Mother’s Day When Childless by Choice

I actually wrote this several years ago and thought I’d re-post with it being Mother’s Day weekend.

My take on Mother’s Day:  Mother’s Day is a great holiday and one in which we can honor our mothers and the impact they have had on our lives. However, for many people, this is a painful holiday. Perhaps because they long to be mothers themselves. For others, their own mother has passed away or they don’t have a good relationship. Perhaps they live far away from family.
For the childfree, Mother’s Day can be a good opportunity to spend time with our own mothers, thanking them for all they’ve done for us. But Mother’s Day can seem artificial and superfluous since we are not mothers ourselves. In Christian circles, most churches seem to emphasize mothers on this particular day, making it difficult for the childfree to feel comfortable going to church on this holiday. Even if not being mothers is a choice that we have made, the over-emphasis on this particular holiday can be difficult to endure.
While honoring our mothers is important, it is also important to remember that not being a mother is fine too. In many ways, we can offer our contributions of being women to society without the motherhood aspect. We all have unique abilities and gifts which we can offer to others. Often our time and money is freed to contribute to important and worthwhile endeavors. For the childfree that like children, being a part of children’s lives while not being the parent can be very rewarding. Perhaps we can make a difference in a child’s life.

And to add:
Let’s honor our mothers while being sensitive to those who struggle with this holiday. While it is important to be sensitive to this issue, I do not think the answer is offering gifts to all women so some don’t feel left out. That devalues the point of it being Mother’s Day and honoring mothers. It just turns it into Women’s Day instead. We can honor mothers, while also pointing out that there are many ways that women contribute to those around them even without being a physical mother. Not everyone is called to be a mother. We are called as Christians to glorify God in whatever we do, whatever stage in life we are currently in, we are to follow God and honor Him with our lives, whether that be through motherhood, through friendship, through marriage, through singleness, through mentoring, through our jobs or anything else that God leads us to be involved in.


Lies Women Believe – About Children

Lie: It’s up to us to determine the size of our family.
Truth: God is the Creator and Giver of life. Anything that hinders or discourages women from fulfilling their God-given calling to be bearers and nurturers of life furthers Satan’s schemes and aids his efforts.

Lie: Children need to get exposed to the “real world” so that they can learn to function in it.
Truth: Our task is not to raise children who can fit into this world or merely survive in it but to bring up children who will be used by God to change the world.

Lie: All children will go through a rebellious stage.
Truth: Parents cannot force their children to walk with God, but they can model godliness and cultivate a climate in the home that creates an appetite for God and is conducive to the spiritual nurture and growth of their children.

Lie: I know my child is a Christian because he prayed to receive Christ at an early age.
Truth: Parents who assume their children know the Lord, regardless of their lifestyle, may be giving their children a false sense of security and may not be praying appropriately for their children.

Lie: We are not responsible for how our children turn out.
Truth: Parents have enormous influence in molding the lives of their children by their example, their teaching, and their leadership.

Psalm 127:3-5 calls children a reward. I’ve seen the gift they are to a couple who couldn’t have children and adopted. The world often portrays the “you can have it all” lie to women, encouraging them to pursue a career and put children lower on their priority list. For a woman who wants to have more children and her husband thinks they have enough already, I would advise to wait on the Lord and let Him bring about what is best. This is an area that a couple should be in agreement upon before God.
Cultural influences that seem to be especially harmful to young children are violent TV shows and video games. One of the ways that Christian parents can do to try to whet their children’s appetite for God’s Word is to have a family devotional time that is fun and enriching, where Bible stories come alive.
Our culture has made it easier for people to profess faith without showing any true signs in their life by talking about grace and emphasizing forgiveness over repentance. It’s not wise to assume that just because someone grew up in a Christian home that they have made the decision to follow Christ for themselves. The evidence will be seen in the fruits that they show and the life that they live.
There is a balance between a parent’s responsibility and God’s provision. We must trust God with our children. Deuteronomy 6:4-9 and Proverbs 4:11 talk about being role models for our kids.

Prayer – ask God for wisdom and grace to parent and be an influence and role model, for God to intervene in each child’s life, for protection from harmful influences and a love for righteousness, and for God’s purposes to be fulfilled in the next generation.

Some of my thoughts on this particular section:
Didn’t get much out of it since I don’t have children! Don’t really agree with her stance on “it’s up to us to decide the size of our family” as being a lie. Sure, God ultimately is behind the number of children a couple has, but He also gives us intelligence and wisdom to properly use the resources that He’s given us. To me it would be irresponsible to have several children and not be able to provide for their physical and emotional needs. There’s nothing wrong with having a large family, but it’s not for everyone. I could not physically and emotionally provide for several children. 

Choices – Living Your Own Life

Jono and I made the decision during our engagement that we did not plan to have children. This decision has remained and is still our choice after almost 13 years of marriage. Most people that know this is our choice have been accepting of it and have not tried to argue with us regarding it. This has not been the experience for many people who have chosen childlessness. Often those who choose not to have children get grief from others over this choice. Yet really it is a choice – an individual or couple’s choice. We each have to live our own life and make our own choices. We cannot make the choice for other people’s lives. They are the ones who have to live with the consequences of their choices, just as we have to live with the consequences of our choices.

It seems that often people will judge other people’s choices. Why do we do this? We often do not know all the facts of the situation and the reasons behind their particular choices. So how can we judge the choice that they have made? They are the ones that have to answer to God for their choices, not us. Just as we have to answer to God about our own choices in life. Ultimately the choices we make our between us and God (and our spouse if we are married). We do not have to try to please other people – God is the one whom we are to honor and glorify with our lives.