Tuesday, May 1, 2007

Plenty of Selfishness to Go Around

At this point in life, God has still not revealed to me if children are in my future. As I get closer to the big 3–0, this lack of direction has become increasingly troubling for me. I find myself questioning whether it's really that God hasn’t told me to have kids, or if He has, but I don't want to listen to Him because I don’t want to give anything up.

I’ll be the first to admit that my reasons for being unenthusiastic about having children are mostly selfish. I enjoy my freedom and my discretionary income, and I’m not too excited about the bodily wear and tear that results from childbirth. I enjoy being able to invest in my friends and in my church without having to think of a child first. And I have an amazing relationship with my spouse that I don’t want to be changed by anything. I love my life just the way it is.

My husband and I were talking about this issue yesterday, and we realized we were taking for granted that having a child is a selfless thing to do. We started discussing the reasons why people have kids, and decided that selfish motives aren’t exclusive to the childfree.

If you really get down to it, the main reasons people choose to have kids seem to involve PERSONAL fulfillment! Some people want something to love that will unconditionally love them back. Others dream of reliving the joy of their own childhoods, and getting it right where their parents erred. Sadly many people have children in an attempt to fix a failing marriage, which of course never works. But in any case, even though parents certainly make sacrifices to raise their children, they do so in hopes of achieving some sort of greater reward for themselves.

Awhile back, I asked my Dad why he decided to have kids, and he answered by simply saying, “Because I wanted to be a father.” No further explanation, no stupid justifications about contributing to society or leaving a legacy for future generations. He had children because he knew that’s what would make him happy. I wish more people would be that honest.

People who have children aren’t any more special than those who don’t. They’re not on some noble mission, and they’re not martyrs. They’re not more mature or unselfish, and I shouldn’t feel inferior because I haven’t made the same life decisions as them. They have kids, and that makes them happy. I don’t have kids, and I’m very happy too. Simple as that.

I am not a bad person for enjoying my life as it is. I am not any more or less selfish than anyone else in this world, and I shouldn’t have to apologize for my choices just because they differ from the majority. I need to stop doubting myself and just listen to what God is telling me. I guess it’s pretty dumb to doubt that I’m really listening to God, just because I actually like what He’s saying!


Anonymous said...

It seems that by the end of your blog, you'd made up your mind.

twiga92 said...

I sometimes struggle with this too. Wondering if I'm being selfish in my choice not to have kids. I like my life the way it is, I enjoy my freedom and down time. But you're right - people have children for selfish reasons too. the important thing as christians is to follow what God would have for our own life - not others lives.