I recently connected with blogger I.Am.Free at her blog–Childfree Christian: Thoughts on the intersection of Christianity and childfreedom. She has some great thoughts and insights on being childfree and Christian. I hear from Lots of Christians who struggle with this, so I asked if she’d co-post an interview, and I am happy she agreed! First a few words from I.Am.Free:
I want to thank Laura for inviting me to “co-blog” with her. I have a great deal of respect for her, and I am grateful for her support of people who wish to be true to their faith while living a life without children.
What I have to share is coming from the perspective of a married Christian woman. Unmarried people in the church certainly have their own challenges (such as being single in a pro-marriage environment!), but I do not feel qualified to address those. And I may be wrong about this, but my observation is that unmarried Christians are given a “pass” for not having children (yet). No one in the church seems to have a problem with singles, nuns, Jesus Christ, etc., not having children, but in the church — and the culture at large — there is an expectation that marriage leads to babies. As such, much of what I am about to say pertains to married people who have chosen not to have children.
Laura: How did you come to decide you did not want children?
I.Am.Free: I do not know if it was as much a decision as it was a realization. I do not ever recall wanting to have children, but when I was a child I assumed it was just something that happened when a person grew up. However, as I entered my teenage years, I began to dread the possibility of someday having children…the idea of pregnancy and childbirth, the thought of being around babies and small children. But I remember my mother being quite open about how she used the Pill until she was ready to have me, and one day it struck me: if you could use birth control to delay having children, why not keep using it so that you never had to have children at all? This realization brought tremendous relief and clarity to me. I simply knew that I would not have children.
Laura: What factors did you consider that relate to your faith in making this decision?
I.Am.Free: Because I was such an early articulator, I cannot say that my faith had any bearing on my initial decision. At that time, it never crossed my mind that these things might be considered inconsistent or mutually exclusive.
However, as time passed, I discovered that not bearing children might actually be an expression of my faith. The Bible is full of commands and reminders to care for the poor, the suffering, the orphans; and upon being deeply moved by stories of orphans and adoption, I began to feel as if God were calling me to be a voice for discarded young people, especially the older children who are less adoptable. I felt compelled that IF I were ever to have children, it would be through the adoption of an older child. I also realized that the cares of bearing my own children would only detract from my compassion, my drive, and my financial resources to care for others. I set to work on sponsoring a couple of adolescent girls in other countries, offering financial and moral support for other people’s adoptions, and mentoring young adults through my profession.
Stay tuned for Part II right around the corner~