You may want to read:
I desire to have children one day, but, in light of suffering, it almost seems selfish to want a child knowing that it will suffer. In my case, it could inherit a genetic health condition that could somewhat compromise its abilities. But even with that aside, life is full of trouble and suffering.
If the child never becomes a believer in Christ, he’ll suffer in this life and for eternity. If the child becomes a believer, suffering is seen as a mark of God’s grace by disciplining and drawing that child closer to Himself. So while it does at least have a good purpose at that point, it’s still suffering. If the child never exists, it knows nothing of suffering or anything; it won’t miss out on God’s favor either because it just won’t live.
If followed, I realize that this line of thinking could quickly diminish the population and goes against God’s command to be fruitful and multiply and consider children a blessing. I want children, and I love the idea of discipling them and having fun with them. Still, with the kind of suffering that some of us have been through or are going through (especially in the context of those who have challenging marriages), it seems almost cruel and selfish to have a child knowing their destiny is to suffer!
Our last child was born when I was 46. I knew I would be 66 before her assumed nest-leaving time. Of course, that does not factor in my ongoing care, training, and relational engagement with her after she becomes an adult, which I hope to be able to do when she’s thirty and forty years old.
When you have a child, you add twenty years to your life as you think about what it could be like when your child is twenty years old. This perspective is not a pessimistic view of life or an attempt to control outcomes, but a realistic view, as much as a finite person is supposed to make plans (Proverbs 16:9). Because of these things, we chose not to have any more children.
I do not know what disease you have or the chances of your suffering affecting the quality of life of your future child. I recommend factoring your disabilities into your decision-making, just as I have factored in my age and future ability to provide our child with a Christlike physical and spiritual environment.
It is not wrong to think about these things. It’s humble and wise. It’s trying to cooperate with God’s redemptive story rather than not thinking, praying, or asking about one of the most important decisions you and your husband will ever make. Having a baby is one of the big five: birth, marriage, children, death, and eternity.
Rick launched the Life Over Coffee global training network in 2008 to bring hope and help for you and others by creating resources that spark conversations for transformation. His primary responsibilities are resource creation and leadership development, which he does through speaking, writing, podcasting, and educating.
In 1990 he earned a BA in Theology and, in 1991, a BS in Education. In 1993, he received his ordination into Christian ministry, and in 2000 he graduated with an MA in Counseling from The Master’s University. In 2006 he was recognized as a Fellow of the Association of Certified Biblical Counselors (ACBC).