but I couldn’t get pregnant. I didn’t want to do invitro and my doctor didn’t recommend it and I wasn’t sure about the moral aspects of it. We tried adoption and had a couple of disappointments. One was a sure thing but I wasn’t feeling it and when I tried to talk to my husband about it he would just get angry.

    The thought of raising a child with a man I could not connect with on any level especially where my faith was concerned was daunting to me and I just couldn’t go through with it. I admit that some of my reasons were also selfish as I just didn’t have that desire to have kids that I had once had, though I think if I was in a healthy marriage I would’ve felt differently.

    His desire for kids became much stronger after his father passed away. He wanted us to use a surogate. I talked to a pastor about it because I was getting very mixed info as to whether or not it was a viable option for a Christian. The pastor told me to submit to my husband and it might even be what would finally bring him to the Lord.

    I told my husband I would agree to it, though I was screaming inside. I was now about 48 years old and definitely didn’t want to start having kids at that age! Well, nothing ever came of it. I’d ask him about it and I wouldn’t get much of a response. He must’ve sensed my lack of enthusiasm.

    Anyway. My marriage, as difficult as it was just continued to go downhill. Now it has ended. He flew the coop, one of his reasons being that we didn’t have kids. I feel such guilt over this and hate that I have disappointed the Lord. At least I know that I’m not alone in this. Thanks for the post.

    • Jane

      Vintagegirl,
      Why do you feel guilt over something you had no control over? You weren’t able to have children, and God doesn’t command us to have children anyway. Read the article that was originally posted here: http://www.christianitytoday.com/ct/2001/november12/4.58.html?start=3. I also think you were wise to not go through with having to have them at a later age with your husband, who you didn’t have a good marriage with.

      As for your marriage, you were unequally yoked, and it sounds like he left you. Being left by an unbelieving partner or being cheated on are the two conditions that leave you free to divorce and find another partner. You are clear here as well.

      If you still feel guilt, don’t forget that Jesus has paid the price for all of your sins! Accept His gift! The fact that you “feel” guilt means you care about pleasing God and living a godly life. The enemy loves for us to feel guilt. Why? Because it pulls us down and makes us less of who we really can be. Pull yourself up. You are a worthy person who loves God, and He loves you!! Stop letting that guilt control you and feel joy in knowing you have been forgiven.

  61. Andrea

    I am a young, newly married Christian woman. This blog and it’s resulting comments have been a blessing to me and have helped me breathe a sigh of relief knowing that I too, am not alone and share the same feelings as many. Making me feel like less of an alien.

    From the moment I started dating my husband the question started: When are you getting married? And now that we are married all I hear is: When are you guys going to have kids? It doesn’t seem to matter if we are friends with these people or they are strangers. It is somehow their concern as to when and how many children we will have. I have tried to give the socially acceptable answer stating that we want to do the things now that we won’t be able to do as easily when we have kids. However in my head, I am thinking “if” we have kids. If I feel comfortable enough to be more honest with the person asking ,I say that at the time we don’t foresee having kids. Usually I’m confronted with a shocked: “What?! Why not?” followed by a more calm: “Oh, don’t worry, you’re still young. You’ll change your mind.” But I don’t see that happening for me.

    My husband and I talked about whether or not we saw children in our future before we were engaged and even more so before we got married. We both agreed on that we likely didn’t want children but wouldn’t be closed-minded to the idea if one, or both of us felt the desire in the future. I always thought that we were on the same page. We had agreed that there were things we both wanted to pursue individually and as a couple before we even considered starting a family. So we decided that we would revisit the idea once some of those things were accomplished.

    Not even a year into our marriage, just a couple nights ago, my husband told me that he wants children. Not only does he want children, but he is 28 and would ideally like to start trying when he is around 30. If we do the math, that’s not a lot of time! I am only 22.

    I recall a time when I thought I wanted kids. When it was expected and it wasn’t really up for debate. You get married, have kids, grow old and die. That was the norm, making anything else abnormal. As I got older and started to really think about it I started think about my future. I’ve since made a list of the reasons I don’t want to have children of my own. Which now sits at over 20. And the page titled: why I want to/should have kids remains blank.

    Since the topic of my husband wanting kids has just been recently brought up I assume we have a lot of soul searching and discussions ahead of us. Our marriage is just new and I pray that God will be our guide and open our ears, hearts, and minds to respect each others wishes.

    If there is anyone who could offer suggestions on how to handle this sensitive issue I would gladly take them! It seems as though many of the ladies commenting are more experienced than I am.

    Somehow I find myself hoping that it was only people outside of my marriage I had to answer to but now I find myself confronted with the desires of my husband which I don’t share.

    • Jane

      Andrea,
      Wow, I am really sorry to hear of the situation you are in. It must feel quite scary to be in your shoes. At least your husband isn’t wanting children right away. I am not married, but I have a friend who was in your same shoes. She and her husband would get in arguments over it, and for a while, it did take a toll on their marriage. However, she is very persuasive, and he came to see her view. He is now okay with not having children, and their marriage is good once again.

      My friend was lucky in that she had friends/neighbors, etc., who would reveal to her the hardships in having children. I think she found lots of reasons for not having children and presented these to her husband. Showing your husband your list would be a good idea, when the timing feels right of course. There are also websites that might help:

      This is a forum of married Christians that do not want children: http://www.christianforums.com/f669/

      Married couples without kids:

      http://forums.bellaonline.com/ubbthreads.php?ubb=postlist&Board=178

      This website might be helpful to you as well, and it contains lots of helpful links: http://childfreedom.blogspot.com/

      Also, studies done on happiness (not that that is the ultimate goal, but we all want to thrive in life, and that means maintaining well-being, which to me, equals being happy) show that marriages go down in happiness after children are born and go back up once the last child leaves home. Yikes.

      I pray that God will help your situation Andrea and give you the strength and wisdom to deal with it. :)

    • Kelly M

      with or without the bible, your husband wants children, and you don’t. it is a non-compromisalbe issue. it CANNOT be compromised on. you two will have to separate. no body, especially a woman, should every lay down her will for any man. yes the man should lead, but that is not the same thing as him telling you what to do with your life and your body. i left the church because of this very issue, in addition to others. my trust was shattered and i will never see church the same way again. i still have some bitter issues to work through because i felt like my time was wasted in trying to be something that i am not. you deserve to be happy and to have what you want. there is nothing wrong or selfish in in that.

  62. MZ

    Sad to hear that there are Christians getting so upset at other Christians who don’t fit into their Mold of ” The Perfect Christian.”
    Romans 12:2-5 And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God. For I say, through the grace given unto me, to every man that is among you, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think; but to think soberly, according as God hath dealt to every man the measure of faith. For as we have many members in one body, and all members have not the same office. So we, being many, are one body in Christ, and every one members one of another.
    Romans 14:2-4 For one believeth that he may eat all things: another, who is weak, eateth herbs. Let not him that eateth despise him that eateth not; and let not him which eateth not judge him that eateth: for God Hath Received him.
    Romans 14:10-13 Who art thou that judgest another man’s servant? to his own master he standeth or falleth. Yea, he shall be holden up: for God is able to make him stand. Why does thou judge thy brother? or why dost thou set at nought thy brother? for we shall all stand before the judgement seat of Christ. For as it is written, As I live, saith the Lord, every knee shall bow to me, and every tongue shall confess to God. Let us not therefore judge one another any more: but judge this rather, that no man put a stumblingblock or an occasion to fall in his brother’s way.

  63. SaraD

    Thank you for this – I’m bookmarking it for future reference, and am going to share with my friends who are of a similar, childfree mindset.

    I’m 24 and single – I’m currently finishing up my Master’s degree, and will be moving two states away for further post-degree certification over the next two years, and will likely move across the country after that. I may not like it, but I feel it’s a wise choice to not pursue a relationship until I am living a more stable lifestyle. This has given me a lot of time to make decisions that will seriously influence any future relationship(s), especially the choice to be childfree.

    I knew early on that I did not want to bear children, that I would prefer to adopt. I have lately come to realize that I do not want to have any children at all, natural or adopted. I have health issues that would mean being bed-ridden for the duration of a pregnancy, as well as testing to ensure that the genetic lottery between my husband and myself would not create a child with similar, if not worse issues. I also am a survivor of emotional abuse from a mother who was also the emotional abuse victim of her own mother, and I have no desire whatsoever to see myself continue the cycle either through genetics or behavioral training. I am fully aware of my short temper and the fact that I internalize the resulting anger, and know that I would not deal at all well with crying, tantrums, misbehavior, and so on. I feel that it is a responsible, well-considered decision for me to be childfree.

    On the other hand, I love children, in small doses. I am a born auntie. I will be following the example of two women in my life who are married and happily childfree – an aunt and the woman I took piano lessons from for eight years and have been friends with for many more – and I will spoil the children of family and friends. I am also completely willing to teach Sunday School and do other activities, such as games, crafts, storytelling, and outings, with children.

    Being childfree is definitely going to be a deal maker or breaker for me. I continue to get the old, “But you might change your mind, once you’re married, and want children.” Sure, yeah, maybe, but extremely unlikely; I haven’t carefully and thoroughly weighed all of the options for nothing.

    • Jane

      Sara,
      Brava for this great post and to you for being mature and intelligent enough to realize that having children would be irresponsible on your part. Not everyone realizes that we’re not all cut out to have kids! I too love being an aunt and also children in small doses, but like you, I know I wouldn’t be able to handle the demands of being a mom, and thankfully, the desire to be a mom is also not there. I think if I did feel I was capable that the desire would be there. It’s also something I’ve given much thought, and so far, in my 30s, that choice hasn’t changed. Good luck to you in your pursuits and hold strong to what you know is that right choice for you. I especially believe that with prayer and reflection, God will lead us to make the right choices. If God wanted me to have kids, He would give me that desire, or at least the comfort of knowing I could handle it well.

  64. A

    I am the poster from Nov. 30, 2006. Something made me look up this thread again after 4+ years; I am glad I did since there are so many interesting comments. Here is what happened to me and a viewpoint from the other side.

    I ended up divorcing my husband and the church for perpetuating emotional, verbal, and spiritual abuse. My husband was controlling and did no work in therapy to save our marriage. I left him slightly less than a year after I made that post. I worked hard to solve our problems but there was no possible way to make it work without abandoning myself completely which is what Christianity teaches – unhealthily I might add. The price of that marriage had become entirely too high. I left in order to save my sanity; if I hadn’t I would have killed myself. Some Christians would place the blame on me for not being a good enough or submissive enough Christian (either to God or my husband). To them I say – you are the reason I am no longer a Christian.

    Many of you have leveled fair accusations against the church for it’s treatment of the childfree. I join you and add to the tally their appalling, horribly sexist, and oppressive treatment of women, even today – expecting them to stay in emotionally and spiritally toxic situations by using the God guilt trip and forcing them to conform to rigid gender roles without taking into account what they want or who they are individually. NO woman should stay in an abusive situation, and that includes verbal and financial and NO woman bears the blame for not being submissive enough within a failed marriage. NO woman should live a life that does not make her happy. The church makes no such demands on men and certainly shouldn’t on women.

    I am not here to bash Christianity but I daresay that the church is no place for the childfree (or independent women), and they will receive no support or spiritual food in an American Christian church. You will, however, receive judgment, guilt trips, manipulations, blame, strange looks, unwanted pity, and various other abuses.

    I went through a lot of hell during my divorce and was abandoned by ALL of my so-called friends in the church; I started my life over alone, did a ton of therapy, and surrounded myself with loving, supportive people (none of whom turned out to be Christians), and have a new relationship with a man who has never once hurt me in any way and loves me no matter what – he is an agnostic (I myself have become an agnostic with atheist tendencies). I realized that happiness in this life isn’t subverting myself and my personality to someone else, especially not the good ol’ boy club that is the Christian church; it is keeping company with people who truly love me and don’t define love as ideological agreement, which is one of Christianity’s most grevious sins.

    There are no awards handed out at the end of our lives that say “Congratulations for staying in a horrible, hurtful situation.” Life is too short to twist myself into postures that I find uncomfortable and I will not follow a God or a religion that demands such.

    Nothing has made me happier than taking the reins of my own life and making it what I wanted it to be, and that included leaving behind anyone who made me feel bad about myself. No one is allowed in my life who tells me I am not “good enough” as is, without help. As a student of psychology I believe that much depression comes from a life spent in trying to make others happy at the expense of oneself.

    I don’t think there is anything wrong with finding fulfillment from Christian teachings if you are a woman or childfree person; but you are better served in staying home on Sundays to worship and doing your own independent service outreach for charities that you personally support rather than joining an organized church. Your work and money would be better spent giving directly to charities than filtering it through another organization. Instead of tithing so you can feed a blowhard preacher and keep lights on in a building that houses no one, give your money to a domestic violence shelter or a shelter for homeless pets. Buy jackets and school supplies for poor children or orphans. Today’s Christian church is a financial black hole and political juggernaut and gives a mere fraction back to the community that supports it.

    My heart goes out to the childfree women in churches, especially the conservative chuches. To them I say, GET OUT. I can’t stress that enough. I know no one wants to hear that or wants anyone to say it. Take care of YOURSELF first because you can’t take care of anyone else of your needs are not met. I am not saying stop being a Christian, but what I am saying is to become your own advocate and best friend first.

    • Jane

      You make a lot of valid points here, and I can understand where you’re coming from. I just wanted to encourage you in the Lord though and to please not let how you were treated at church or by other Christians affect your Christian faith. I don’t regularly attend a church, and I have a very small circle of friends, because like you, I have come across many ungenuine Christians – but ungeniune people are everywhere. It’s hard to find truly genuine, kind people – Christian or not. Our temporary life here can sometimes be hard to navigate, and as a Christian, it can feel isolating, especially for one who doesn’t fit in. However, our greatest reward will come from eternity spent with our Savior. No matter what trials I face here, I am keeping my focus on Him. I just wanted to encourage you in the same and to hold onto your faith. :)

    • Kelly M

      Good for you A. Good for you for taking back your life and making the decisions for you. Though I will not call myself a christian anymore, nor will call myself any other ‘religious’ name. I still believe that God does exist. But to each her/his own (yes, I did that on purpose…gotta support my CF female sisters). I left a church because my needs as a CF woman was not being fulfilled. Not only that, but there was this expectation that I was to fit into a certain mold and I refused. Needless to say, I was excluded from a lot of activities. But it did not bother me as much as the other church attendees expected, mainly in part because I am an introvert. And it took going to church and leaving the church to finally discover that I am an introvert, and that I am ok with it. So…good for you.

  65. Chris

    I’m glad to have stumbled upon this site. I’m a 32-year-old Christian man who has no desire for children, and the thought of being alone for the rest of my life because of my choice gets to be very depressing. Keep me in your prayers.

  66. A.Roddy

    To jane above, not everyone desires children. That is the hole purpose of this article. No one should feel sinful or guilty about their feelings or choices. Maybe the foster homes would be less full. The ones who need praying for are the ones who abuse them.

  67. Jane

    A. Roddy,
    I think you misunderstood me. I don’t think there’s anything wrong with choosing to remain childfree. However, I know these people (myself included) do have a more difficult time fitting in, and it is for this reason that I suggest we pray for those who have chosen this unconventional path. :)

  68. Opal M.

    Wow, wish I had found this long ago. Although, when I decided to remain childfree 20 years ago at the age of 33, “blog” was still a pretend word.

    Three points from way down the road past the point of no return: First, there has been very little progress made in this area in churches. That is disappointing. Second, I feel less left out now than I did years ago because most women my age do not have small children, their lives are less consumed by them, and they are able to focus more on other things – thus narrowing the gap. If they have grandchildren, they are usually less involved with them than they were with their children. Third, I have no regrets. None, zero, nada, zilch. God did not call me to be a parent and that is fine. I am still able to rejoice with those whom He did call, and to compliment them (from the decidedly non-expert perspective) on the wonderful job they are doing.

    As a seminary student, I have heard a calling to minister to those who seem too often to fall between the cracks: the invisible, ignored, or marginalized. Childfree/childless by choice couples and singles fall into this group. Not sure exactly what God will lead me to do, but I do know He values every part of His church.

    Great post, thank you! BTW, I love scrapbooking too :)

    • Jane

      Opal,
      What an encouraging post! It’s nice to hear from someone years down the road after choosing to not have children and to know that you have zero regrets with that decision. I definitely believe that God calls some of us to be parents and others of us not to be. I think what matters is finding joy and gratitude in the lot we’re given in life and to make the most of what we do have and where God leads us. Some find great joy in being parents – others find much joy and peace in “not” being a parent!! :)

  69. Debi
    OMG I AM NOT A FREAK IN THE CHRISTIAN WORLD!! First off I am curious are you still “child free” and married? I just ask because I know some many people who say they were “child free” people and then had one and decide to tell me my decision is a big mistake lol.

    Let me tell you about me. My hubby and I have no desire to have kids, while I still find then cute (I adore my 7 nieces and nephews) my hubs finds them almost repulsive (I have had to put him in check a few times when were around crying babies and tots). We are both in are earlier 30s and we are quite fine living life with out a screaming child around. We are lucky enough to have a family who completely supports our decisions even my sisters who have a bunch of their own say “it is not for everyone”. My Sister in Laws are great about it to. Even the one who disparately wants one and can’t doesn’t give me grief (wish I could give her my womb). Lets face it my Mother is an adoring Grandparent pretty is grateful not to have another Christmas present to buy.

    But the worst cases come from co-workers (most who aren’t even christian) try to convince me that I will want to change my mind (oh this drives me insane). I told them if was 20 I could see you telling me that but I am almost 32 now. They often forget how much older I am then I look. I look about 22 (or so I been told). Many of them tried to talk me out of having my hubs go through with the trim job (as a friend of ours jokingly put it). I had my lead call us selfish. One insisted I must be doing it because of my husband and that’s just not true we been together for years and after dating man after man I realized the thought of having a child horrified me.

    Most of our close friends are also supportive and NOW we belong to a church that doesn’t have an “opinion” on the matter. My pastor hates getting caught up on Dogma that isn’t quite clear in the bible and would probably get testy if someone actually made us feel guilty and “unholy, selfish people”. But I will say there is a bit of pause and silence with a shocked look on there faces when I tell them my husband had vicitumy. This was usually brought up because people insist “well if you have sex kids will probably come and birth control isn’t 100%”. After getting sick of hearing it we come right out and tell them “Ya Dan got snipped”.

    Though most of the Christian world hasn’t been as calm and just annoying about it like my church is. Many may even say most are condemning. I know my our old church would still be trying to convince to have kids and would probably keep the snip job a secret. Not all objected to us not “wanting” kids but many tried to makes us think some day we will change our minds. I had an old pastors wife (who has 8 kids by the way) insist I would want them. She even said “Oh come work in the nursery with me you will learn to love them.” The thought horrified me and I explained to her I have been an aunt sense I was 11 I know what kids are like and it is not (and mostly not if you ask me) warm and fuzzy. She insisted I would and need to change my mind. I would also get *well Kelly if you want to be a wife children come along with that”. Then Dan and I started dating ,while still going there and taking on a ton of church responsibilities because us single childless people have that sort of time. We dated for 3 years and during I think what was our 2.5 year period left our church (for many unhealthy reasons that didn’t revolve around not having kids) and went to our new church. We got engaged about 6 months later and Married in February. While we keep in touch with many of our old church friends and most of them we don’t talk about that with except the few that are OK with our decision. Well thanks for making this. There are not many of us out there (or at least not coming out of our own closet if you will) and it is nice to see I am not the only Freak who doesn’t wish to give birth.

  70. Matthew Kaiser

    I am 21 and have been married for about a year and seven months. I have served in the U.S. Army for 3 years and I am about to be medically retired. I want to have kids and my wife is so hostile towards the topic to where she gets mad at me for even bringing the subject up. When I try to discuss it with her she says that it is disgusting and sick. I even suggested that I would be willing to compromise and wait five to ten years to make a decision and she would not accept that. I suggested that maybe we adopt instead and she says that I should have married someone else that wanted kids. My wife said that it was a mistake to marry me becuase I wanted kids and that it was her fault. When we first met and got engaged, she agreed that eventually she would want to or think about it and now she is completly dead against it. My marriage has not been the best the past 7 months due to the military and me. I was suppose to deploy last September but was stopped when I had a mild heart attack. I have fought to get back to health and it has been hard. I had to deal with my military unit that stressed me out, caused anxiety and treated me like dirt because I was an injured soldier. I fought my unit from harassment, mistreatment, and was stressed and put into a corner. As a result, I developed high blood pressure, sleep apnea, sinus tachycardia, and sinus arthymyia. I also was diagnosed with ptsd with anxiety and stress disorder because of stress from the army and the bad treatment that I recieved.
    For this time I did not treat my wife right and let the army get a hold of me and turn my attitude into a constant negative one. I know I have hurt my wife in the past several months and ignored her, but I have been going to counseling, getting help, working harder, changing my atitide., and praying and reading my bibile again. She says that I am jsut annoying and a pes tto her anymore. She no longer has anything to do with me, she will not touch me in any way, and she is always on her laptop, reading a book, or watching tv. She acts like I am never there and that I am just a person there. I am really hurt and have tried everything I can to change and be a better husband and loving servant of Christ. I do not want to loose her, but I feel like she has no feelings for me and does not want anything to do with me anymore. She says she does not want to trust me or try and love me anymore becauese I hurt her in the past. She has told me that I she believes my changes are not permanent and that I am just trying to feel sorry for myself and do not really mean it. I need prayer and do not know what to do now. I am so stressed with the military and being a good husband to my wife. All I want in my life is to be a loving Christian and servant of Christ, a loving and passionate Husband, and a good father. I do not care about being rich, driving a fany car, or any of the other pleasures of the world. Do I seem like I am being selffish, or feel sorry for myself, or asking too much? Am I doing the wrong thing?

  71. Jane

    Matthew,
    Wow, first off, I want to say thank so much for your sacrifice and service to our country. I am so sorry to hear of the hurt you have been through with the military. You were treated unfairly, and it’s not right at all.

    I wish I knew what to tell you concerning your wife. Your intentions and heart are certainly in the right place, and it’s wonderful that you’re striving to be a good husband and person. You are absolutely doing the right thing. I think there’s a good chance that your wife will come around if you continue to show her love and she sees that you do care. Have you seen the movie “Fireproof” with Kirk Cameron? It deals with a similar issue of a couple drifting apart. http://www.fireproofmymarriage.com

    As for your wife not wanting kids, I don’t know what to tell you about that. Some people know for sure at a young age that they don’t want kids, but since she was open to it before, I would think the possibility would come that she’d be open to it again. It might have much to do with your marriage being a little rocky and just all the life stressors it sounds like you both are dealing with. I would think a stressful life situation would certainly lesson one’s desire for children at that time.

    I would advise you to really pray about what God wants in your marriage, and who knows, you might decide that you don’t feel the need to have children either. With all the stress you have in your life right now, could you see yourself handling the role of a father? Would your wife still be the most important person to you if you had children? Certainly, you would want to be a solid team before having children.

    Anyway, I hope someone else steps in with better advice for you, but I at least wanted to reach out and encourage you to hang in there, keep praying, and rely on God to get your through this. He brought you and your wife together, and surely with hard work on both your parts, you can both find some healing and some agreement on life issues. You’re both still soooo young….. :)

  72. Laelia

    I am 27 and don’t even have anyone ‘on the horizon’ but I already know that God has called me to remain childless even if I get married. It is a long story how God brought me to this decision, but I am confident that it was God’s work on my heart and his calling on my life. Thankfully, I attend a church that understands all callings-married, single, with or without children because the focus is on God, worshiping Him, serving Him with our gifts and loving our brothers and sisters in all their various callings. Like you, my gifts are in the arts/music, helping behind the scenes in various ways and lot and lots of PRAYER. I love children and I am extremely good with them if I do say so myself, but for church, my gifts have always been best applied in other areas of service and worship. I still think it is important to mentor/be involved in the lives of the children around me, so I sponsor a child through Compassion, befriend the children/teenagers in my church and pray for them and greatly enjoy all my nieces and nephews.

    I came across an article with an excellent, biblical argument about being able to have the freedom to choose, as Christian couples, not to have children. Maybe this article will help you and other readers to be confident in your calling or to better understand those who do make this decision: http://www.directionjournal.org/article/?600

  73. Ruth

    Where do you meet these Christian men who do not want children?? I also do not want childrean and have never met a man in person who does not want any either.

  74. Catherine

    So encouraged to read posts. I am from Northern Ireland and here it is like having two heads saying I don’t want kids. It’s been so good knowing I’m not alone.

    Thank you

  75. Stephanie

    oh my goodness, we sound so alike! for a long time i lumped marriage & children together – i thought i was just afraid to get married & start a family. the thought overwhelmed me. it ruined so many of my potential relationships. then i realized it wasn’t the marriage that scared me – it was the children. THAT responsibility. it didn’t fit who i was, my personality, how i wanted my life to be. do i dislike children? not at all – i have respect for them in general & i love my younger cousins. i just have no desire to put that much stress & responsibility on myself. one of my best friends majorly offended me by basically saying she felt not wanting them wasn’t right, as a christian. it really hurt my feelings. i’ve discussed my feelings with a couple close relatives & friends, but that’s it. i’m afraid for that conversation to ever come up with others. why must society be set up in such a way?!

  76. Yvonne

    Debi,

    Thanks so much for writing this blog post and thanks to all my childfree by choice Christian sisters. I too feel left out at church for several reasons: my husband doesn’t attend, I’m not a mom, we don’t have a strong women’s ministry and that are in leadership are not trying to empower their sisters, plus I have serious issues with churches that don’t do any outreach except for supporting missionaries and I’m sick of suburban churches that front like the surburbs is heaven and there are no problems. There are hungry people, addicted people, abusive people, a whole lot of drunken people (that drive and kill other people) in the surburbs–but no one addresses any of that and they definitely don’t care about what goes on in the City–I’m so annoyed.

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  78. I just found your blog here. Oddly enough, I did a Google search on “childfree Christians” and most were positive, and yours was toward the top. THANK YOU! My wife and I don’t feel so alone now. You seem to speak for us, and say and think what we do. We were practically cast out of the Word of Faith movement for “violating God’s first command to people” by choosing to be childfree. We ended up leaving for other reasons …

    Anyway, God bless you! Thank you for talking.

  79. We’re a bunch of volunteers and opening a new scheme in our community. Your web site offered us with helpful information to work on. You’ve performed an impressive job and our whole neighborhood will likely be grateful to you.

  80. S

    Is there any way I could contact you by email? I really don’t want my reply for the whole world to see. Thanks. S

  81. Thanks again to all for your comments. It is refreshing to know I am not alone. Yes, I am still childfree and happily married. We celebrated 14 years of marriage back in October 2011. I am actually even more convinced now that we made the right decision for us. I am now 38 years old and still have no desire to have children. You can contact me via email at bookaddict4life (at) gmail (dot) com.

  82. Emma S

    This article was pleasing to read, but I’m still at a loss… I am 18 years old, and in college (I know, younger than most on here, but these thoughts occupy my mind often and hurt in ways nothing else does). I am currently in my first relationship ever, and my boyfriend has told me that he loves me, and if I don’t want children, he would pick me over having a kid. While that is comforting and very supportive, I know he strongly desireds children (not child, children), and I still don’t know if I can get into the kingdom of heaven if I don’t fullfill God’s desired plan and have a kid. This thought depresses me, along with many other things, and over the past few months at this Church of Christ school I am at, I’ve learned that so much of what I do and have done is wrong, and that I am probably not smiled upon by the Lord, who everyone claims is a loving God, but how can he love me if I do all that is wrong? Jesus told us to repent and be baptized, well, I have been baptized and I do repent (all the time), but is that really enough?

    I feel like I have to have a child to please God, but I can see myself hating a child. Literally, hating it, and myself. I can picture myself wishing it was dead, or hurt, or wishing that I was dead. I have no maternal instincts and I think babies are one of the most disgusting things on earth. I do not like children, and I never have. Being so young, I’ve heard “Oh, of course you’ll change your mind,” but you know what, it’s been a few years, and despite not changing my mind, I’ve only grown more spiteful toward the thought of having a child. I wish that I was normal and wanted one, like most others, and I wish I was normal in a lot of ways (I’ve grown up an outcast, too, and I find that making friends is very hard for me to do, and I consider myself lucky that I even found a guy who was willing to start a relationship with me).

    I guess I still have lots of time, but I feel like my time is already running out. Not only do I not want children, but I love rock music, dressing in dark clothes (no pink or anyting “girly”), watching horror movies, and being independent. I do not want to have to rely on someone else completely, and I plan on having a job when I grow up. Having a child will ruin that for me, and send me into even further depression. Is that selfish? Yes, probably. But I am borderline suicidal as it is (I think about it often, and I have partaken in self-mutilation before) and if having a child would make those fantasies a reality, that too is going against God, right? Killing yourself is a horrible thing, and the bible says much agaisnt it…So, which is worse, not fullfilling God’s desired plan for children, or taking my own life and selecting my own death date rather than wait for God to call me home?

    I’ve often thought about just having a child anyway, even if I don’t want it. That would be the best thing to do, right? Just let my future husband have his way with me, knowing that a child will soon be forming inside of me and sucking away the remaining happiness I have as well as nutrients and blood, like a parasite.

    I’ve prayed for change, for normality, and to live a life the way God wants me to, but I feel like I’m already screwed up too much and that I’m so twisted and broken that I cannot be fixed. All I can do is wait and pray, I suppose, but I doubt that my mind will change on this subject. I don’t like children, and they don’t like me. The sound of a child crying makes me want to rip my eyes out and stuff them down its throat. Isn’t a woman supposed to feel heartbroken over the sound of a child’s cries? Why do I feel nothing but rage? Sometimes I wonder if God made me this way for a reason, or if he made a mistake and created me flawed. Of course, God doesn’t make mistakes, so I suppose somewhere along the line of my life, I became messed up and disgusting…I just wish I knew how to correct myself.

    Anyways, thank you for sharing your personal experience, it gave me a little more hope than I had before.

  83. Jane

    Emma,

    My heart goes out to you. I am really sorry you are feeling the way you are about life in general. From your writing, you sound like you are highly intelligent, well-spoken and have much to offer. You are at an age where life can feel very confusing, but I strongly believe things can get better for you.

    First off, I’m not a counselor, and I highly suggest that you seek out one through your church–especially since you are feeling suicidal, and I have resources for your below that might be helpful, but your life is God’s life. He gave you life, and you must trust that you are here for a reason, and you must put your life in “His” hands.

    About salvation, we do not go to heaven based on our own merits–if that were the case “none” of us would be saved. We are saved, because we believe Jesus paid the price for our sins. (Ephesians 2:8-9)

    About children, perhaps what you really hate is the way you “feel” around them, based on how you feel society is judging you. If you forget about what society “expects” of you in regards to children, maybe you would see them in a different light?

    It’s important to care about what God thinks, but when we care too much about what others think, we become a slave to those people.

    Please don’t feel bad about not having the desire for children–I know many well-respected, very successful people who also do not want children. They know they’re different, but they’re okay with that. Some of them like kids but some of them find being around children tiresome–it’s just that none of them want to be parents. I don’t think anyone should have a child that has a strong desire not to have them. I don’t believe we’re all meant to have children, and I don’t believe we’re “commanded” to either.

    It sounds to me like, unfortunately, you are in a Christian environment that is legalistic and perhaps lacking in love. Without love, we have nothing (1 Corinthians 13). A lot of people find help in church, but it must be a loving environment.

    No matter what you have done in your past, God loves you and forgives you. Please don’t hold onto guilt–let it go. Satan loves for us to feel guilty, because it keeps us from feeling worthy of shining our light. You obviously are wanting to live your life for Christ. Forget about your past, do your best in the present and realize you’re not perfect. You have freedom in Christ! (Romans 8:1)

    You have used words like hate, suicidal, horror, dark, outcast….I have been alerted lately to “spiritual warfare” and how it can get a hold of people, especially if a person unknowingly opened themselves up to it in the past with things like, Ouija boards, going to psychics, etc. If you have dealt with this, it’s very important to stand firm on God’s word, take up the Armour of God (Ephesians 6:10-18) and rebuke any evil spirits that might be in your presence. It sounds odd, but spiritual warfare can cause the sort of things you are feeling, and Satan loves to feed us “lies.” If you have by chance been around any of these types of things, or even if you haven’t, I encourage you to listen to some of this series by June Hunt online: http://www.oneplace.com/ministries/hope-for-the-heart/listen/#The+Occult%3a+Demystifying+the+Deeds+of+Darkness.

    June Hunt has a Christian ministry in which she reaches out to those hurting. Her broadcasts can be listened to online for free. Here is her series on suicide: http://www.oneplace.com/ministries/hope-for-the-heart/listen/#Suicide+Prevention%3a+Hope+When+Life+Seems+Hopeless

    Here are help topics at June’s ministry: http://www.hopefortheheart.org/ministries/hope-care-center/help-topics/

    You can find many more audio series online for free at http://www.oneplace.org.

    Also, you might look at other factors in your life, such as nutrition. It’s important to eat nutrient-rich foods like leafy greens (google “greens smoothies, depression”), vegetables, fruits, nuts, seeds, beans, etc. Also, fish oil can be helpful and if you don’t get enough sun, Vitamin D is very important as well. Exercise can really help. The book, “The UltraMind Solution” addresses much of this, and the book, “Feeling Good,” is a book that addresses cognitive behavioral therapy. It says that how we feel is a direct result of what we’re thinking. It’s the #1 self-help book for depression and for most people, it’s principles work better than medication.

    Again, lots of people go through hard times at your age, and they pull through. Life is easy for very few people. I don’t know you, but I care about you, and I will be praying for you. Please don’t think you will always feel feelings of rage, hate, etc. Life can get better–especially with God on your side!

    • Emma S

      Jane,
      twiga92,

      Thank you both for your support, and thank you for the links to those broadcasts/sites. I will most certainly look into them! I’m actually feeling better now, having read both of your replies. I really appreciate you taking the time to type a response to me, it means a lot to me…

      Having formerly been a Baptist (albeit one who did not grow up side-by-side with the church community; I did not particapte in many church camps, classes, lessons, etc.) now attending a Church of Christ college, I have learned SO much about the Lord and Jesus. I suppose that learning so much in less than two semesters has gotten to me a little bit, making me realize what I haven’t been doing and what I have done that isn’t right…But you’re both right, Jesus did die for us! I’ve known that for a long time, but I guess I put that thought at the back of my mind and let all of these negative ideas get their fingers around me.

      I’m still working up the courage to tell my family that I might be suffering from a depression problem, and have been for about 3 years. It took a lot just to tell my mother that I need prescribed sleeping aides because I cannot get to sleep at night (I typed my last response during the early hours of the morning).

      And just to let you know, I have never participated in any Ouija boards or ritual-type things or really anyting that deals with the supernatural or seems out of place for a Christian person to do. I do believe that messing with all of that is opening a door of possibilities, and not good ones.

      Also, it does not bother me in the least that I am an “outcast.” I got over trying to please others years ago when I moved from one town to another in 4th grade (4th and 5th graders can be very hostile to a knew kid). I have a few good friends, and that’s good enough for me. I start thinking about others’ opinions of me when my family comes into the picture, because their opinions matter. Which is also why I’m still debating whether or not to tell them that I might need a counselor or etc., because I don’t want their image of me to change. And I certainly don’t want them to look at me as though I have a mental problem (I don’t want their pity, either). That probably ties in with my stubborness and independence. But, hey, I was raised to be independent, and the stubborn streak comes from both sides of the family.

      You guys are so inspiring to me, and you just helped me open my eyes a little bit more. I need to look at what Jesus has already done for me, and us, and not let so many things burden my conscience. I still struggle with many things, as I am young and haven’t yet figured out solutions to my problems (and likely will be struggling with that for a long time, as everyone else does!). But I do feel more positive about the situation now! Thank you so much. (:

  84. Emma, I want to echo what Jane says that we do not get into heaven based on what we do or don’t do. Nothing we do is good enough to please God. That’s why Jesus became a human and lived a sinless life and died in our place so that we could become right with God based on HIS good works. It sounds from what you are saying that you feel you can’t please God. The good news is that you don’t have to please Him on your own! Christ has already done that for you and by trusting Him, your relationship with God is made right regardless of what you do or don’t do. I urge you to look into the resources that Jane mentioned. Also read the book of Galatians that talks about God’s grace to us through Christ and that we don’t have to DO anything to please Him. I hope that will encourage you as well.

  85. Jane

    Emma,
    I am so happy to hear from you! You are “so” very welcome for the help. I am different too, and it’s not always easy, but for the most part, it’s pretty cool. I’m so thankful that I feel the freedom to just be myself!

    I am glad you realize that you are saved and forgiven! Guilt is one of the biggest problems Christians face, so you are not alone. It’s wonderful once you realize that guilt can be let go! Guilt is enough to cause depression.

    I can understand completely your not wanting your family to know of your depression. We all want to come across strong and independent (well, most of us, haha). You don’t necessarily have to tell your family, but I would definitely talk to someone (and I’m glad you’re talking to us!). Do confide in someone you fully trust though.

    Keep in mind that prescription and over-the-counter sleeping aids can worsen depression and have other side-effects as well. You might want to consider trying GABA instead, which can be found at a health food store. GABA is a neurotransmitter that helps with relaxation and sleep. It works great for many. You might consider B Vitamins as well, as they can be depleted under stress and also help with sleep. Daily exercise and taking time to relax, pray, spend time with God and de-stress will help as well. (Sorry…I have a certificate in nutrition, so I can’t help myself here…hehe).

    I learned in psychology that it’s actually the people with just a few good friends who are actually the most well adjusted. Not many people have any real, true friends, so it’s awesome that you have that!! You’re very blessed! I’ve always been that way as well–I like keeping a small circle of friends rather than having many.

    Oh, one perspective I find helpful is to always thank God for the problems we are facing, because there is a reason He is allowing us to go through those problems–perhaps we need to grow in an area or just learn to rely more on Him. Whatever the case, we can see our problems as challenges that help us in the long-run.

    I can tell you have a heart for God and care about doing what’s right in His eyes–be so very thankful about that. You sound like you are a good person, and I know you don’t like the feelings of rage, hate, etc., that you’re feeling, but you “can” pray about them, and you can ask God to replace them with love, compassion and thankfulness. We all have to remind ourselves to focus on love, because we are all naturally selfish by nature, but when we are truly focused on love and compassion, I believe that’s when we’re our happiest. Of course, when life is turned upside down and you’re in survival mode, that can be much more challenging. God’s word, faith and prayer help get us through.

    Oh!! If you have any praise and worship music, it can really be uplifting–even if you don’t like the music, because the words are so uplifting. Also, it’s a great tool for spiritual warfare as well. Evil doesn’t like to be around praise.

    So glad you are feeling better! :)

  86. Laelia

    Dear Emma S,
    The women above are right! We are saved by grace alone! Praise the Lord, because otherwise not a single person in all of history would have made it! That’s why Jesus came to live, die, and be raised to life- FOR us! (Happy Easter, by the way, everyone!) As far as following Christ, he calls us to repentance, forgiveness, love, gentleness, patience, kindness, obedience to Christ…all things we can only do through the Holy Spirit’s work in us anyway.

    Nowhere in the Bible does it say we ‘MUST’ have children and for sure, nowhere does it say we can’t be saved if we don’t have children! For example, the Bible says some people are called to singleness, obviously men don’t have babies, and some women are infertile, so if we would be sent to hell for not having a child, then there’d be a lot of people going, including Jesus!

    I recently wrote a blog entry about the various callings God places on our lives. We are all meant to worship God in spirit and in truth and we are all meant to live out the gospel in obedience to Christ which are enumerated in scripture, but there are many unique ways that God has us live it out individually: single, married, with or without children, as a pastor, scientist, retail worker, gardener etc etc. You are welcome to read it:

    http://www.farfromordinarystories.blogspot.com/2012/03/highest-calling.html

    I am thankful to attend a Biblical church (PCA) which is traditional/liturgical in worship service structure, but has such a solid hold on scripture, the gospel and an understanding of God’s grace that the ‘childfree’ issue is a non-issue. Hopefully you can settle into such a place as well.

  87. heartdove

    Hello all, I am here for a bit of a different reason.

    I am 20 years old and in a serious relationship which I know will lead to marriage. I know that I want children someday with this wonderful man, but lately it has come to my attention that Catholicism (which I was raised in and currently attend church) officially is against contraception. I always thought that when I got married, my husband and I would take a few years for ourselves to strengthen our marriage and travel, then have children.

    But then after looking more into the Catholic stance, I became I am afraid I would be sinning and go to hell. Personally, I believe that we can be stewards of the Lord’s gifts – meaning, we could try to prevent pregnancy until the Lord laid it on our hearts to try for children, but if God felt that He wanted us to become pregnant anyway, we certainly would accept that with open arms and hearts!

    Googling contraception as a moral issue in Christianity can be treacherous, causing one to go back and forth, flipping sides, getting confusing and feeling awful, so I decided to google “childfree christians” instead. I assume that some of you – who have been married for years and have no children – have used some forms of contraception! I truly do not believe that barrier methods are wrong (the pill – now that may be another story, but that’s just me) but lately I feel like I have all this guilt and anxiety that I’ll make the wrong choice.

    Prayers appreciated, and advice :)

    Thanks!

  88. Jane

    Heartdove,
    I believe contraceptives have always been around in some form or another. In olden days, there were certain herbs women would use, and men and women would track a woman’s cycle to know when to practice avoidance. You’ve googled the Christian take–you might also see what Jewish law says, since our roots are based off of Judaism. However, do keep in mind that the Talmud, which you will see referenced if you do any digging, is not the word of God, it’s the wisdom of rabbis–good info, but don’t mistakingly think it’s based off of Old Testament scripture. I did this once and got really confused until I realized….haha :) I do hope you will get some personal opinions here as well, as I know that is what you were looking for.

  89. I’m not sure how to respond really to the whole issue of contraception as I think it is something very personal between a husband and wife that they need to determine for themselves. I don’t think the Bible gives a definitive answer on the subject so I think we need to use the principles of stewardship when deciding on this. I don’t think it is wrong to use contraception to plan out your family. But I know that is not something all Christians agree on. I think God expects us to be wise stewards of the resources He has given us and if financially we are not in a position to care for a child, then perhaps we need to wait. Yet, God’s timing will prevail if He determines it is time for a child to be born, He will provide the resources. I’m sorry I’m not more help, I think it is a decision that needs to be made between the husband and wife where they both can agree on it. If they can’t agree, than I think the husband’s decision should be the one that is followed as he is the head of the home.

  90. Lisa

    Wow! I am so grateful I stumbled across this discussion. I don’t feel so alone in my childfree state. My husband and I have been married almost 5 years (he’s 30 and I’m 26) and with each passing year we are badgered all the more with, “When are you going to have babies?” His aunts have commented to his mother that because he’s a twin that maybe there is something wrong with his reproductive organs since they read somewhere that if one twin is fertile, the other won’t be. (Needless to say his twin brother has 2 kids.) When presented with this information by his mother I said, “Did they even consider the fact that some couples just don’t want kids?” She replied, “Everybody wants babies.” “Not everybody,” says I and at that point she shook her head, sighed defeatedly, and ignored me the rest of the night!
    While my family (mother and sisters) have been supportive of our decision, I can’t deny that I have my tearful nights where I feel like I’ve disappointed everyone… even little bit.
    I do like children, in fact I’ve been a home daycare provider to a few local families for 4 years. I have cherished those little kids and the joy they brought to my life. But I’ll admit that after some particularily difficult days fraught with teething, squabbling, cold/flu sharing, blow-out diapers, and puke in my carpet that I smiled and waved as they left and then bolted the door, grabbed a glass of wine, and sat glassy-eyed in the recliner. I just can’t seem to get excited about signing up for that chaos long term.
    This discussion has brought me around to the realization that I am not alone or abnormal in my (our) decision.
    May God bless each of you for your candid dialogue. It has genuinely helped me!
    Lisa

  91. Erin

    Same song, 2nd verse! I’m 35, my husband is 31, and we’re about to celebrate our 5th wedding anniversary. I met him as youth in church, but we went our separate ways only to be reunited by God in 2006. The rest is history! I never (and I mean NEVER) had a boyfriend. I was considered unattractive. I liked guys, but alas, they never liked me back. When I got to college, I transformed from the ugly duckling into an ok looking swan, but still, the guys I liked didn’t like me. I pretended to like one guy who liked me so I could experience college life to the fullest, if you know what I mean (never had sex though), but secretly found him repulsive and felt nothing. I really REALLY fell hard for a Christian guy my last year in college, and guess what? He didn’t return the feelings! Let’s just say I cried for a mate from middle school until I was about 28. Then I just said, “I’m single, and that’s ok.” Then at 29, God answered my prayers. Now I’m feeling the proverbial clock ticking for them babies, but I have no desire! I’m a teacher too, which means I should be popping them out, but I still have no desire. Everyone has tons of kids and started having them in their 20’s! I was crying to the Lord for love in my 20’s and not married till 30 when everyone else was popping out kid #3! I don’t like being around people with kids because that’s all they talk about, so not a lot of friends here. I’ve never really been a fan of kids. I come from an alcoholic family, and my brother was a drunk, drugged up, emotionally and physically abusive creature, which left a bad taste in my mouth towards offspring since all of his abuse was directed toward my mother. (BUT God has and is changing him!) I told my husband that, but I also told him God might change my mind. He’s ok with that, but he’d enjoy being a dad. I feel guilty that I don’t want any kids, but I just can’t have them just because that’s what a good southern bred Christian teacher does. Actually, I was told by a mom NOT to have any kids unless I had a strong desire. No one really pressures me, but I feel guilty. I have pets that I treat like kids, and I take joy in that. So does my husband…he loves our dog to death. I love coming home from 8 hours WITH kids to my husband, animals, and NO kids! My husband does too, even though he likes the idea of kids. All I can say is I will not have a child until I have a desire. I hope I get the desire, but if I don’t then I’ll just buy long term care insurance!

    Erin

  92. Hesper

    Thank You, Thank You, Thank you!
    I can not believe how much better this article has made me feel.
    I am 28 years old and have been happily married for over 4 years now.
    I like kids.
    In fact,sometimes I enjoy them more than spending time with adults, children are honest and straightforward.
    But, I knew from a young age that I really did not want to become a mother.
    I spoke freely about this with my husband before we married.
    He likes kids too, and always thought it might be nice to have some, but he really did not feel a strong calling to be a Father.
    I always kind of assumed that somehow, this motherly “I WANT TO HAVE KIDS NOW” feeling would just like wash over me.
    It did not.
    Than two years ago I became pregnant (ahem, sometimes the cycle method of contraception is not the most reliable) then I painfully lost the baby.
    Shortly there after we found out that it is possible we may never have children.
    This was a horrible, horrible time for me, even though we were kind of on the fence about having children, I was mourning the loss of a child (which if I had carried to full term, I obviously would have loved and cared for) and the loss of having our decision made for us.
    But, most of all, for over a year, I was CONVINCED that this was all my fault.
    Because, I did not truly want the baby, that I caused this.
    The guilt was literally destroying me.
    Thankfully, My husband is the most caring and sweet man.
    He simply told me, “If God wanted us to have children, He would have made it so, however, I think God has other plans for how We are to serve and bless Him”
    The light bulb went off, and I felt like I had been washed clean.
    I can not even express the relief that ran over me.
    I started reading my bible again, and there are many woman who served the church and God, and a lot of them, it is not mentioned if they were married or had children, Why?
    Because it was not relevant!
    They served the Lord, and THAT is all that mattered!
    Both my husband and I are truly satisfied with our current child-less state, we have a very full and happy life.
    If God were to bless us with a Child someday, we would simply trust and honor Him.
    I TRUST God.
    Which I find to be something a lot of Christian Couples are not truly doing!
    They sit there and give my husband and I advice on how to be better Christians, than turn around and tell me about how they HAVE to have 4 children and the time period they have to have them in and somehow think they are going to get a special place in Heaven because they are going to have kids.
    Hypocrite!
    How can say you trust God in everything, but then be instructing HIM on when and how many children you are going to have!
    Thats not how trusting works!
    My final thought is how RUDE people are about the situation.
    Seriously, I have been approached by complete strangers in Wal-Mart and criticized for not having children, as her five are running around and throwing things off shelves.
    Plus, why do people feel like its okay to ask you something so deeply personal and want in depth answers?
    My question (after all this rambling..so sorry, its such a relief to be able to talk about this someplace where I won’t be immediately be judged and put down) is how do I respond to these so obviously rude people without being rude myself, but also not saying something about my health issues ( I do not want pity,plus it really is not any of their business, right?)
    I just want a simple, to the point, polite thing to respond to them.
    And for others out there( the rude people:), DO NOT ask people their status on marriage or child bearing unless this person is very close to you and you know they will not mind your questions.
    I do not go up to people and ask “WHY did you have children” or “WHY did you get married” so do not do the opposite to others.
    Thank you again for being so brave to write this article, and to all the others that have responded to it.
    It makes me feel stronger in my belief that you can be a “good” Christian and be childfree.

    • Lisa

      Amen! The questions about having children have got to stop! I too am looking for a proper response to the pushy and insensitive questions I get from so many “caring” people. After 5 years and no children, a tactful person would assume that a) we are patiently waiting or are unable to have kids and by so asking, you a taking the knife and twisting it in deeper OR b) we have made an educated and heart-felt desicion to not have any, hence your insinuations and prodding are probably not appreciated. And if you don’t know me, why the interest in my personal life? There are many responses I would like to give, but as Hesper stated above, I want something to say that is polite, but firm.
      So many times I have been in the mall, at the grocery store, etc. and see children acting out of control. (Loved the above comment about other people wondering why you don’t have any kids while theirs are tearing the store apart lol!) I think we live a society where children aren’t disciplined properly and childfree couples look at them and wonder “Why the push for that mess?” It shouldn’t be that way! Perhaps my attitude towards having kids has been spurred on by watching ladies around me be stressed, exhausted, and basically unhappy with their own children. Growing up, my parents made sure that I was respectful, quiet when adults were talking, and had an established bedtime. When my husband and I have had friends of ours over in the evenings and they bring their kids, or my brother-in-law and his wife stay the night, the noise and commotion does not end. Us adults give up the chance of any grown-up talk and peace/quiet or even board games because the children are so disruptive. We simply go to bed ourselves and call the night a wash. Sigh. The Bible definately has more instructions (and even reprimands) to parents of unruly children than it has for us so-called “childless couples”.
      And also, has anyone noticed that many couples talk about how much they want to have a “baby”? Have you been through the infant aisle in Target? Who wouldn’t want a baby after taking a stroll through fluffy bunny, christening outfit, matchy-matchy footie jammies kiddy land? Do most couples that want a “baby” remember that babies grow into tear-around toddlers, broody adolescents, and “I’m taking the keys to the car, see you at 2:00am” teenagers? Don’t get me wrong- kids can be an incredible blessing, but I feel that many people (not all) get into it for the “perks” (attention from family and friends, baby room decorating and outfit and name planning) but forget to consider all parenthood entails years down the road. I’m a big believer that a sex education course in high school should be followed by a “children education course”. Babies are so cute, but don’t base a huge decision on that particular stage in life because it goes by so fast!!!!
      At any rate, even though we have chosen to not have children of our own, I applaude those who parent right and love their kids unconditionally!
      I also loved Erin’s comments. You have no idea how parallel parts of your story are with my own (the pets being like our “kids”, ugly duckling syndrome, waiting for the urge to have children after marriage but it never happened). I’m thankful for your insight. You are not alone!

      • A.

        Lisa, BRAVO on this comment. Life is short. If the hard work and thankless drudgery of childrearing is not for you, than that’s OK. It really is. Live life to the fullest. Choose the path that makes you happy regardless of how others feel about it.

    • Ajah Hyten- Jamiel

      Honestly I would ask them in the same manner they asked you first! I understand the Christian way of being kind unto others but obviously they threw that pleasantry out the window when they pried into your personal business, and no where in the bible does it say to be a doormat! ( I am trying to change my abrupt rebuttals with compassion.. 😉👍) Understand we’re a minority and people will assume you do want children.. But just like battling any other common false pretense like: racism, sexism, bigotry. Obliviousness exists because of a lack of education. Kindly explain your stance on child-free ness and why you feel it right for you. If they still don’t like it. To each their own! Just do your best to not let your hurt feelings go off into a defensive tangent. I know it’s hard, were in the same boat!! 😜❤️

  93. Kos

    I feel like I should start off with Hi my name Katie and I’m childfree.
    Also, I am getting married in a few weeks to an amazing man who has been my best friend and has known how I feel about kids. But after a recent fresh conversation I am now deeply troubled.
    I feel that thou out or our 6 years of knowing each other, and over 2 years of dating, I have been honest in sharing my fears of having children. But I am worried perhaps I have not been honest enough about the issue by only emphasizing my FEAR of birthing children. To elaborated on my fear just a little I should confess we have had protective sex before marriage before which we now abstain from because a commitment between each other and God. But during those times when we did I was and am a freak about protection and want to use birth control and condoms as a precautionary . Discussing this recently wasn’t an easy subject for him. He was fine with birth control but both felt as a form of doubling up and un natural to what God thought of as good and so on and so on. I thought perhaps time would relax me and change me. I thought I needed consoling on the subject of not wanting children so it has been nice to hear others on this matter. Some say it is not a compromising matter and a part of me agrees. But I have also said perhaps we could adopt. Because for some reason I could slightly justify it more if we could take someone out of a miserable situation. One of the problem is I to feel guilty as I know my soon to be husband says he will be ok with the decision because he has too and still loves me and wants to be with me. Im not sure if its all the stress but im truly wondering if we could be happy forever. I feel at a no win situation. Like sooner or later he will be come depressed do to the fact I don’t want children or I succumb to children and become depressed and resentful and numerous other emotions. Or perhaps we could meet in the middle somehow and adopt and pray for the best. Is 2 really enough when the significant other says he ok with it but also on the fence.
    Sincerely Confused and over emotional

  94. A.

    Katie – It is not only a good idea, it’s a GREAT idea, to postpone your wedding until you have come to a solid agreement on what you both want and who you both are.

    Remember that your desire not to have children is not wrong. If you feel that it is a part of who you are, or it’s what you REALLY want to remain childfree, it is a HUGE mistake to compromise that for the happiness of someone else. A child is a human being, not something you do for someone else’s satisfaction. What about YOUR happiness and what YOU want?

    Your future husband’s “potential depression in the future” is his responsibility. You are not responsible for his personal happiness, you are responsible for YOURS only. He is choosing to be with you and has said that he’s ok with your choice regardless. His choice to have you as a wife is on him, and if he isn’t already happy within himself regardless of what life brings his way, he is not ready for marriage. He is an adult and is free to make life decisions and OWN them. Everyone makes their bed and lies in it, and he is no different. Presumably he is marrying you for who you are, and if that means childfreedom and all, then you changing who you are for him is doubly wrong. It doesn’t sound as if you trust him when he says he is OK with your decisions.

    Likewise, you have to come to a decision about who you are and what you want, and own it and it sounds like that is the source of your distress – that you haven’t really decided what you want. That is your first task.

    Good luck.

  95. Jane

    Katie,
    I agree with A. in that this is a huge decision in which you must decide for certain what you want. He says he’s okay with not having kids since that’s what you want, but I wonder, on what percentage level does he want kids? If you’re say, 95% sure you don’t want them, but he’s 70% sure that he does, the issue of him changing his mind and realizing that he doesn’t want to go through life without children could certainly come up. This could be a no win situation where one of you will end up resentful. If you can see yourself living happily without him, maybe you should move on. If not, tread carefully! I am sorry you are finding yourself in this situation. I know it’s not easy, and it’s never fun to say goodbye to someone you love.

    I would definitely address the adoption option with him more, but I would be very careful–especially if it’s an older child. Nearly every family I know, personally, who has adopted children has had major challenges to endure (some downright scary), so I would say adopting a child is an even bigger commitment than having one of your own. Of course, I know there are many families out there as well who have been extraordinary blessed by adopting a child. The movie, “Anne of Green Gables” comes to mind. :) I think kids today, even orphans, just feel a sense of entitlement–so much so that it can be dangerous. I would talk to other families who have adopted children before deciding up on this path. It takes a very strong couple.

    I pray a healthy marriage and life for you Katie!!

  96. Kos

    Thank you for replies and prayer! It means a lot. We are going though some counseling this week and I hope to shed some more light. What horrible timing! I feel as though in this 6 years of knowing each other I have been un truthful, that in only expressing my fears I have not expressed how free and fine I would feel if children were not a question. The wedding is in 2 weeks and I am also just praying to God for grace. Im hoping we can work at an orphanage surrounded by kids and that will be enough. Insert laugh, smile and cry….. I truly felt that God has brought us together. Ahhhhhhh I wish it was easier!

  97. Jane

    Katie, you are welcome!! I was praying for you just a while ago and will continue! Relationships are never easy, huh? haha I sooo hope it works out for you!!

  98. H

    I am so happy to have found this website, especially as I am dealing with a lot of pain and anger over this issue. My husband and I have been married for about two and a half years now. Before we got married, he was vocal about the fact that he wasn’t particularly fond of children and would be happy to not have them. I, however, was very vocal about my desire to have children, and several of them. I absolutely love children. I grew up in a large family and always wanted a large family of my own. My husband (before we were married) said that he would be open to the idea of having children, and we agreed to address the issue sometime further down the road.

    Since we’ve been married, the issue of children has only come up occassionally. As we are both still really young and wanted to have more time to experience life and discover more about ourselves before even considering the idea of children. The hope that we would have children though, has stuck with me the entire time. My husband is a very loving man, and he is so good with children. Recently, he had been interacting a lot more with our nephew, children of our friends, etc., and it gave me even more hope that we would have children.

    About two months ago, my husband came to me and said we needed to talk. He said that he has done a lot of thinking and absolutely does not want to have kids at all. He said he wanted to get a vasectomy. I was soooooo upset, and after a long argument, I knew he wasn’t going to give in. He mentioned that he was always extremely worried about using protection during intercourse because he didn’t want to take the chance of me getting pregnant. I believe in life at conception, and he has accepted that. He knew that if I got pregnant, there would be no way that I would have an abortion. He said that if I were to get pregnant, he would probably leave – not because he doesn’t love me, but because he doesn’t know if he could stand being around a child for 18 years. He believed that a vasectomy was the only way he could guarantee that I wouldn’t get pregnant. During the argument, he brought up some good points as to why he doesn’t want kids (i.e. health issues, finances, how it would be unfair to a child to be raised by someone who doesn’t want him/her, etc.), and I understood where he was coming from. He also said that sometimes he feels more like he’s a means to an end rather than the most important person in my life. I told him that I didn’t just want a husband in order to have kids – I want him as my husband, and I want his kids. To make a long story short, I knew he wasn’t going to give in, and that I was either going to have to consent or leave. I told him to go ahead and look for a doctor if that was what he really wanted to do.

    Fast forward a month, and he has had the vasectomy. It’s been a few weeks now, but I am still struggling with my pain, confusion, and anger. I feel like he lied to me before we were married and that he doesn’t trust me. He has definitely been more loving and attentive towards me since having the procedure, but I still feel some resentment. As long as I can remember, my dream has been to have a large, happy family, just like I had growing up. I am an independent person and love having quiet time, but I also love the craziness of a big family. I feel lost and sometimes even hopeless when I think about a future with no children. I’ve questioned my husband’s love for me, and whether or not I’m letting him railroad me on this. I’ve been seeing a counselor, and that has helped somewhat. This website and the posts have helped to give me new hope that I can have a happy, fulfilling life with no children. It has also given me some new ideas as to how I can still interact with children without having some of my own. You are incredible women of great faith, and your comments have helped to answer some of my own questions concerning religion in this issue.

    Any other ideas as to what I can do to help handle these harsh emotions? How I can keep this from impacting my marriage in a negative way? I love my husband very much and don’t want to leave him, but I also don’t want to feel depressed and lost for the rest of my life… Maybe it will just take some time for me to completely accept this?

  99. i may be completely left field here as i’ve never been married. but first of all, i think deciding kids or no kids should be a pre-marital affair. deciding after could ultimately leave one person devastated &/or the marriage in shambles. that being said, obviously you can’t change the past. presently, what i’m hearing about your husband’s actions… it alarms be to hear that he told you he’d leave you if you got pregnant. that wasn’t in the vows he spoke before God and everybody. of course, it wasn’t in yours either. to be fair, neither of you have legitimate reasons to leave the marriage, as huge of an issue as this is. honestly, it sounds like you chose the life he wanted over the life you BOTH decided you wanted. the decision was a ‘me’ decision, not an ‘i’ decision. children should never be a ‘me’ decision, having or not having them. personally, i don’t think it should just be you going to a counselor. it should be both of you. christian marital counseling. children or the lack thereof is a HUGE impact on a marriage & both sides should be heard. don’t swallow how you feel, it will only decay your relationship with your husband from the foundation upward. it really breaks my heart to hear this story. i pray you & your husband can seek some common ground & live a happy life together, with or without kids. xx

  100. Jane

    H,

    I am sorry to hear what you are struggling through. I can imagine how painful it must be to feel like your dream is no longer a reality. My heart goes out to you in that you’re feeling resentful toward your husband, because as you know, that’s not a pleasant emotion to feel–especially towards the man you love. However, instead of resenting your husband, perhaps it’s more of the situation you resent? Not to diminish the importance of this to you, but it sounds like your husband did fairly state that he didn’t want children. He did say he would be open to the idea, but being open just means you will consider something, and since he already stated that he’d be happy to not have them, the chances were slim that he’d decide he wanted children. It sounds like he was very open about this with you. I’m not sure it’s fair to resent him since he was open and honest about this before you married? Though he did remain open and might have sincerely believed it was a possibility, my thinking is that being around other children just confirmed his desire even stronger to not have children. When I became an Aunt, it confirmed my desire to not have kids, even though I adore my nephew and love being with him!!

    I think even most childfree people would embrace a child were it to accidently happen. He obviously feels very strongly about it since he doesn’t think it’s a situation he could even live with. I don’t think that it’s about him not loving you enough–I think it’s just that he knows it would create a very emotionally unhealthy environment for him and therefore, for all of you being with him as well. I doubt he wants to put himself, you, or any children through that.

    I think you have to give this to God. God brought the two of you together. Sometimes we think we know what’s best for us, but we must trust in God and in the life He has given us. He has given you a life with this man, and if that life doesn’t include children, then the best you can do is to make the most of what He “has” given you and to trust in Him. We all have disappointments in life, but this is where faith comes in.

    As the previous poster stated, counseling together might be a good option. Perhaps he can explain further why he is so opposed to children. Perhaps there is an issue that can be dealt with, but maybe it’s just the way he feels. It might also be that you vow to fully love and appreciate your husband despite how he feels, and that the more you focus on him, the more and more you might be able to let go of your strong desire for children. Children are certainly a joy to be around—they have a way of seeing the world that often escapes most adults. However, perhaps you could find meaningful volunteer work in which you can work with children?

    Remember as well that any children you have will one day grow up and leave you with an empty house with just you and your husband. They may not even bother to stay in touch with you! Biblically, your husband should be the most important person to you. No child can ever replace the special bond between a husband and wife, and if you and your husband have a healthy relationship, that’s something to cherish. Whether a couple has children or not, their relationship with each other should be their most important—not their relationship with their kids.

    Also, you might have a picture in mind of what your family would be like, but it’s doubtful that it’d be the way you picture it, and it certainly would be different than how you grew up. We live in a different world, and it’s a much harder world to raise children in than in years past. You say you value your quiet time–it’s probable that you would have very little of that left were you to have a big family. There are plenty of families with lots of kids in which the parents long for the days it was just the two of them–enjoy the wonderful aspects of it just being the two of you. Focus on all that’s good, and be sure to “thank God” for all He’s given you. In the meantime, keep praying over your situation and ask God to direct your wants and desires in accordance to His will for you.

    Again, I’m really sorry for the pain and disappointment you’re feeling. Praying God’s blessings for you and your husband. :)

  101. L

    I am 39, I got married in 2011. My husband wants another child (he has a son from a previous relationship) and I don’t want children. A lot of what is said in the above comments is how I feel. The pressure from everyone is immense, including my husband. The more the pressure, the more the desire not to ever have a child. On top of it I work in a bible school, so you can imagine the scripture I’m also getting. Someone made a comment the other day that I married my husband for me – that summed it up perfectly. Not because I want him to father children. I married him for me. I don’t mind helping him raise his son but that doesn’t mean I want a child of my own

  102. S

    I am 45 this year and am a married Christian woman and child-free. My husband and I have been together for 25 years and have never wanted childeren. It really was never a desire for me, and that is the reason I don’t have them. My husband agrees. When I see child, I’m not drawn to them at all. I don’t want to be around them. Yet, I still feel condemnatioIn from other people for my choice. We had a family member tell us to our faces that we are selfish. We are not selfish, that had nothing to do with our decision. I agonized over my decision to get my tubes tied for at least 3 years prior to my surgery. I prayed and asked the Lord to guide me. I decided that if I turned 40 and still didn’t want children then I would move forward with the surgery. That day came and went and I have been “fixed” now for almost 5 years. I remember praying while waiting for the anethesiologist (sp?) and I asked the Lord if He wanted me to have children then He just needed to let me know and I would get up off of the table. I never felt or “heard” a word. I feel strongly within myself that I made the right decision for the right reason, but feel condemnation from other people. I aslo feel a bit guilty that I used birth control and didn’t just trust the Lord with everything and I took some control. However, I do feel that we need to be responsible while on earth and I feel that’s what I was doing.

  103. liir

    I completely agree with this article. Today at the gym I was basically told that if I don’t get married and have kids that it’s a sin. I never want kids, personally, I don’t like the idea of pushing 14lbs through my crotch. It makes me mad to think that this guy thinks that all women should have kids. In fact, he’s never met me before, never talked to me, but then he comes up and says this?! I bet he’s the kind of guy who thinks women should still be in the kitchen.

  104. Alan

    Wow, a lot of responses here.

    I’m 41 and both single and childfree and I can relate to what people here are saying. I have a hard time fitting in at my church too.

    There is a group for childfree people, but it’s small group of close friends that I’ve never really fit into, especially since it’s aimed at people in their 20’s and 30’s. And it’s shrinking as the group member have kids and move. There isn’t any other group I can attend: I’m not old enough for the retired people, and I don’t have kids. And it’s such a large church (1300+) that you’re lost without a small group.

    Some former church members pointed out that there’s nothing for people with adult children who aren’t yet retired. I’ve thought about starting a group for empty nesters and older people, but I’m not sure if I have the time or the energy. And even if I did, I’d still be limited to this one group, I wouldn’t get to know people in other groups (this church in particular loves dividing people demographically)

    It might be easier to find a smaller church, like the one I grew up in, too small to split people up into lots of little groups. My family’s church used to have many activities open to people regardless of their family type. Perhaps that would be a better fit for childfree people like me. Many smaller churches are eager for new members, as they’re facing decline. Perhaps they would be more likely to disregard whether you have children or not.

    • A.

      Hi Alan – I am a chilfree woman of 35, and I have several friends who are older than me, in their 40’s and 50’s. In my experience, the church isn’t really that great of a place to meet friends.

      I think your best bet is to use Meetup to meet like-minded folks – the premise of potential friendship is always on the table as well as the fact that you are engaging in activities of mutual interest. It may take awahile and you have to use it consistently – it took me a year of using it with lots of failures to finally establish a solid group of friends, which I eventually did! and I met my current boyfriend indirectly because of it.

      Good luck!

  105. Laelia

    Alan- a smaller church might be your best bet, or at least one that isn’t so focused on making groups of people based on their stage in life. My church, for example, only has these three “groups”: a youth group (high schoolers), a men’s, and women’s group. That means when the women’s group has a function any woman, regardless of age or station, mingles with a great diversity of women. The same with the men’s groups. For things like Sunday School classes, for adults, they are offered by subject, not demographic. That means, if you go to a class about “Topic A”, you may be in class with a college guy, three married women in their forties, an elderly couple, and six single adults. You never know! With our community groups, it is the same. If you want to meet with a small group Bible Study during the week, the groups meet a people’s houses at various places in the city, so you can go to one that is convenient to your location. Again, they are not restricted to age or whatever, just for whomever. So, in my small group, there are two single women-one in late 20s, one in late 30s, one married couple in their forties with grown children, one in their thirties with no children, and another couple in their 20s with one baby! All that to say, it is a much less isolating experience when a church allows for the intermingling of all the ages and stages of life because then you don’t feel like the odd one out.

  106. Very nice write-up. I certainly love this site.
    Keep writing!

  107. Randy

    Thank you for posting this!

    I dont want kids for common reasons: financial responsibility which would mean giving up school and hobbies to slave away the next 20 years.

    there are so many people on the planet as it is, and millions of children are born each year. with concerns over environment and resources, i think theres more demand than supply.

    i dont know what kind of world my kid would grow up, live and work in. And i had bad experiences when my parents gave me flack when my sister was a baby, and i thought of myself in position of a servant to two of the babies in the family. i decided i dont want kids and i still dont. i hate people shaming me or guilt tripping me into conforming to their morals just so they can get some satisfaction over trying to control me.

    a quote from ayn rand sums it all up:
    by having kids, one would “sacrifice his own sovereingty and become a means to an end, the end being the primary concern for the children”

  108. Morgan

    You owe nobody an apology and no one has any right to make any woman feel pressured to have children. I am forty one now and can’t even stand being around kids. Don’t torture yourselves and keep feeling you have to come up with reasons why. In fact, it’s a personal matter, and only rude people would ask “why.” Oh, and by the way, I don’t think there are children in the afterlife, let alone child bearing. There is nothing in the Bible supporting that, so why the heck is it such an obsession with some people as to reproducing? Seriously? It’s annoying as heck. I know I sound a little cranky, but at my age, you start to get really annoyed by this topic, because it seems so many women still believe they somehow owe people an explanation. No, nobody does.

  109. Morgan

    By the way folks, I wanted to add that Jesus came to break everyone from the yokes of the “law” and bondage. Can you imagine Jesus commanding women to have children? I could never see Jesus telling women they are bad because they don’t have kids.

  110. sunshine

    “morgan” thank you so much, just what i needed to hear! thank you!!

  111. I think You should have kids is because someone did it and that’s why you’re here. Pay it forward. your soul had to be born of a woman to be able to get “saved” and enter the kingdom of heaven, so you purposefuly not giving life to a soul is keeping a soul out of heaven. Just sayin

    • Rose

      Felisha,
      I see your point.
      Raising up children in the way of the Lord ( especially in this day and age ) is a noble and praise worthy thing.
      However, God said to go out and baptize all nations, He said nothing about having to birth them first.
      I (and others in my circle of Christian friends) have traveled to India, Africa, Thailand and other areas spreading the word of the Lord, and helping to open up hearts, minds and souls to Jesus Christ.
      A good number of us have been woman, teaching the grade school children, as well as teaching other young women our ages.
      What of these people’s souls?
      If we all chose to stay home and have babies, would the word of the Lord reached these people?
      Possibly.
      Does having children mean you can no longer serve the Lord in missionary ways. Of course it does not.
      However, I do know that some of the places I have gone and people I have reached out to, would not have been possible if I had children.
      God calls some Christians to have children.
      He also calls others to serve and bless Him in other ways.
      No Christian (those that are childless by choice, those that are childless by God’s choice or those that have children) are not going or going to be in heaven due to children or no children.
      We will be in heaven because we all believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and led out our lives in the best way of serving Him who died on the cross.
      Love and blessings to you!
      Rose

      • Ajah Hyten- Jamiel

        Ha! Totally true! I don’t know of any 3 child mother traveling the world preaching the good word of God on missions trips! I think different people have different purposes. It can’t be all for men to achieve. Think about it.. If 50% of the world population is female and every one decides to have children and Only 30% of which are Christian.. Not only would there be a dramatic overpopulation problem ( as were already roughly 3 billion over the earths sustainable 4 billion people) but also there wouldn’t be enough missionary’s to spread the good word! Food for thought! 😜👍

    • Dear Felicia:

      You are very ignorant and stupid for making this dumb comment. There is no verse in the Bible commanding everyone to have kids. We are saved by believing in the finished work of Christ and not by reproducing. No go off to some “mommy” blog and leave us child-free women alone!!

    • dear felicia:

      you have no right to tell a total stranger what they should or should not do, especially concerning whether or not to have children!

  112. claudia

    thank you for you very much for your comment
    and I agree with you totally we will be in heaven because we believe
    in the Lord Jesus Christ.not because we have children doesn’t matter what you have in this world eg money, possessions, children, husbands etc it wont mean a thing at the end of our lives.
    I am a christen and so is my husband we could not have children and
    it was no fault of our own.
    We got married for better or for worse and that was a commitment we made to each other and to our God so we asked God to help us be strong and work towards accepting our situation.
    I have to be honest I have been very hurt with people inside the church
    and outside the church who have been totally insensitive to our situation,
    all people could talk about and their lives revolved around was children
    they idolised their children like a God and didn’t even bother to
    support the people that were hurting around them. I believe
    that yes it is nice to have children but they are not a replacement for God.
    I was created by God because he loves me and has made me a very special
    person with children or without. My personal value doesn’t depend on having children it depends on who I am in Christ.
    I had to have lots of therapy to overcome being treated like an out cast
    by society and the church.
    To be honest with you I just don’t like going to church anymore because
    of what I see , instead of focusing on the sick , hurt and suffering and what
    we can do to ease their pain , church members are to busy focusing in on themselves, not all Christians are Christ like so instead of bringing more
    souls into the world,i am sure Jesus would want us to look after his suffering souls that are already on earth, without following our ego and being obsessed in reproducing ourselves and having feeling no value for ourselves
    if we don’t reproduce. The bible talks about the union of husband and wife
    and not husband and wife and children actually children are not mentioned
    a lot in the Bible and the Bible is God’s word, so why do people go around and trying to play God???
    I am very disappointed ,hurt and very angry that we are valued only on how many children we have how many souls are lost that don’t go back to church
    because of selfish so called Christians who think they are God.
    Lets have love and compassion for the needy and the hurting like Jesus Christ did.
    Claudia

  113. BB

    This article is just plain dumb.

  114. rini

    I too am christian girl and dont want kids.I have never had such feelings/plans/nature ..just wondering if a man is there for me :-)

  115. rini

    lack of desire is not sinful.I guess.

  116. claudia

    The scripture – “Be fruitful and multiply”
    A pastor in his sermon said that God was talking about the fruits of the spirit when he said “be fruitful and multiply”
    be fruitful and multiply within yourself with the fruits of the spirit. That sounds like the truth for me

    • Rose

      I agree, Claudia!
      And to share the fruits of the spirit with others, telling them of God’s grace.

    • LadySoldier

      Theologically, I think that is off because “be fruitful and multiply” was right after God wiped out most of the earth. However, I will give you some better theologically sound point to make in reference to this issue.
      It is fine to not want to have kids. Paul tells us “it is better not to marry” so that we can be completely gospel focused without hinderance, so with that being said if you do not get married then you cannot have kids, right? so if it is not important to marry… I think common sense says we do not have to have kids either. Furthermore “be fruitful and multiply” is mentioned once in the Bible. Anything God calls us to do is typically mentioned more than one time.

  117. LadySoldier

    It’s great to read this blog. My husband and I have been married for about 3 years and before we got married everyone told us we were rushing to get married but then after the wedding they were like “So when are you having kids?” we get the question on the regular now. Both of us are happy with waiting as long as we can. My husband does not feel pressured but I certainly do, from family mainly. To be honest neither of us want kids but feel like we should do it (eventually)out of obligation.I don’t feel that feeling obligated is very healthy either. As far as the church goes, our church seems to really act like your are not a “true follower” of the gospel until you have kids, so we are certainly treated as odd. I can feel that everyone is thinking “ok are you guys going to get started or what?”. Especially when Church culture encourages kids right after getting married. When I was growing up my mom also told me I wasn’t very maternal either but I have always like babies I guess her definition of maternal and mine are different. My husband and I are on the same page when it comes to kids and I’m happy for that.

    • Excuse me, but maybe you need to change churches ASAP!!! Any church that teaches that a married couple must have kids in order to be a true follower of Christ is teaching false doctrine. You and your husband are fine just the way you are. This is why I hate some churches. They try to put a heavy yoke on people to make them feel inferior. A true follower of the gospel is someone who puts his/her trust in the finished work of Jesus Christ alone. If having kids supposed to make one a “true believer”, then the apostle Paul, Mary Magdalene, Lydia the seller of purple, and others were not truly saved. Also, Jesus did not have any physical children. I despise so called “Christians” who look down on singles and marrieds without kids. These people have no right to judge you and your husband.

  118. Heidi

    Thank you for writing this! I haven’t read everyone’s responses, but I realize there are many different people and circumstances in the body of Christ. I think child free couples should be loved equally…and of course not judged. My husband and I are in our early 40s. When my mom passed away last year, I really thought about having a child. My mom required a lot of attention, so after she passed on I needed someone to nurture. That was how I was feeling. But my husband has concerns because of our age and also my health. I have a thyroid condition and get tired very easily. We also don’t have family to help us. We have decided, therefore, to continue to nurture new believers. We care for spiritual babies. We’ve been serving the Lord for 22 years or so,mainly working with kids and youth. Now we oversee new Christians. Even though the idea of a child is nice at this point, I know I would have to ease back with church ministry. At this stage of my life I feel I will be content where the Lord has me.

  119. I love kids, but don’t know if I could constantly handle caring for them. When I was younger I was devastated by the idea of never being married and never having kids. My friends started having kids and saw how physically, emotionally and financially hard it is. I now think by not having kids I can help care to others peoples kids when they need help and serve God in a different way. However I will remain open to the idea.

  120. Ajah Hyten- Jamiel

    Thank you Lord! Finally someone who sees it my way! I was recently married and am quite involved within my Christian church and everyone and their mother keep asking us, “So when are you having babies?!” It annoys me when asked this, but then I have to go on the defensive as to why I don’t want any children. I don’t understand why other people get so offended just because they have kids? It’s my choice, you don’t need me to justify yours.. And it’s not that I dislike children, on the contrary, I just have had no desire to become a mother and have a very strong drive to accomplish my own schooling/ goals and dreams. I don’t feel I could give justice to being a worthy parent and between time and finances I wouldn’t be able to float the whole process. I suppose I ponder the whole ordeal often as some would call it selfish or sinful. But honestly I think it better to be upfront and honest with oneself and not drag a child through a lifetime of disappointment. I think a big part of my choice is due to me being adopted from a pair of teenagers outside of wedlock and having a difficult childhood due to it. Obviously i wouldn’t do what they did but it still leaves me in an awkward place and I absolutely hate being forced to do things in a vain attempt just to appease others.. Will God hate me if I choose not to have kids? Would I be doing a disservice to the world my not continuing a Christian legacy..? Although in the same sense, not everyone follows their parents models so I suppose that argument is void.. I don’t know.. Just thinking about a lot I suppose..

  121. After reading your blog, I know what your’e going through. You sound just like me, except I’m way younger. I’m not trying to spam or anything. I found this childfree site community VERY helpful and childfree friendly. There’s so much support on this site. Let me know, what do you think about it?

    I didn’t write this, but Kathrine did- http://thechildfreelife.com/?p=400
    I hope you found this helpful too.

  122. Margaret

    I enjoyed reading your blog as I.could wholeheartedly identify with this topic, have you tried HTB, Holy Trinity Church , they seems to be no pressire when it comes to this issue of living child Rtfree.. ot

  123. Tara

    This how I feel as well! Only in my case, I suffer from depression and black out at times and mild autism and I have panic attacks. Although I can watch and care for my niece and nephew short term. Long term, it would be very difficult and dangerous. I did warn my fiance it was a possibility that we might not be able to have children. It might be we decide to adopt older children. At least then, I wouldn’t have to be constancy watching 24/7. It’s hard watching children without the tv on as shameful as that is too me.

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