Some couples assume that having children is just something you do when you get married, and don’t give much thought to it. Some Christian couples wonder if having a large number of children is the best way to honor God (an idea promoted by some highly visible large Christian families on TV). Some who struggle with infertility wonder about some of the treatments often recommended, especially those that present ethical concerns for people of faith.
Whether you have a dozen children or none, it’s appropriate to consider what would be the reasons a Christian should have a baby. When is having a child a God-honoring wise thing to do, and when is it not? What are God-honoring reasons to have a baby?
Fertility is one of our natural biological functions as human beings. Becoming pregnant and bringing a child into the world is a God-given desire most women have. Children are a blessing from God.
But children are not God’s only blessing. Pregnancy is not a right. A child is not a thing you can buy. There’s no law, human or divine, guaranteeing that every person should, or can, have a child just because they want one. Like the need and desire for food or pleasure, the need and desire for a baby is healthy, but it can become unbalanced or distorted. And it can be met in either healthy or unhealthy ways.
How God Looks on Your Desire for a Child
In Scripture, God looked kindly on women struggling with infertility, and sometimes blessed them with a child. (See Genesis 21:1-2, 1 Samuel 1, Luke 1:7,13.) I believe God looks kindly on couples striving to bring a child into the world today.
There are some specific Biblical values worth considering here. These include the importance of both mother and father in a child’s life, and both parent’s commitment to provide for and raise that child. Although the desire for a child is God-given, prospective parents must consider whether they have the financial, emotional, and family resources to raise a child well. Many children are born into circumstances that don’t provide that ideal support, but choosing to create a child when one knows they can’t provide what that child needs in all areas is irresponsible and inconsistent with God’s design.
Because of the strong desire you may have for a child, it’s easy to forget that this isn’t really about you. Your decision about whether or not to have a child (or another child) also impacts your husband and other family members. And it most certainly impacts any child you would bring into the world! Having a baby must always be about them and not about you. It’s a matter for much thoughtful prayer.
Positive Reasons to Have a Baby
Don’t have a child simply for your own benefit, because it’s your “right,” or because it’s something you want. Parenting demands more from you than any other job you’ll ever take on. Babies grow up, and that son or daughter will bring you both joy and heartache. And raising a child is far too much stress to add to a troubled marriage.
Instead, have a child because you and your spouse want to unselfishly pour out your lives into another human being, because you have so much love to give away that you can’t imagine your family being complete any other way. Having a child should be a wonderful journey that can bring husband and wife together if you both desire it.
Husband and wife need to be unified in their purpose in having children and have the peace of God about their decision to try to achieve pregnancy. If that’s you, enjoy the journey to express the creative power God built within you to bring a new human being into the world.
Every new life is God’s opinion that the world should go on.
[guestpost]This post is adapted from a section in Dr Carol’s upcoming book Dr Carol’s Complete Guide to Women’s Health, scheduled for release in early 2016. Be sure you’re signed up with your email address so I can let you when the book is available. [/guestpost]
[reminder]Are you trying to have a baby? What are your reasons?[/reminder]
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- A baby is not about you: it’s about you and your spouse expressing your creative love together. Tweet that.