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Childfree Marriages A new forum for couples who choose not to have children.

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  #1  
Unread 15th April 2011, 02:12 PM
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Mad Go forth and multiply?

Hi. Erm...I'm not married and I'm not a Christian. But I am childfree by choice. I'm hoping 1 out of 3 will let me post here! Despite not qualifying for the first 2 elements, I am very pro-marriage and Christian-friendly. Most of my friends are practicing Christians and that kind of brings me here. My friend is looking forward to one day marrying her boyfriend and starting a family, bringing them up in Christ. Lovely, couldn't be happier for her.

But as a childfree-er, (she pretty much knew I was) I messaged her to say I was thrilled to find this Childfree Marriages sub forum on a Christian website, hooray! She replied that as a Christian, she doesn't really agree with that because the Bible says it is Christians' duty to 'go forth and multiply'.

I was surprised and replied that one can still be devoted to God and make meaningful contributions and legacies to society without having kids. What about Mother Teresa and nuns in general? Cicely Saunders? Gladys Aylward? Who can doubt that these women did not selflessly devote themselves to God and to human beings?

She replied back 'fair enough'. It seemed very half hearted, like she still wasn't convinced. I told her I'm not trying to make her into a childfree person, I just want her to understand that just because a person can biologically have a child, doesn't mean they automatically should. She replied she does understand but...effectively it's wrong.

She is an open minded individual and generally very tolerant of others, their belief systems, attitudes etc. so I was frankly blown away by this intolerant and narrow minded opinion. She believes being a childfree Christian is inherently wrong, going against God and His word in the Bible. We had to agree to disagree in the end.

I am very confident and comfortable in my decision not to have children. At any rate I do not feel happy talking to her anymore about this issue, because she is of the opinion that the reason you are put on this earth is to have children, whether you are Christian or not. Attitudes like that just encourage you to feel worthless and incomplete until you have bred. Ridiculous!

I would like to commend you Christian Childfree by choice-ers, because you have not submitted to the pressure of having kids just because all around you demand it.

I'm sorry that was a really long rant. Grrr!! But why is it that everyone thinks you are criminally insane when you politely and simply state that you do not want (biological) kids??? I think another Childfree-er put it perfectly when she said that when someone hassles her about not having kids she retorts 'why don't you worry about your own kids instead of worrying about my non-existent ones!'
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  #2  
Unread 15th April 2011, 09:46 PM
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I'm no longer a Christian, but I've always understood that passage to be directed toward the group rather than the individual. I feel like God is commanding the Christian people to be fruitful and multiply, to spread their influence, word, and numbers. There doesn't seem to be any reason to take it that every single person has to breed, especially in those days when there wasn't always enough to go around, and all the examples you listed like nuns. The population is growing just fine, so the way I figure it Christians are obeying that wish of God's just fine.

As for why no one accepts it, I think at it's at it's core more of a cultural thing than a specifically religious thing. I believe most people just don't think about why they hold that view, and when it's questioned pointing to things like that passage is the best route to take. Society is always telling us to have children, even when you don't realize it. Think about things like car commercials. Someone once pointed out to me that in a majority of them that feature people, it's the kids saying how much they love the car. Advertising always plays up the Kodak moments with children, but never the downside. Parents then do the same thing. It's blasphemy to say anything about regretting your child, so you only hear from them how it's the most wonderful experience that everyone should enjoy. I sort of figure it's a "misery loves company" dilemma. Finally, before about 50 years ago when reliable contraception started, you didn't really have much of a choice if you wanted to have sex. It was just what you did. You grew up, went to school, got a job, got married, bought a house, had some kids. If that's what everyone assumes is what life entails, it's hard to break the mold. Now that contraception is around, things are starting to change, especially among the college educated, but with anything it's a slow change, and we're still basically on the cusp of it starting.
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Unread 15th April 2011, 09:48 PM
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Do you ever want to have children?
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Unread 15th April 2011, 11:18 PM
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Originally Posted by Tim Myers View Post
Do you ever want to have children?
Me? Never. Not even close.
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Unread 16th April 2011, 12:03 AM
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To the OP & anyone else who cares: I am NOT a child-free'er person in that I have had kids, and more than the average bird, let me tell ya, and I am a Christian as well. It really drives me nuts when I hear people - Christian or not - that have this opinion. Having kids is NOT the be-all, end-all of life. Don't get me wrong, I adore my kids & am very proud of 'em, but having kids is not for everybody. Gad, its messy, dirty, noisy, expensive, and quite thankless.

But even that is kinda beside the point. There is no reason why anyone should feel guilty for NOT having them. There is no NT admonition to having kids; as a matter of fact kids are hardly mentioned in the NT at all. Adam & Eve were told to populate the earth for obvious reasons. Please, any & all of you, don't let anyone make you feel guilty for not having kids. That is a ridiculous, waste of time notion.

OP, your friend & others like her say things like that because it makes them feel all self righteous & holy to be like that. Don't pay any attention.
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Unread 17th April 2011, 01:39 AM
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Your friend should do some study in the Bible about when, and under what circumstances, God said to "go forth and multiply". I think that, by and large, Christians who use that as their basis for the "child free is against the Bible" argument are not all that familiar with the Bible.

God told man(kind) to go forth and multiply in two very specific situations in the Bible: 1) to Adam and Eve when the earth needed to be populated because they were the only human beings in existence; and 2) to Noah and his children, when the population of the earth had just been wiped out by the flood and needed to be re-populated.

That's it.

He didn't put it into the Law of Moses, in the Ten Commandments, into any of the law outlined in Leviticus. Jesus did not reiterate it in any way. It was asked of specific people who were, at the time, the ONLY people capable of fulfilling the request, and it was asked in specific circumstances when mankind needed to propagate.

This is a far cry from being a requirement of all Christians, at all times, throughout all of time, space, and history.

I really wish people would understand this and quit misusing that scripture. There's absolutely nothing inherently against Christianity to choose to be child free. And furthermore, if God really wants a child free by choice Christian to have a kid, he's perfectly capable of making that happen.
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Unread 17th April 2011, 01:41 AM
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BTW, welcome to the forum
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Unread 17th April 2011, 09:53 PM
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Originally Posted by Umaro View Post
I'm no longer a Christian, but I've always understood that passage to be directed toward the group rather than the individual.
I would say the opposite that it is directed toward 2 people (Adam & Eve) and not toward me. Unfortunately many Christians can criticize people and use Bible passages to try and prove their point. At the time there were only 2 people on earth. At this point in time I would say we have too many people and are ruining the earth. We are not being responsible stewards of creation. You can argue every passage in the bible. If you have God in your life guiding your way and Jesus in your heart you canít make any wrong decisions.
Welcome to the forum
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Unread 18th April 2011, 07:34 AM
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Hi everyone, thanks for your words of encouragement and support. It' easy to feel like a deviant when you express these kind of opinions to the baby-obssessed. I want to rush back and put the verse in context for her now, but I know she would still argue about it and insist that God wants us all to have kids so we can worship him. She would probably heartily approve of the Duggar family with their 19 kids! She interprets the Bible very literally. I've tried talking to her about animals in Christianity too (ie we should treat them with more compassion & protect them from the cruelty of intensive factory farming) but she just quotes God gave us dominion over them. But anyway that's a whole other topic in a whole other thread! I'm surprised she encourages me to have kids because she knows my personality-get stressed very easily, absolutely can't bear noise and screaming, adore and need my alone and silent time-but she thinks it will all be ok, things will click into place. Yes. After 9 months, I will miraculously turn into an endlessly patient, laid back, love noise and chaos kind of person. She will be a very good parent one day, I just hope she comes to the realisation that not everyone would be.
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Unread 18th April 2011, 07:51 AM
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Originally Posted by freedom1807 View Post
I'm surprised she encourages me to have kids because she knows my personality-get stressed very easily, absolutely can't bear noise and screaming, adore and need my alone and silent time-but she thinks it will all be ok, things will click into place. Yes. After 9 months, I will miraculously turn into an endlessly patient, laid back, love noise and chaos kind of person. She will be a very good parent one day, I just hope she comes to the realisation that not everyone would be.
You know what they say, "misery loves company." At least that's my theory about the whole thing.
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