Soon after Gavin and I were married we began having the kid conversation. I was 25 and he was 27. We had both finished college without debt. We both had jobs. We were not little kids. We had both lived on our own. We knew we wanted kids. We knew we should probably buy a house first. Gavin had a good job. We were just buying a house. We had great insurance. We had very little debt. We had family close. When we started looking at the list of what we “needed” or “wanted” before we had kids we realized that most of them weren’t absolutely necessary for us to have kids that the root of some of them was actually pretty selfish. As life would have it, we got pregnant more quickly than we expected and life COMPLETELY turned upside down with work, housing, everything. All our ducks had been carefully placed in a beautiful row color coded by kind and a MASSIVE tornado came through and obliterated EVERY last duck. And God said that it was good, and it was. We had MANY opportunities to grow, trust God and plan things out and everything worked out great, better than we could have planned and very different than we expected. I say this because God’s timing is perfect and I am thankful. We thought we were all perfectly planned and ready and were in a great spot to have kids, and we were. And God had better plans.
There are many young girls and wives that have a low-view of motherhood. Too often I hear that there are long lists of things that need to be done and accomplished before motherhood and pregnancy is this looming ticking time-bomb that will arrive out of nowhere and squash all dreams, joy and anticipation in life. Most importantly it will inhibit their desires and pursuits of careers, travel, material possessions, achievement and…ministry.
Most girls that I talk to say they want to be a mom and then qualify it with certain stipulations. When I’m ready. When I have a house. When I achieve a certain goal. When I travel. When my bank account has a certain amount of money. After we have been married for 5 years. After we have a well trained dog. After I am 30. After this promotion. And it continues.
Here is my mental download on the thoughts of the matter
- There will never be a perfect time to have kids
- We will never be fully ready
- You don’t even know if you can or will be able HAVE kids
- Life doesn’t stop after children
- Kids are one of the commandments of marriage
- You are not more holy or effective in ministry because you don’t have kids or serve an “unreached people group”
- God values motherhood and children as one of the highest callings for women
- You don’t own your life
Hear me well… I understand there is wisdom in waiting. I know that some people have major things in their life they are working through. I understand that not everyone has a desire or ability to have children. I also know that many women are DESPERATELY trying and praying to be a mother RIGHT NOW. I know that marriage usually comes first for a Christian women (and as soon as you get that man you are READY!). I know that God puts different desires on people’s hearts. I know that the LORD opens and closes the womb. I know that God will do whatever He wants in your life. Believe me my life runs on goals and coffee. I always wanted to be a mom but I also wanted to experience ALL KINDS of things. Sometimes you are in school. Sometimes you don’t have 2 pennies to rub together. I am not talking to YOU specifically I am talking to “this mindset” in general. I know there are different situations for everyone. If you are in one of these categories, great! It is good that you are aware of those reasons and being intentional. That is what I am encouraging here. Be intentional with your reasons to have or not have kids. Might I encourage you to not only be intentional, but have Godly intentions towards it?
It is not uncommon to hear that people are just “putting it off”. Whether that answer is given to hide a deeper issue of infertility or marital things being worked through, I don’t know. If it is genuinely a “meehhh, just later” attitude, almost like it is a down-grade. I would really encourage you to pray and ask the Lord to show you the root of your heart. Maybe it is fear. Maybe it is pride. Maybe it is selfish. I don’t know and it’s really not my business. But can I encourage you to ask the Lord what it is?
In conclusion, know this. If you have any inkling of a desire to have kids, I would encourage you to pursue it, even if it isn’t the EXACT perfect time. Parenthood is a beautiful thing that refines your spouse, and like a diamond reflects deep facets of their heart that you have never seen. Being a parent is hard, constant and consistent work that you are accountable to God for. Having children stretches you and increases your prayer life, it provides many new opportunities, it puts many things in life into perspective, and is a joy and complete gift. Jobs come and go, plenty of life situations can change at the drop of a hat. Babies don’t just show up the day after you get pregnant, you usually have 9 months to prepare, move, save some cash, or figure things out. It will be ok. You might lose your job. You might live in an apartment. You might not have a mom car; but it will be for God’s glory and our good. Your entire life can get flipped upside down tomorrow, it’s true. But kids or not we don’t know the future. We still need to trust the Lord and HIS provision. Life doesn’t end when kids come. You can still go out and have fun,travel, be in ministry, eat at restaurants, go do things and enjoy life. Things change but the important things will stay.
The end. Go in grace and be encouraged.