Encouragement for Moms · Family Life

The Glamorization of Childlessness

Childlessness is on the rise in our culture today.  According to a recent Time article:

  • The birthrate in the U.S. is the lowest in recorded history.
  • The fertility rate declined 9% from 2007 to 2011.
  • 1 in 5 women now do not become mothers, compared to 1 in 10 in 1970.
g9510.20_Childfree.CoverImage Credit

Notice the title of the article. “The Childfree Life: When having it all means not having children.”  The author used the term “childfree” instead of “childless” because “the most educated, highest IQ non-mothers by choice now say”, “Childlessness is for someone who wants a child but doesn’t have one.   It’s a lack.   I’m not lacking anything.” (credit)

The pictured couple is subtly smiling without a care in the world.  They are relaxed, happy, and enjoying the beach without any distractions.

But I’m not fooled.

They do not have it all.

When the world tries to paint a picture of something it deems good, Christians can most assuredly come to the conclusion that it isn’t.

Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world.  If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him.

1 John 2:15

We live in a world where childlessness is glamorized and having children is seen as foolish.  We can now “have it all” without children entering the picture.   In all honesty, there isn’t a such thing as having it all.  As Christians, we should instead seek God’s will in all things, knowing that nothing could be better than His best for us.  Instead, we are told to be selfish, and to “sow to our own flesh.”

Do not be deceived: God is not mocked, for whatever one sows, that will he also reap. For the one who sows to his own flesh will from the flesh reap corruption, but the one who sows to the Spirit will from the Spirit reap eternal life.

Galatians 6:7-8

We need to look to God and not the world in regards to having children.  Don’t be fooled by the glamorization of purposed childlessness.  (I’m not talking about infertility here.) If we listen to the world, in the end we will be found lacking.

Let’s view children for what they truly are…

caabbaby-picture-1

Momma, our time on earth is short.  I plan to be counter-cultural, raising my children for the Lord.  Do you?

19 thoughts on “The Glamorization of Childlessness

  1. this is so true and a lesson I need to take to heart. a life lived for self only leads to emptiness but Jesus says “whosoever shall lose his life for my sake shall find it” I need to realize that is not my children or husband that cause me dissatisfaction, but my own selfish attitude. There is nothing so satisfying as caring for others and knowing that you are following God’s will. I need to keep that in perspective.

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  2. That Time article just made me sad. There’s such a disdain for those of us who choose to have children now. When my husband and I announced we were pregnant with #3, some of the most hurtful responses we received were from our Christian friends. How sad the way things have changed in our society 😦

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  3. I think it’s inconsiderate of you to say that child free people “do not have it all.” You can still have a fulfilling life and do good in the world without having children. I’ve seen people who do have children just because the Lord says to and not because they want to, and they aren’t very good parents. I am glad that being child free is embraced now, because not everybody wants children (and that’s ok!) and kids will know if a parent resents them.

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    1. The point of that sentence is that nobody can “have it all” regardless of their circumstances. I explained that a bit further into the post. Blessings to you!

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  4. Thanks for this post! I think the issue has everything to do with our attitude. As Christians we should be learning to submit and surrender to God’s plans for our lives. That doesn’t point to any specific way of living – children, no children, birth control or not, occupation, etc – but rather to a state of our hearts. The problem is that even in the church young people and couples are not counseled or encouraged to actually pray about their future family and let God lead them in the decision making process. Neither are we exhorting others to allow the Lord to examine our hearts and our motives for wanting or not wanting children. Again, it’s not about the end but about the means – are we as beleivers submitting our family plans to God or not? We cannot presume to know how He will lead us or others , but we can encourage each other to give more and more of our lives under the control of the Holy Spirit, trusting In His infinite wisdom and not our own nor in the wisdom of the world around us.

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  5. This is a reminder I needed to hear from a Christian woman today – the stress of being a mom can turn ugly as the world seeps in (granted I have allowed it) but then the route out seems impossible. Thank you for a clear directive and encouragement. Children are a blessing and the work that comes with them is also a blessing – there is no need to think of it any other way.

    I’d love for you to share this with my Cozy Reading Spot (a little hop) because I am sure other mothers would be encouraged by this. It is open all weekend

    Marissa
    http://forfunreadinglist.blogspot.com/2013/08/cozy-reading-spot_22.html

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  6. Wow, this is a really powerful blog post. I actually felt like I was being quite selfish in wanting children. We tried for so long to fall pregnant and when we finally did it felt like a miracle, it was so unlikely. Now I am a mother and pregnant again (an unexpected blessing) and struggling. And I sometimes look back at life before children and I do think about how nice it was to be able to just do what I wanted, when I wanted. Unfortunately I have had to virtually leave my church because there is almost no provision for toddlers. And feel quite alone as a Christian mother.

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    1. I do not know what type/size church you are in but I urge to either make what you have work or find a church that works for you. There are some really great blogs out there about how to keep toddlers occupied during big church. And there are great benefits to having your young children in church with you. If that simply will not work where you are start looking for another church one that has a nursery or toddler program. It is imperative that you find other Christian women to support you during these child raising year. God bless you.

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  7. When I was young I did not think I wanted children. I grew up in a full house and I knew we and my parents “missed out” on a lot because funds were stretched thin. But my mother gently (not always so gently, LOL) nudged me to reconsider. Now I am 37 with 5 kids ages 12-3. I sometimes wonder what my husband and I were thinking having so many kids (one is adopted). How will we ever provide college for them all. Will they resent having “missed out” because of our decision. Then I remember God has ordained it this way and not only will it all be OK, it will be (is) blessed.

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  8. Hi Nicole,

    It disgusts me that so many people are deciding not to have children just to live a “free” life. My mom always says she wanted more that one child, but she could only have me due to medial reasons. If this is the case for any woman, there is nothing wrong with it, nor is it wrong if she feels that she is incapable in her situation (mental problems, abusive partner, bad surroundings, etc). However, when young people decide to ditch marriage and have many partners, it’s really just stupidity. We’re living in a world where it’s old fashioned to get married in your twenties, not have sex before marriage, and where children are seen as accidents on nervously taken pregnancy tests. It is just sad to see what we have come to these days. Let us all pray that the Lord will shine rays of light on us.

    God Bless!

    Lilla

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  9. Actually IMHO it doesn’t seem like many believe it’s old-fashioned to get married in your twenties, but having children in your twenties is another story. Sometimes it seems like “26 is the new 16.” when it comes to motherhood these days.

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    1. Yeah, I got married at 18, and among my very conservative Christian community, that’s fairly accepted. But when I got pregnant shortly thereafter and had our first child at age 19, boy, did some people talk! It was no one’s business, but even some of my staunchly “Christian” family acted like it was a tragedy that we were being “cursed” with a baby at such a young age! I’m sure there were some that speculated that “we had to get married” even though I didn’t get pregnant until 2 weeks after our wedding. Most of the girls in our churches think nothing of going on the Pill, and those that don’t are thought to be kinda strange (hopefully that is changing) Families that have more than 4 or 5 kids sometimes get comments like “haven’t they heard of Birth Control?” This is why, in the Conservative Christian movement, we need to focus on having our hearts right, instead of focusing on rules to the extent that we become judgmental Pharisees. We have such a tendency to compare ourselves and disparage anyone who is slightly different. I have seen many people, that while looking the part of a Christian, have no kindness or love in their hearts for fellow believers that choose to go against the norm because of their personal convictions.

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  10. Wow is all I can come up with. All I could think of as I read the Time article is that the world is the ultimate in selfishness… That’s the opposite of God!

    Thank you, Nicole, for these important words! Praise God for using you to get the message out.

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  11. I agree 1000%. I understand that some people may not feel ready for children, or may be infertile- that’s 100% okay. But when it boils down to selfishness, like the fear of being woken up at two in the morning, or not being able to drink, or perhaps not being so intimate- there’s something incorrect about that notion. I mean, I have no right to judge anybody, but I think that children are one of life’s greatest blessings, and those child free people are just cheating themselves out of this wonderful gift God has given us!

    I read this on a t shirt somewhere and loved it- “Having too many children is like having too many flowers!”

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  12. If children are a blessing from God, then I feel like there’s a lot going against me in being able to raise my own children successfully should I ever have any, such as having a poor relationship with my own mother, not having nieces or nephews I’ve had to take care of and having hardly any experience with dealing with children. When it comes to dealing with other people’s kids, I am clueless as to what to do or say to them. I am single and as far as I’m aware I’m not infertile. Help on this one please.

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    1. Hi Anne! While we are not all called by God to be mothers, I do believe that the Bible is clear that children are always blessings. Believe me, I was in the exact.same.spot. as you are once upon a time. Once I had my first child, everything changed. Thank you so much for stopping by, and may God bless you!

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