Deliberate Childlessness: Moral Rebellion With a New Face
Married couples who choose to be childless are revolting against God's design.
BY: Albert Mohler
Morally speaking, the epidemic in this regard has nothing to do with those married couples who desire children but are for any reason unable to have them, but in those who are fully capable of having children but reject this intrusion in their lifestyle.
The motto of this new movement of chosen childlessness could be encapsulated by the bumper sticker put out by the Zero Population Growth group in the 1970s: "MAKE LOVE, NOT BABIES." This is the precise worldview the Scripture rejects. Marriage, sex, and children are part of one package. To deny any part of this wholeness is to reject God's intention in creation--and His mandate revealed in the Bible.
The sexual revolution has had many manifestations, but we can now see that modern Americans are determined not only to liberate sex for marriage [and even from gender], but also from procreation.
The Scripture does not even envision married couples who choose not to have children. The shocking reality is that some Christians have bought into this lifestyle and claim childlessness as a legitimate option. The rise of modern contraceptives has made this technologically possible. But the fact remains that though childlessness may be made possible by the contraceptive revolution, it remains a form of rebellion against God's design and order.
Couples are not given the option of chosen childlessness in the biblical revelation. To the contrary, we are commanded to receive children with joy as God's gifts, and to raise them in the nurture and admonition of the Lord. We are to find many of our deepest joys and satisfactions in the raising of children within the context of the family. Those who reject children want to have the joys of sex and marital companionship without the responsibilities of parenthood. They rely on others to produce and sustain the generations to come.
This epidemic of chosen childlessness will not be corrected by secular rethinking. In an effort to separate the pleasure of sex from the power of procreation, modern Americans think that sex totally free from constraint or conception is their right. Children, of course, do represent a serious constraint on the life of parents. Parenthood is not a hobby, but represents one of the most crucial opportunities for the making of saints found in this life.
The culture is clearly buying into this concept. Legal fights over apartment complexes and other accommodations come down to the claim that adults ought to be able to live in a child-free environment. Others claim that too much tax money and public attention is given to children, and that this is an unfair imposition upon those who choose not to "breed." Of course, the very use of this terminology betrays the rebellion in this argument. Animals breed. Human beingsprocreate
and raise children to the glory of God.
Without doubt, children do impose themselves upon our creature comforts, waking us up in the middle of the night with demanding needs and inconvenient interruptions. Parents learn all too quickly that children are not only the smiling cherub sleeping in the crib, but also the dirty-faced preschooler, the headstrong teenager, and the boisterous grade-schooler.
The church should insist that the biblical formula calls for adulthood to mean marriage and marriage to mean children. This reminds us of our responsibility to raise boys to behusbands
and girls to bewives
. God's glory is seen in this, for the family is a critical arena where the glory of God is either displayed or denied. It is just as simple as that. The church must help this society regain its sanity on the gift of children. Willful barrenness and chosen childlessness must be named as moral rebellion. To demand that marriage means sex--but not children--is to defraud the creator of His joy and pleasure in seeing the saints raising His children. That is just the way it is. No kidding.