In The Family: A Proclamation to the World, it clearly states “The first commandment that God gave to Adam and Eve pertained to their potential for parenthood as husband and wife. We declare that God’s commandment for His children to multiply and replenish the earth remains in force.”
There isn’t a doubt that it’s a commandment to have children when married. I think we can all agree on that. But when it gets tricky is when concerned people start telling couples when to have children, why they need to have them, and why they need to have more or even that they have too many. I remember when I was young being teased that I was the 8th and youngest child. I remember the comments and the way some people would scoff at us when we lined up beside the cart at the supermarket like baby ducks. But here’s the thing. Why does it matter? Whether you have no children, 2, or even 8 why does it matter to someone else?
Why is family planning a public discussion in churches? Why is the sensitive subject of infertility not recognized when people ask why don’t you have children yet? Shouldn’t it be between the spouses and the Lord?
So many times I feel like the standards we have for ourselves are pushed upon those around us, and it makes us quick to judge without knowing the situation first. As brothers and sisters in Christ I feel like it’s our job to show compassion and understanding first before making assumptions.
I understand the concern that some may have because in today’s society some couples put children last on the priority list. Travel, education, or no-strings-attached living seems to be becoming the new normal. But even so–it’s none of our business. And it wasn’t until my wife and I started to try to have children that I realized the heartache that could come from prying into such a personal corner of someone’s life. What kind of pain are we unknowingly afflicting on our brothers and sisters? It’s time to stop.
In our situation now we darn well wish we could have children. And we will someday when God sees fit. We understand it’s a commandment and it’s an inherent desire we are trying to fulfill. But asking and prying only stabs the knife deeper and further twists the weapon when you say “Oh, enjoy not having kids for now. They can be such a hassle.” But we want that hassle. We want sleepless nights and a messy house. We’d prefer that over a quiet, clean home with a baby room waiting to be filled.
Situations are complex and the journeys we travel are diverse. Let’s be sensitive and compassionate with each other and try every day to hold one another up, despite the urge to scold or counsel or pry.
Let’s be the reason someone’s trial is lessened, and not made any worse.