By Joshua Crutchfield
In a recent article published by Time Magazine, entitled “None is Enough,” Lauren Sandler presents the growing trend of couples opting to live what she calls a “childfree” life. She uses the term childfree to highlight the positive decision couples make in not having children. In a 2010 survey, it was shown that 1 and 5 women, ages 40–44, had chosen to not have children.
While highlighting the positive side of couples not having children, she victimizes the childfree by portraying the oppressive “ambient roar” of those who have children. Those with children tend to pressure, criticize, and look at couples without children with repugnance. Yet, more and more couples are choosing to go through life free of children.
The main reason stated by Sandler that couples are moving away from the traditional family model and living kid-free is for the couple’s own personal freedom. Having kids would prevent them from living the lifestyle they would want. Money would have to go to providing diapers, formula, doctors, and more diapers, instead of going towards random road trips, late night outings with friends, and an open pocketbook for whatever their hearts desire.
This shift in lifestyle is depicted in the article’s graphics where two very different couples are at the beach. The first couple conveniently rests under an umbrella, clanging their champagne glasses together. This couple is clearly enjoying life. The second couples, seen on the adjacent page with two children, present a completely different outlook on life—the life with children. The husband is painfully dragging a wagon filled with items associated with the kids who are following his disgruntled looking wife. Unlike the first couple, this family looked completely miserable. The message is loud and clear—life is most enjoyable without children. While this message is not surprising to hear from a culture bent on dissolving the home, it is surprising that many couples within the church have chosen the childfree lifestyle.
In the article, Sandler mentions a couple, formerly members of a church in Nashville, who felt that the church was “oppressively family-centric.” They were constantly bombarded with the message that godly couples should “procreate for the kingdom.” As a result, the couple and many like them, abandoned the church to pursue the free life they desire without the constant droning in their ears that they should have children. With the drastic shift of married couples within the church moving away from having children, the question should be asked, is such a decision biblical?
*Important note: I understand that there are couples who are trying to have kids but are physically incapable of doing so, this is an altogether different discussion, and I am praying that God would bless those couples.
When reading the creation account (Genesis 1–2), you will find that there is only one thing that is seen as “not good”—Adam was alone. He was in need of a helper and so God provided him his wife, Eve. Yet, when you look at the creation account and you see that there was something wrong with Adam’s being alone, it was because he needed a helper. So what was Adam in need of help with? Maintaining the garden? Naming the animals.
While Adam may have been in need of assistance in those areas, there was one area in need of much assistance—procreation. Adam could not procreate without Eve. God had created male and female. He made them in His image, and He made them to subdue and fill the earth.
This mandate is nowhere removed or overturned anywhere in Scripture. God has created marriage and its main purpose is for producing families.
As some couples choose to abandon God’s purpose for marriage due to it’s inhibiting their ability to live as they please, I find it interesting that the same thought is not given to the restrictions provided by marriage. As couples come together in marriage, this brings about many lifestyle changes, many changes in finances, and a significant limitation in an individual’s freedom. A husband can no longer go out with the guys as he used to or stay out all hours of the night like he once did, but now he must make decisions based on his commitment to his wife.
It is alarming that Christian couples wish to not have children for no other reason but for the purpose of living a selfish lifestyle. Their ignoring the God-ordained purpose of marriage outright rejects the value of children (Psalm 115:14; and 127:3, 4), God’s love for them (Matthew 18:3; 19:13–14; and Mark 10:14), and ultimately undermines His authority (Genesis 1:28). Christian couples will always have excuses, much like non-Christian couples, but they have something different than what other couples have—faith in Christ. Their lives and will are altered by their relationship with Him, and as a result, no excuse should be given for disobedience.
Having children will drastically change your way of living. They will affect how you sleep, your wallet, your day-to-day schedule, but they will also prove God’s Word to be true the moment you greet your children into this world. You might not be able to see what life would be like with children, but after having children, you would not be able to have life without them.
Joshua Crutchfield is Pastor of FBC Trenton, TX and tweets from @J4Crutch.
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