It’s Okay to Not Have Kids
In our battle with infertility, the thing I kept thinking over and over again is that I couldn’t fathom not having a family. It’s the natural order of life. It’s what we’re supposed to do. It’s the standard both in secular and Christian life. So, that option was out, and the other 52 various choices were what we had to choose from.
But the longer the space grows between the first day we heard we’re infertile until now, the more my mind shifts to the fact that it is okay to not have children.
To those of you who are just starting out, that just hit you like a punch to the gut. It still gets me a bit from time to time too. You almost feel like you’re failing or giving up. Are you?
I think it’s hard to know God’s will in this area of life because our culture, biblical, and family influences all point towards having a family. You’re weird if you don’t. There must be something wrong with you. Do you not like kids? All the thoughts of the influences around you can crowd your mind and make it difficult to hear God’s voice about this.
The Lord may also be taking His time in telling you as well. There’s character growth, faith stretching, and dependency on God that is all taking place in the year-to-year process that you’re on. He’s preparing you for something. If He revealed it too soon, you wouldn’t be ready to handle it. So, His nurturing and developing comes across as silence. Remember, God’s timing is SO far different than ours.
Set aside and step away from the noise of all the expectations from others and yourself. Surrender the expectations you’ve placed on God to reveal an answer to you. Pause, be still. Sit in your present circumstance for a bit. Then think, can I enjoy life without kids? What am I doing right now that I take delight in? What job, ministry, and hobbies can I do that allows me to encourage others? What goals can my spouse and I work on that aren’t focused around having a family?
If you put your emotions aside and find things that add value to your current life, you might find that you actually appreciate life the way it is. Taking time with the Lord each day will fill your soul with satisfaction. It’ll give you a dose of peace, joy, and strength for the day. Then, as you seek His will for other areas in your life, you’ll find that you are content where He’s got you. You’ll find that you might actually prefer life without children.
I found that as I drew closer to Jesus and found His purpose for my present life, that I became at peace with not having children. I’m content to pour my passion and energy into Michael and the ministry of Hope Through Hard Times. It gives me a place where I can love others, teach, and encourage. I pray you can find something for you as well.
Now, I will admit that I still have moments. My sweet sister-in-law made our family a book of photo memories this Christmas, from when my nephew and nieces were toddlers. It was adorable, but my heart hurt looking at it. I saw Michael holding them, his face filled with joy. That hurt. My heart ached for my husband and the fact that, that longing may never be fulfilled. I think there will always be moments that spring up out of nowhere that will stir my heart towards wanting children. And that’s okay. I feel it, then I pray about it, and give it over to God. I refocus on all that I have now and am good again. Some moments last longer than others. I use it as a reminder to pray and ask God to reveal to us His plans.
Maybe His revealing is in the fact that we don’t have children. Maybe it’s the answer He desires for us. We have love to give, and it’s a reminder to us to help the widows and the orphans; to love God and love others as He so desires. It’s the love of Jesus filling us to pour out His love to those in need. It’s a good feeling, though it may feel heavy at the time. It’s a reminder to take the love He’s given us and pour it out. The painful part diminishes and our hearts fill with joy.
Parenting does the same thing. It takes the overwhelming love they feel in their hearts and pours it out on their children. It compels them to continue to love, nurture, and guide the little ones that God has given them. Just as parents do that, we can do that with others as well.
Whether not having children is a temporary thing for you, or a lifetime plan from God, it is okay. Your life has so much purpose on its own that having children or not only plays a small part. Use your life for what God intends and don’t allow yourself to get lost in the grief of not having something you desire. Take those moments of grief when they come, give it to the Lord and allow Him to comfort you. Then press on towards finding creative ways to use your gifts and skills to help others.