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  • Josephine Hirschfeld

4 • PURSUING PREGNANCY

Updated: Sep 23, 2021


If you’ve gotten past the first few posts, kudos to you. I’ve either offended you to the moon and back or I’ve given you some confidence in your own closeted reformation. So on to the topic of raising kids!


Let’s just rip the band aid off and introduce my stance on child-rearing right away. I believe that having children is not an option given by God to married couples.


That wasn’t so bad, was it? Well given the popular narrative of today’s surrounding culture, you can probably see why this was added to my list of “offensive opinions.” The world around us shouts from the mountaintops that kids are a bummer. They’re too much work, too much money, too much time. If you have children you may not be able to travel as much. You may be stuck watching a little league game instead of attending a wine-tasting party. You could get baby poop on your favorite blouse. And don’t even get me started on how ugly you’ll feel once a child pops out of your nether regions.


But as Christians, shouldn’t we be tuned in to what Christ wants for our lives? Not to mention all the reasons listed above for not wanting kids are extremely selfish and narcissistic. The Bible has a clear calling on the lives of married women: be fruitful and multiply. When we read the great commission, this is fleshed out even more: make sure your kids get baptized and follow Jesus.


Over and over again God’s word tells us that children are a blessing from the Lord (Psalm 113:9, 128:3, Proverbs 31:28), an inheritance (Psalm 78:6, 128:6, 147:13, Proverbs 17:6), and arrows in our quivers (Psalm 127:3-5). Who are we to say to our dad on Christmas morning that the pair of skis he bought us sucks because it’s going to take too much effort to learn how to use them? Even more so are we to turn to God and reject his perfect gifts because we’d rather be eating croissants in Paris or something? What utter rebellion!


We are all human and therefore all depraved. No one blinks an eye when a career-focused woman outside of the church announces she has no intention of raising kids. But how much more disconcerting is it to hear a Christian woman declare her absolute disgust for little people? You can’t help but cringe inside because something is not quite right, even if you can’t put your finger on why.


I distinctly remember a conversation I had with half a dozen close friends on a cabin retreat to Wisconsin. None of us had gotten married yet, and we were all either college graduated or about to be. Somehow the conversation turned to children, and I was totally floored when all but one friend confidently proclaimed that they would never have kids. You have to understand that we had all been going to a Christian university, and I knew that they loved Jesus. When I asked why raising children was not part of their plans, the responses were hauntingly similar to those that worldy women would disclose.


At the time I knew that something was wrong with this picture, but I couldn’t figure it out. It bothered me for some time after that, and I was regularly reminded of their perspective because since then I have had many Christian couples tell me the same thing. It wasn’t until I turned to God’s word for answers that I realized how truly awful their selfishness was.


Can there be a circumstance in which not having children would be acceptable in God’s eyes? Abso-freaking-lutely. The obvious example is the couple who’s not able to conceive. I would encourage this couple to adopt! There are so many kids in so many countries that need loving parents. What better way for a couple to display the Gospel in a tangible way than to take another child as their own and give him/her a home, an inheritance, and a hope?


Some couples are very young when they get married. They may not be financially stable (still both in college, living in parents’ home, etc) and therefore may postpone trying for a baby until they have some money in the bank. It is wise to plan and provide for the future growth of your family, but spend some time discussing this with your pastor if you feel you’re in this position. Regardless, this should absolutely never be used as an excuse to let the couple “live a little” before children wreck their lives…because it just perpetuates the misconception that children would wreck their lives. I would also warn heavily against preventing conception in order to pay off student loans, buy a first home, or other life goals that will take several years to achieve. As expensive as children are (though not nearly as much as childless feminists will lead you to believe), God will absolutely provide for the needs of your family if he blesses you with a baby or two (Proverbs 14:26, Psalm 102:28, Psalm 37:25).


Likewise some couples are quite a bit older when they marry. They fear that even if they were able to conceive, they may experience significant trouble in pregnancy and birth. They also wonder if they would be able to give their kids a good life, knowing that they may not be around to give their daughters away in marriage, meet grandchildren, or be able to keep up with their kids as they advance in age. In these cases, I would also encourage couples to speak with their pastor so someone is able to shepherd over them as they make these tough decisions. In the end, they would have to trust that God would bless them with children if he wanted them to be parents, but I wouldn’t declare their actions sinful if they decided to avoid conception.


This brings us to the inevitable topic of birth control. There are many opinions surrounding the various methods and whether or not using preventative measures at all is okay. Abortion is obviously sick and depraved and evil and murderous (Ezekiel 23:37-39, Leviticus 20:1-3). But where does that leave us when considering hormonal pills or condoms? Some would say that they feel convicted to not prevent conception ever, and that whatever the Lord gives is considered a blessing. I do not fault these couples in the least.


For everyone else I would encourage couples to do their research diligently and read the studies that are involved in the different methods of prevention. Any pill or practice that is purely contraceptive (preventing the meeting of egg and sperm) is ethical if your reasons for preventing are Godly. Anything outside of that (such as Plan B or the morning after pill) is an abortifacient. These methods keep your babies from developing as they naturally would, eventually causing their death in the womb.


That being said, I know that there is a really strong presence in the reformed community that has come to the conclusion that hormonal birth control of any kind (including implants, daily pills, IUDs, etc) has an abortifacient feature that works as a backup plan if you do happen to conceive. After reading the available studies and research, I did not land here. My husband and I used hormonal birth control (which didn’t keep us from conceiving our first) and may use it again in the future. Speak to your prolife doctor about any concerns as we did, and don’t be convinced of anything only because a lot of people seem to be swayed in a certain direction.


So should you have kids? If you’re married and able to, almost always that answer is resoundingly YES! Will you be able to afford it? Probably. Get used to sacrificing your time, energy, money, and everything else. Will you be able to handle it? Probably not. But it’s a good thing that our God is sufficient to provide for all of our needs. What if pregnancy wrecks your body? What a good opportunity to root your identity in Christ. What if you’re miserable being a mom? Time for an attitude adjustment; the God who is able to grow a child in your womb out of nothing is perfectly capable of growing joy in your heart regardless of the circumstances.


It turns out that having kids is actually not about you in the end anyways. God is much more concerned with his glory than making you comfortable. Children have a knack for exposing all the secret sins we didn’t know were hidden in our hearts, and praise God that he is continuing to mold our lives to look more and more like Christ (Philippians 1:6).

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