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/]


  1. This resonated with me so, sooo much! I experienced the same thing. When I was newly saved, and I was dating my now husband, EVERYONE was saying “When are you getting married? When are you getting Married? When are you getting married?”

    I wanted to “say yes to the dress”, so that question didn’t bother me as much as it did my hubby. But it was there. And it was okay from the perspective of those who asked.

    But THEN…… We DID get married, and I could not believe when they started asking “When are you having a baby? When are you having a baby? When are you having a baby???” :O!!! I was so alarmed because it was almost like they were asking me intimate details about my sex life with my husband. I was SO mad. I didn’t know how to politely say that it wasn’t their business, and that at the time, really and I didn’t even WANT kids!!!! So instead of being polite, I was a bit less spiritual- I began to reply to the question this way: “I am too selfish to have a baby right now. I may not even have kids at all.” Do you know something? They quit asking. 😉

    7 years later, we did have our first child. And true to form, they began wondering when we would give the baby a baby. lol

    I think that sometimes, people want to live vicariously through the youth and newness of our relationships, or they are just trying to make conversation. OR you know the saying goes, “misery loves company”. Not that kids aren’t a blessing, but there are lots of challenges that you can hang on that hook along with the blessings!

    I am a little older now-at least according to my birthday-and I have learned that I don’t ever have to please people. I do, on the other hand, NEED to please God and I am okay with that. And being okay with that, no matter what others may say to me, is okay by me! 🙂

    • Christy – I love your story and your conclusion… I also love your bluntness! 🙂 Refreshing…

  2. This is wonderful! You have no idea how many young women tell me they have these fears and thoughts and feelings, but they are afraid to express them out loud. Thank your for sharing your heart so that they can know they are not alone. And that they are not weird!!

  3. There is the even bigger problem in my mind. My husband and I tried for 2.5 years and underwent 4 rounds of IUI treatments before finally getting pregnant. While I am more than willing to now share my journey in order to bring God’s comfort to others, when we were in the midst of it things were too painful and too personal to share. Every time a comment was made: “Don’t you want children?”, “You’re not getting any younger!”, “When are you tow having kids?”- it was like a knife to my heart. I knew there was no malice behind these statements but it did not make them any less painful. You do not know someone’s personal story or their personal pain. Keep your personal comments to yourself.
    Think of it this way- you would NEVER ask someone about their sex life and yet, by asking if they are trying to get pregnant, you are basically asking them if they are regularly engaging in unprotected sex. Makes you view it a little differently, huh?

    • Ashley – very good point! What some people mean to be as harmless small talk or even if they’re intentions are to really pressure you, they don’t know the story and their insensitivity can be painful to the recipient. Thank you for sharing this reminder. We all need to do a better job (I know I do sometimes) of thinking before we speak… and then think again.

  4. Thank you for writing this. I appreciate your honesty and sense of humor. I was recently talking to God about this topic not that long ago. The Holy Spirit revealed to me that anything in the Flesh can become an idol. Even an innocent baby. Many try to be the ideal Christian based on what interpretations of scriptures are taught to them and based on the social norm majority. Good intentions are done in the flesh too. For example, some people believe the verse “To be fruitful and multiply” is a commandment to “raise little versions of Jesus” as you put it and to fill the Earth. The problem with this thinking and the “Quiverfull” movement is that it ignores the reality that we are born into sin and MUST be born again. Those are dead fleshly works in attempt to build the Kingdom of Heaven through your own sexual biological efforts. Jesus made it perfectly CLEAR that no one will see the Kingdom of Heaven unless they are born again by Spirit and Water.

    John 3:5-6 Jesus answered, “Very truly I tell you, no one can enter the kingdom of God unless they are born of water and the Spirit. 6 Flesh gives birth to flesh, but the Spirit gives birth to spirit.

    John 1:12-13
    But to all who believed him and accepted him, he gave the right to become children of God. They are reborn—not with a physical birth resulting from human passion or plan, but a birth that comes from God.

    Another translation in “simpleton” terms for verse 13
    “children born not of natural descent, nor of human decision or a husband’s will, but born of God.”

  5. Thank you for sharing your fears and just bringing this topic out in the open. I got married later in life, I was 33 and my husband was 40. I am now 44 and my husband is 51 and we do not have any children and I seriously doubt we will at this point; but with God anything is possible. I now get these questions…How come you don’t have any children? Is there something wrong physically that you cannot have them? What happened etc.

    My husband and I took no “precautions” to avoid having children and converesly we made no great attempts to get pregnant either…we just agreed to leave it in God’s hands whether or not he would bless us with any children. I used to get embarrased when someone would ask me the questions above, now I just don’t care and I say it wasn’t in God’s plan for me.

    I would encourage anyone who is feeling ‘pressured’ or ‘shamed’ to just say “It’s just not in God’s plans for me (or us) right now.” I think this would work for most situations; even couples who are having trouble conceiving and decide to do IVF or adopt and they’re waiting…Seriously if God wanted you to have children, you would have them.

    Even though I do not have any children, my life is very blessed. I love animals and have a small zoo that live with me – we call them furbabies! I have many hobbies and interests, and I believe that when Jesus says to be fruitful and multiply, it doesn’t have to mean with progeny. I think he means for us to live life to the fullest, to be beacons of hope in a lost world and show the fruitfulness of our faith and multiply the Church with our testimony and our lives by winning souls for Christ.

    • Brandi,

      Thank you for offering a wonderful solution to this problem—what to say to people who just don’t seem to know better. Telling them it’s just not in God’s hands…who could argue with that? It’s refreshing to read that you’ve found the blessings in your life. We, here at Shattered, are particularly fond of our own furbabies!



Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published.