A few days ago I found myself at the doctor’s office, staring at a young woman in her early twenties holding and rocking her newborn baby. I could not help but be a bit envious, as Luke and I would love to have a baby right now in our early 30s.
People often say, “You are never ready to have a baby, so just go for it,” but I disagree with this statement.
There is profound wisdom in waiting for God’s timing and trusting God’s plan, when it comes to reproducing offspring. Being a parent means that you are prepared to sacrifice everything for another human being. It means that career and ministry goals will need to be placed on the back burner for a while.
For a woman, pregnancy might mean that you have to get off medications that you are dependent on to function in life in order not to risk birth defects.
It also might mean 9 months of uncomfortable pregnancy symptoms. Further, a woman’s job can sometimes be threatened in the case of pregnancy and maternity leave. Also, a woman who wants to nurse her infant has to consider how she is going to do that and also go back to work, if she wants to keep her job.
Before having a baby, couples must ask themselves if they are ready for a lack of sleep and energy. They must also ask themselves if they can afford to take care of another human. Other pressing questions include: who will stay home with the baby? Who will work? Will we seek daycare options?
Scripture speaks to seasons in life:
“For everything there is a season, a time for every activity under heaven. A time to be born and a time to die. A time to plant and a time to harvest (Ecclesiastes 3:1-2).”
I understand the stress of wanting a baby now, but also knowing that it is not yet God’s timing for this to happen. Many women and men are stressed about finding a mate and reproducing. For those of us who dream of marriage and children, there is often a deep fear that we will miss out on these things due to aging.
Scripture also speaks to anxiety:
“Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own (Matthew 6:34).”
We should never make decisions out of fear of the future. As children of God, we are to run in freedom, taking one day at a time.
A couple of years ago, I had a miscarriage. I was only about 6 weeks along, but it was a painful loss. Since I was a teenager, I have struggled with hormonal imbalance, which causes severe and chronic migraines and a host of other issues. After this happened, I realized that I was not quite healthy enough to manage nine months of pregnancy and then the lack of sleep that comes with a newborn.
I have sensed God telling me to focus on getting healthier first, which is what I have been doing for the past couple of years. I lost about 40 pounds, and I am getting healthier, but I am not quite prepared to have a baby yet.
Further, I have worked non-stop on building a solid and sustainable ministry, and I sense that it’s not the right time to put ministry on the back-burner. In 2017, I will be speaking in several different states, and traveling can be hard on me even without being pregnant or having a newborn.
I have decided that I would be wise to wait another year or two before trying to get pregnant again. This is the decision my husband and I have peace with, even though our hearts long for a child.
Here is what I want to say to my sisters: don’t let anyone make you feel bad for not finding a spouse yet, not having a baby yet, and putting your health, career, or whatever first right now.
Having a husband and children does not make anyone more spiritual or more of a godly woman. As Christian women, our highest calling is not marriage or motherhood, but, rather, to follow Christ.
I have a great girlfriend who has decided that she never wants to have children, and that is OK too. Instead, she wants to dedicate her life to her career and travel. If a woman does not desire to have a child, we should never pressure them to do so. Bringing a child into this world is among the greatest responsibilities that men and women face.
I also know some women and men who sense a calling towards singleness, and that is a beautiful choice, too.
Further, there are some couples who simply cannot get pregnant, which is a painful reality to deal with, and these couples do not need any judgmental comments.
The truth is that having a baby radically changes people’s lives, and that is why we should use wisdom and contraception if necessary, until we are prepared for such changes. There is no fear in Jesus Christ, and God’s timing and plans for our lives are always perfect.
“Wait patiently for the LORD. Be brave and courageous. Yes, wait patiently for the LORD (Psalm 27:14).”
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