206 || Married Without Kids And the Pressure to Get Pregnant
Due to the nature of this post, I’d first like to clarify that I am definitely NOT pregnant. Sorry to disappoint you, Christian culture. Yes, I know I’ve been married two years. That’s what good Christian couples do, right? “Be fruitful and multiply…”
Actually I’m really not comfortable with the thought of being a mother right now. I babysit and love my six nieces and nephews, so I’m fairly comfortable around children. But the thought of not being able to hand them back to their parents is downright scary. Maybe it’s my youthful naiveté or selfish nature, but the idea of being permanently responsible for another human being is completely terrifying.
Why am I telling you this? Because I feel this weird and unnecessary pressure from the Christian community to get married and immediately be fruitful, raising little versions of Jesus. Seriously, people started asking us about kids at our wedding reception. We hadn’t even left for the honeymoon yet! The struggle is real.
I dread going to baby showers. “When will you be having one of these?” they nudge and ask. I just laugh and respond with a “not anytime soon!” But it takes almost every ounce of self-control not go on a rant (like this one).
Focus. Breathe. Continue.
I know I’m not the only one who feels this way, because Relevant Magazine posted an article answering similar questions. It was written biblically and beautifully, and I was totally with it until I read, “Finally, and I’d be remiss for not saying this, but selfishly, I want you to have kids.” Seriously? You do? But why? He offered no explanation, and his words threw me right back into confusion. This gifted writer, who may even be an authority on the fundamentals of Christian living, said he wants me to have kids. Period. The end. This is the kind of pressure I am talking about.
Is it crazy that I am seriously afraid of having children? I have so many fears and questions, like:
What if my bipolarity gets passed down to my child?
What if my child is a little hell-raiser? (Just ask my mom what I was like!)
What if we can’t even have kids?
If we adopt, will the child love us as true parents?
How do we afford adoption?
What if I can’t handle caring for another person?
What if I am unable to love a child properly?
What if my child rejects Christ completely?
With questions like these in my head, sometimes I wonder how people have kids at all!
While I know I shouldn’t have children just because someone says I should, I know I can’t let my fears keep me from having them either. Someday. I don’t know what God has in store for our family. We do want to have kids and we think we might want to adopt. We aren’t sure when, where or how it will happen, but we do know that God is in control of it all.
So we are trusting Him because, even if those questions terrify us, they don’t terrify Him. He’s not intimidated by infertility, bipolarity, or rejection. He’s in control, and if the Spirit of God is leading us, we have nothing to fear. If and when God wants us to have children, He will grant the patience and love needed to raise them.
But until then, I’m good with just babysitting. (And no, I’m still not pregnant.)
[Image via Garry Wilmore/]