Tuesday, January 25, 2011


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....


  1. I was feeling so insensitive because I was going to write you a big long response about how there are enough women having kids who can't afford to care for them for the both of us ; ) And then like the Sarah I know and love you made your own joke about it!

    I totally understand how you feel about not wanting kids and to be honest, I'll be 27 this year and kids are no where on my radar either. I am sure it will happen someday but I'm not ready yet and I don't feel bad about that. There are things I would rather do with my life right now and when/if I am a mother someday I think I'll only be better for it. I agree that it's far more selfish to have children you cannot care for than to NOT have children. There's nothing selfish about that in my eyes!

    Then again we will need more Americans around in the years to come to pay off all our debt and fund the biggest ponzi scheme around, ie. Social Security ; )

  2. Wow Sarah, this is one of the best defenses to not having children I think I have ever read! Bravo!

    Not having children is somewhat of a selfish act if you believe that the sole purpose of a woman is produce children. I guess in the very fundamental and basic look on life, then yes, the core role of a female species of any kind is to create and bare children. But, we are not chickens, nor house mice, or rabbits or monkeys, we are people with very real thoughts and very real emotions and very real situations that keep us from jumping into the motherhood pool. Personally my decision to not have children is based on the fact that, yes, I am selfish, I want my time for me, I want to give back to the world in other ways, and I want to enjoy my time with the one member of my family I can actually pick, my husband. Furthermore, children are expensive and I realize it's not in my best interests financially or emotionally to have one.

    You know I am not at all religous, but I have never condemed anyone for believing in a god. If there is a religion out there telling you that it is your duty to have children and to not procreate is selfish I would reflect long and hard on that religious philosophy and ask what else it asks you to give up in your daily life that is otherwise not a crime.

    Good luck to all the mommy bloggers who responded. But please respect Sarah and her decision.

    Spell check off so sorry for any errors.

  3. Jamie: LOL, we know it's true! Especially in the military world, seems like.

    Rach: You're right, without women civilization would dry up and die (which I pointed out in my other post), but fortunately the biological urge to reproduce will exist in most women. ;) You're also right in that not having children enables you to help the world in other ways. I know there are going to be many opportunities throughout my life to make an impact on those around me that I might not have time/money/energy to do if I had children.

  4. "who knows who might eventually find it and be excited for some encouragement in their own desire to not have kids?"
    I thought this same thing and I'm sure your post(s) on the topic and the encouraging responses will help someone, sometime. Honestly, it helps me even though I have a kid because I, too, would be devastated if I got pregnant! It would take me a long time to get used to the idea too, and even longer to like it. But we already know I'm strange about the kid thing, so...

    I also agree that there are a lot of bad reasons to have kids too, and I see that a lot. Unfortunately, it's the kids who pay for the parents' stupidity.

  5. Do what is best for you.

    Don't worry about condemnation from others because all that matters is your decision and it shouldn't affect other people. You having or not having children is a personal choice, just like me having one was as well, but I would never look at you or anyone else who didnt have kids differently or think you are doing something wrong just as I don't think you would look at me or anyone else who has kids (for the right reasons) and think it was wrong.

    There is a common misconception among women who are at different places in life that we should all be at the same place, at the same time, and that anyone who strays from that is "wrong". That's just not true. Some women are ready for children, some are not. Some women want to focus on their career and not ever have children, and others choose to do both and I applaud them for that. Another misconception among women is that having kids is the "end-all" to having a successful career. That is totally inaccurate. You CAN do both and many women do both very well. Personally, I have chosen to be a stay at home mom for the first year, but I'm beginning a new career path in the next few months and have no stresses on my ability to be both Mom and working mom very successfully. Someone once made me feel like I was very wrong for being at the place where I have been in life that being a stay-at-home mother and wife is one of my greatest passions and a choice that has been best for my family over the last year. They made me feel that choosing to put my career aside for a few years made me less of a "person" in a sense. I understand the hurt in feeling like you are doing something wrong, but the fact is that you have to make decisions based on what is good for you and your husband and where YOU are at.
    Many people make decisions like having children (when its not the best decision for them and they aren't ready) because everyone else is. That's about the worst reason to have a baby. Ever. You brought up some excellent points in that. Just because people can reproduce, doesn't always mean that they should, and the people who do it to take advantage of taxpayers, or hop on the "baby train" because every one else is, etc. are a special breed of that.
    I totally not only respect your decision, but also your ability to share it. You should be able to say "we have chosen not to have children" without anyone making you feel condemned or like your doing something wrong, just like anyone who says "we are trying to have children" is not met with condemnation from others. You shouldn't have to defend yourself, and if ANYONE ever makes you feel like that, I'd re-evaluate your relationship with them.

  6. I feel like I just got blasted! LOL! I just believe that Christians should seek to always be God-centered and not self-centered (in all things). However, many, many things are not in black and white according to scripture. There are many gray areas. I believe God's purpose in these gray areas is to draw us to abide in Him. He wants us to be in open and intimate communication, in which we ask about these gray areas. The answers we get from God, will be special for each of us, as I'm sure God takes into account our personalities and our characters. Also our desires.
    Now, for 4 years I have had to do a very unselfish thing. I have had to pray fervently that God would take away my desire to have more children. Period. After James got his vasectomy (which I did not want him to do---begged him not to do it), my heart was broken. I tried to hide it from everyone. I tried to rationalize it. Finally, I just asked God to take it away. I couldn't handle it anymore. But nothing changed, and I still feel the same way. Last year, his vasectomy reversal just got plunked into our laps and in November he had his surgery. I think this is all part of God's plan. My husband was not saved either until last year (I thought he was, but due to some very bad stuff coming out into the open, he realized he wasn't). It has been quite the journey.

    So, my point in telling you this (and I don't want to offend you, and I'm sure you won't agree with me, as we tend to butt heads), is that maybe it is time for you to pray that God would change your heart, towards having children.....hear me out now.....just to see if he does. Just to see if your desire not to have children is rooted in selfishness or in your general make-up. Maybe you have already been doing this. If you have I don't think you would experience the guilt you have mentioned to us in these last two posts. It was so hard for me to let go of my desire to have more children when it was pretty much impossible. It was so hard for me to "risk" it and put it in God's hands and in his control....instead of taking my desire away from me, he has made it possible for my desires to be fulfilled. Do you understand what I am saying? Or do you think this is theologically wrong?

    I do not believe in Legalism....I believe in walking with Christ in Grace. I am NOT coming at you from a legalistic perspective in any way. I am not judging you or your desire not to have children. As I said in my last comment; I think that God might be calling you to some form of mission that would be easier for you to do without children. So my reason for mentioning selfishness in my comment, on your previous post was only meant in love. We can all be self-centered about many things. I used to think that my desire to have more children was self-centered and I felt the guilt of it daily. i asked why i had to have this desire in the first place. why I couldn't be content with my life as it was. Apparently, due to what all took place last year....this is the path he wants me on. i just wanted to put it out there that sometimes we are rebellious and some of our desires might be out of selfishness. We all need to seek God in all areas of our life. We need his confirmation in every area. So the key is in the abiding that I mentioned above. Child-bearing IS a gray area. But it is a black area for some people. And a white area for some people. And those people are probably being Legalistic about it all. God made all of us different....that doesn't mean however, that we can't be selfish about it. i just meant that you still may need to seek God about it, just to be sure that you are not being self-centered and that your desire is legitimate. I hope I am not offending you at all. Rachelle

  7. You already know how I feel about this subject, but I just wanted to thank you for blogging about it. :) I have yet to gather courage to blog about my non-existant desires to have children. I guess I'm just afraid about what people will say. When my own mother tells me it's "unnatural" to not want to be pregnant, give birth, and be a parent it's kind of upsetting.

  8. Also, I think, above all, the will of God for ALL christians is to go unto all the nations, making disciples! :) You can do this with or without children. I think this should be our main focus in life. Not these piddly gray areas! :) Isn't that SOOO satisfying to know???? I love it!

  9. J: Thanks for your thoughts! =)

    Rachelle: Sorry if you felt blasted! That was not my intention at all. =) But I have heard comments similar to that expressed by various Christians throughout the years and it was just a good opportunity to air my opinion on it. See, I don't think you will ever understand me in this area because you want children so badly. Your opinion is, I think, very biased because of your own desires. But this IS a gray area. Nowhere in the Bible does it command women to have children (except in specific cases, like after the Flood). Therefore, I don't feel any need whatsoever to ask God to change my desires just to see if He will. There's nothing wrong with not wanting kids. If God wanted me to have kids, I would have them, or he'd put the desire in me. But otherwise I don't have any desire for them. I'm not going to spend time wrestling with God over the topic. I do in other areas of my life, when I'm trying to make decisions about things, but not this. And I don't feel any need to. If God made it clear somewhere in the Bible that he wanted all married women to bear children, and I didn't want to, that would be different. But since He hasn't, I'm going with the flow. If He changes that desire, I'm fine with it. If He doesn't, I'm just as fine with that. And I don't feel guilty for not wanting children; what I meant was that people try to guilt-trip me. I have had to learn to reject that. My lack of desire to have children is not wrong; therefore I have no reason to feel guilty, nor does it mean that I might possibly be "out of God's will." Anyway, we'll just have to agree to disagree on the topic.

    Amanda: I hate that your mother is doing that to you. =( That's so insensitive and wrong!

  10. Yes, I can totally understand that I might be biased about it! But I wasn't judging you and totally agree that the Bible doesn't command us to have children. That isn't our main purpose. i believe our main purpose in life is to glorify God and spread the gospel! I can see that you are seeking God because you said that if God changes your desire than you'd be fine with it. :) That is a wonderful attitude! And as one of your friends said above...different women are at different stages. We are also in different places in God's great scheme of things for our life and for our path. James and I want to be missionaries with Mission Aviation Fellowship. Maybe God wanted us to have children early in life so we go on the mission field after the Army. I am so excited about that! I am happy to have been able to have this discussion with you, as I wasn't really sure exactly why you didn't want to have kids. Not that it should matter to me, but someone we know had also told me that she thought you were worldly for not wanting to have kids. I disagreed with her, and said I didn't think it was that, but that it was your past home life. Your life is your life and I was trying to defend you. It is nice to know this incase she ever says anything again She is a nosy person anyway and should just say things to people's faces. I hate drama, so I am ending this now! LOL! Have a great rest of the week! :)

  11. Wow, I can't believe someone would pass judgment on me like that. =\ Thank you for sticking up for me, even if you didn't know the real reasons for my decision!

  12. I am constantly arguing with others about the whole "worldly" thing. It drives me absolutely crazy when people say that. My Mom and I got into an argument about it a few weeks ago as a matter of fact. I too, was raised in a pretty religious house and have been surrounded by many super religious people that feel the same way that my Mom does. Not that all of them do, but many of them do. It is something that I have struggled with and has really bothered me a lot. No one but you needs to know your reasoning, and while I think most any reason that one has for not having children is good enough for me, and not really any of my business either, it shouldn't matter to others. I'm not sure why or when it became other people's business, and why women are still being judged and rated by the functionality of their uterus. Trust me, I've been called it all, even though people weren't even aware of my reasons or situation. And I hope that you didn't take my question to you in a negative way, because I didn't mean it like that, I was just being nosey. Haha. And I think all of these are valid points. You seem very open to the things that life throws your way, so no matter what path you choose at any given crossroad, I know it will be the right one for you, and you will embrace it.

  13. No, I didn't take your question as negative at all! =) I was actually glad I got an opportunity to answer it. Yeah, I hate the "worldly" issue too. It's such an overused and ridiculous accusation in the religious circles. =\ Not everything "the world" does is bad. Every issue should be judged on an individual basis, not lumped together under a meaningless label.