Over at Mommy Life
, Barbara is asking what you would say to a couple who believe in God, but don't want kids so that they can pursue their ministry.
I was thinking about this one a bit, and here's what I came up with:
I think God's deepest desire for us is to grow more and more like Him--to be holy. So how do we get there?
One thing parenthood does is it gives us an opportunity that is not found anywhere else in life to develop our character--to learn to give, to learn to put others' needs first, to learn to love unconditionally and with one's whole heart. We get a window into God's heart. And it does bring us closer to Him.
By choosing not to have children so that you as a couple can serve Him elsewhere, I believe, is giving up this chance for refining that God wants all of us to have.
When we have children, we stand for the first time on the edge of eternity. We understand the idea of forever, because our lives are no longer just about us. They are about our kids, and their kids. They are about having to trust God in a way we never have before because our hearts are now walking around outside our bodies. We need Him to watch over these little ones. We will learn to pray. We will learn what it means to trust in the eternal, rather than the temporal, as we have to put so much of their lives into His hands.
And, best of all, we bless the world with what we leave behind. Think of the blessing that Laban gave Rebecca in Genesis 24: Oh, my sister, may your offspring number thousands upon thousands, and may they possess the gates of your enemies.
That sounds really strange to our ears now. But if the world really is a rough place, the best way to redeem it is to bring more people into it who will be raised to take a stand for God in their small sphere of the world. Certainly this couple wants to concentrate on their ministry, but what's to say their own children, or grandchildren, won't have ministries, too?
Now I know some people don't want children because their lives are too busy with careers, and hobbies, or other things. And they don't want to ignore their kids. And perhaps they're making the right choice. But I don't think they realize what they're missing, because until you hold that baby in your arms, you don't truly understand what love is. It's not something you can explain until you have kids.
Not everyone is cut out to be a parent, and I can't tell anybody what to do. But I do think ultimately parenthood is a blessing. But that's up to everybody to decide for themselves.