Why Do You Want Children?

Having children is a social expectation. If you’re going for a Biblical answer, it was a covenantal command given to Adam, Noah, and Abraham. It’s just what you’re supposed to do, right?

Have you ever thought why you want to have children? You might have had general ideas come to mind, but I challenge you to take time this week to ponder this question. Aside from what you think others want, list your top three reasons:




What stands out to you in your answers?

Is it because you want to teach children about Jesus? Do you want to see the next generation rise up as ambassadors for Christ? Is it to have someone who looks and acts like the two of you; to carry the family name and legacy? To have someone take care of you when you get older? As a woman, is it because you’ve always dreamed about being pregnant and/or feeling that connection of another life within you? Is it because you want to fit in with your friends, since they’re all having children? Or because you want to dress your kids up in the cutest clothes?

Some of these are deeply rooted and others more superficial. Whatever your answers are gives you an indication of where your heart’s investment is on the subject.

For the genuinely beautiful reasons of wanting to raise and teach children in the way of the Lord, there are things you can do to help with this. I know it is on a different level to be able to raise your own children in your teaching of God’s word to them. However, there are many families in the here and now that are desperate for someone else to come alongside their children. As kids grow up, they begin to look more outside of their home for answers to their questions. If you’ve invested in someone else’s children, they’ll most likely turn to you for advice because you’ve developed their trust and shown your love and care for them. You’re safe to them and they turn to you primarily because you’re not their parent. There likely won’t be judgement/greater reactions when they share things with you as there might be with their parents.

Though the child isn’t under your roof and you can’t implement what you feel the best way of parenting should be, you still have a great call and responsibility as a servant of God to disciple others. While you wait for God’s direction about the possibility of children, consider there are lots of other ones around desperate for your love and care. Then, if the Lord does provide you with a child, you will already have had practice in learning how to handle a variety of situations.

There are other answers you might have written down which are driven more by human desire. None of these are wrong. It’s normal to have Jesus-centered desires as well as naturally human-focused ones in parenting. Your answers will be unique to you, and will allow you to see the real and deep longings you have for children.

Here are some of the reasons I wanted to have children:

  1. To teach them about Jesus
  2. To have the experience of being pregnant and bonding with a child while nursing
  3. To enjoy the connection with my friends hoping our children would be friends with theirs someday

Here’s my human heart behind reasons two and three:

2) Identifies my human desire/craving to feel the sensations of new life growing within me and the beautiful connection that nursing a child brings. Is it wrong to want this? No. However, when I look at the very root of it, it is entirely something for me. It’s a God-given bond between a mother and child, but it won’t ultimately bring me lasting fulfillment. It would be for a short time comparatively to hopefully the entirety of the child’s life. He/she would have no recollection of it. It would be incredible to experience the miracle of God’s creation cycle within me, but it wouldn’t be fulfilling long term This temporary feeling would only last approximately five months-two years (depending on when I would start feeling the baby move during pregnancy to however long I’d be able to breastfeed (if at all)).

Almost every woman I’ve talked with who’s been pregnant has not had a wonderful experience. There’s been pain, sleepless nights, unenjoyable changes to her body and hormones, etc. I can glorify pregnancy in my mind, dreaming of feeling a kick or seeing the figure of a hand pressed against the wall of my womb. I can imagine all the cute clothes I would wear showing off the bump and the joy of watching my belly grow knowing there’s life inside. But again, those thoughts are temporary and more around how I would feel, not the child.

3) Community is very important. We were not created to live isolated or struggle for survival against others. We were designed to be joined together to work towards a mission of bringing glory to God. Wanting my friendship to deepen with loved ones and having the possibility of their children forming friendships with my little ones is a natural expectation of love and community. I know that my children would benefit from those relationships.

However, it can be a humanly motivated thought. What would my children’s personalities be like? Would they enjoy my friend and her children? I can’t determine ahead of time whether I’ll have a boy or girl, how many, or their needs, nor can I plan my pregnancies to be at the same time as my friend. So, it’s unfair to me and others to have these expectations when so many factors are outside of my control. Most people I know who’ve been friends rarely have children grow up to be great friends. This shows me that the main focus is humanistic rather than long-lasting.

This isn’t an easy post to write. It pokes deep into the heart and pulls out some tough stuff. As hard as it is, it’s also freeing.

It’s hard because it shows in some ways the desire you have for yourself and temporary fulfillment. It might also uproot a deeper issue – that perhaps you’re trying to make God adhere to your desires instead of making your desires align with His. This is a natural process for everyone. As we grow in our relationships with Christ, this gap should lessen.

The freeing part is revealed in this discovery. If this is the case for you, this will show you where you’re struggling the most with the Lord. Perhaps it shows that you don’t trust Him or that what you think you want is more important than what He desires for you. It might reveal that your hope is in having children more than resting in the assured hope of Jesus.

Though it can be frustrating to always hear everything pointing back to Jesus, this will and should always be your ultimate focus. Satisfaction and purpose for your life will only ever be found in Jesus. Nothing else, including children, will ever fully satisfy the longing Christ put within you for Him.

“For our momentary light affliction is producing for us an absolutely incomparable eternal weight of glory. So we do not focus on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.” 1 Corinthians 4:17-18

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