To Have or Not To Have

To Have or Not to Have . . . That is the question.

After Paul and I had been married for several years, it was the natural conversation to have:  so . . . wanna have kids?

Growing up, my number one life goal and plan was to be a wife and a mom.  It was all I wanted to be.  Yeah, I wanted to be a teacher, too, but it was certainly secondary.  In fact, I’m not sure I decided to be a teacher until I was in college and had to come up with something to do with my life.

When Paul and I began to have those thoughts and conversations of whether or not to have children, we both were a bit surprised at our answer.  No. 

We decided that NO we weren’t going to have children.  It’s not that we didn’t like children because we did.  It’s not that we were scared or nervous or weirded out because we weren’t.  Our decision to NOT have children was a very logical — oddly unemotional — decision.

You see, as we thought of WHY to have children, we could only come up with selfish answers.  –To have someone to care for me when I’m old.  –To enjoy their cuteness.  –To create a mini-ME.  –To pass on the things that are important to me.  (These aren’t really the reasons that we listed, but you get the idea. . . . they all seemed like selfish answers.)

One day Paul and I were visiting with a college friend — a single guy who was off being successful in his career.  Probably he had had no thoughts of the pros and cons of having children.  Paul explained our predicament and decision to our friend.  Without hesitation, this friend corrected us, shocked that we had come to that conclusion at all.

He explained that having children was the most –absolutely most — selfless thing a person could do.  To put everything in your life aside in order to raise a child was the greatest act of selflessness he could imagine.  To give of your  finances in order to provide for your child.  To give of your time and your plan in order to accomodate and nuture a child.  Having children is a total redo of your priorities in order to raise that child.

Our friend added some more good points to his argument.  The Bible teaches us to procreate . . . to have children. . . . to fill the earth.  He explained that it is pretty clear that the plan is for couples to have children.  If we decide NOT to have children, then we need to have a reason not to — not the other way around.  It’s not up to us to find a reason to have children.  God has told us to do so, and the act of having and raising children is not selfish.  period.

And that was that.  We decided right there on the spot that we would have children after all.  Granted, it was still several years away since we had some fertility issues, but we decided that day to have children.

And today we have 3.   And I am focusing this year on delighting in them.  They do delight me.  I just sometimes am too busy to stop and enjoy them and delight in them. 

Delight in 2012


4 responses to this post.

  1. I’m so far behind! I’m trying to get caught up and have come here at least four times but still haven’t made it through the posts!

    Thanks for all of your supporting comments about homeschooling. Your kind words have made such a difference to me!


    • Hi, Debbi. No problem that you’re behind . . . you’ve been busy!! 🙂 Keep it up, girl! Loving keeping up with you girls and your journey.


  2. It’s so funny how one person can change your perspective and affect your whole life in such a wonderful way! What a great friend he was/is.

    “Delight in 2012” is perfect!


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