I just wanted to to say a big, heartfelt "thank you" to everyone who commented on my last post. I honestly never expected so many thoughtful, wise, understanding words from everyone! A couple of you even brought tears to my eyes.
There were a couple of comments I wanted to respond to, though, before I shut up on the topic for awhile. (I do believe, however, that I might use my blog to talk about this issue every so often. My blog readership is not very big right now, but who knows who might eventually find it and be excited for some encouragement in their own desire to not have kids?)
Aimee wanted to know what would happen if we had an "oopsie." Well, the answer to that is pretty simple: keep it, love it. =) And trust that if God overruled our human attempts to prevent a pregnancy, He must really want us to have a baby. But with that said, I know without a doubt it would take me a long time to be okay or happy about it. Seeing a double line on a pregnancy test would be a devastating moment for both me and Andrew. But...God is in control!
Rachelle made one comment I did have to take issue with (but I agreed with the rest of what you said!). I really disagree with the idea that there can be "selfish reasons" for not wanting children and in that case, not wanting them is wrong. I don't have a motive for not wanting children. The desire is just not there. I don't have a "reason." "I don't want them" is, in and of itself, a reason, and you can't be acting selfishly towards a child that hasn't even been conceived. The desire to reproduce is a biological, physical, and emotional urge. Just like sex. Yet someone who goes through life without ever wanting sex would not be accused of being selfish. (Crazy maybe! lol But not selfish.)
I think this is a very common belief in Christian circles, and certainly one I grew up hearing. And it's probably the main reason that people like me feel guilty or confused or afraid of condemnation from others. But the fact is, if you imply that a woman can have selfish reasons for not wanting to bear children, you also imply that children are a woman's primary purpose in life. And that notion is one I completely reject. I'm a feminist: not the "Men suck! Marriage is dumb! Abortion is *awesome*! I'm not going to shave my armpits!" brand of feminist, but the "Women should vote and have opinions on politics, have a career and higher education if they want it, and do not have to get married and/or have children if they don't want to" brand of feminist. Why is it wrong or selfish for a woman to say, "I don't want children; I want a career"? Or for her to say, "I don't want to be a mom; I love it just being me and my husband"? It isn't. It's called "everyone is different." But women who say things like this still get condemnation from some Christian circles, and I think that's sad.
On a sidenote, I haven't heard any reasons for not having kids that are selfish, but I do hear a lot of selfish reasons for having them. Things like, "I think it will save my marriage," or "I'm bored," or "I don't want to be alone when my husband is deployed," or "I need to carry on the family name." And I won't even bring up the "I can't afford to take care of my kids but I'm going to have them anyway and let your tax dollars take care of them"...that's a whole 'nother can of worms! Heh
Anyway, that's all! =) Back to your regularly scheduled programming....