I remember my 20s as a time in my life where I had a lot of fun, worked hard, and found myself while grasping a deeper understanding of the church world – that was, until I got married.
I was someone who enjoyed going out on a whim, and had a special savings set aside to just have fun. I had lived a very personally fulfilling life in my 20’s, and now things were going to change.
Ben was pretty much the first constant man over me. I knew I needed to call beforehand to let my new husband know I’d be late getting home and to start cooking larger meals for a man – who ate… a lot. But I just kept forgetting.
And then we found out I was pregnant.
Now, I already thought I was pregnant over our long honeymoon and had even tried to prepare myself months beforehand by upping my magnesium intake but I was not ready for the first trimester.
Working full time and commuting far, I added complaining to the top of my aches and pains list. Not to mention my husband went through two jobs, and we moved three times throughout my pregnancy. We had just moved into what was supposed to be a “temporary” place just weeks before she was born.
Those first few months I remember mercilessly yelling at my new husband for everything he did, everything he cooked, even for the smell of mouthwash he used. I took some comfort that at the time our schedules were different, so we wouldn’t see each other, and I could come home from work and just sleep. Ah, yes, I remember sleep – when I could take naps whenever I wanted.
That ended when Shiloh was born. She was a middle of the night crier, and we ended up sleep training her after around nine months. I soon realized how broken I was and felt – physically, emotionally, and at times mentally. And I seriously felt that mothering was not for me.
I also had left my job that I had worked hard at for 7 years, to depend completely on my husband’s income, which at times was shaky. I mean, we’ve had a few hard spots where we had to do without some luxuries, and there were definitely times where I looked back at my carefree days as a single lady, and wished I could comfort myself with a trip to the mall – alone – or buy myself some make-up, or get a massage – all alone.
Living for Myself or Being Transformed by Christ
And then I saw something that caused me to think. One morning I scanned an article that changed my view. It was an online news article explaining how many millennials were avoiding marriage and families. The author had interviewed two young adult girls who were Christians, and said they wanted to focus on their careers instead of being tied down to a family. They also wanted to make lots more money before they had those said families.
A few years ago I would’ve totally agreed with these young ladies. But as I sat there, my then baby trying unsuccessfully to nap on her own, and me trying to keep her from crying, I started feeling uneasy inside. Was it jealousy that I felt because they were out living the life while I was the eternal nanny? No, I can honestly say it wasn’t that. It was pity.
I saw all the comments below, how the women were verbally high-fiving these girls for getting their education, and felt that as a woman who has been there, that I had to say something.
I carefully turned in my bible and found a few scriptures:
God blessed them and said to them, “Be fruitful and increase in number; fill the earth and subdue it. Rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky and over every living creature that moves on the ground.”
And 1Thes. 4:3:
It is God’s will that you should be sanctified: that you should avoid sexual immorality;
And Romans 8:29:
For those God foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brothers and sisters. And what image are we to be conformed to? His Son, the Lamb slain before the foundations of the world.
I commented on the article saying not that it’s wrong to get an education. Certainly, if your sights are not set on marriage, and there is nobody in your life that suits the purpose, by all means – do as much good as you can in the world. But what these girls and many today are refusing is something that God intended to fully immerse us into our Christian walk.
What better crucible is there for you to walk in than with a marriage and a family? It’s easy to be spiritual when I can get away from you and be by myself. But, when I have people I have to answer to, people I live with and can’t get away from, people who need me for their very survival, I suddenly need to learn how to respond like Christ. There is no other option.
I understand being driven by the desire to not screw up like we feel our parents did. I understand the question of, why bring up children into this broken world in the first place? Whether or not to have kids right away was the first argument my husband and I had before we were married.
If we truly understood the gift of life, and what it means to exist in this world, in the land of the living, then I believe we wouldn’t treat our most precious assets – the unborn – like the trash our society labels them. Actually, their labels are more like “fetus,” “mistake,” “burden,” and many more untruthful names for living souls that are being wrapped in bodies that are fearfully and wonderfully made by God. May I live to see the complete eradication of the barbaric practice of abortion.
Therefore I commented to the article by saying I believe these girls are going to miss out on one of the most beautiful ways God makes us holy, set apart, and like Himself. The only road of the Christian is the one that conforms us into Christ’s image, and it is a narrowed road, full of suffering. We should not despise it. Our society is being crippled because of a lack of population, rather than because of too many people on this earth.
We can see from the very beginning of creation God wanted a family. The very Trinity Itself is a family of Father, Son, and Holy Spirit – God 3 in one communion. Then, He created man in His own image. And He kept the image going, as each baby has been born into the world, they are an image of their parents – just as Adam was God’s son and bore His image.
We can also see how much the devil hates family. Violence, pornography, adultery, selfishness, and separation attacks the family with the intent to steal, kill, and destroy. Jesus says so.
Our nation has even gone so far as to try to redefine what marriage is. Our government courts have made it clear what they want to call right and wrong, good and evil. The bible says,
“Woe to those who call evil good
and good evil,
who put darkness for light
and light for darkness,
who put bitter for sweet
and sweet for bitter.
Woe to those who are wise in their own eyes
and clever in their own sight.”- Isaiah 5:20, 21
A Society of Grown-up Kids
The bible is clear that as we move further into the end times, we will see more of this growing trend. Over 100 years ago, a boy was considered a man by age 12, when he was old enough to work. There was no ‘adolescence’ or ‘teenage’ time gap. In fact, the word teenager first dawned in the 1920’s, even though the popular use of the word came decades later.
Now our culture has something called extended adolescence, where we can have all the pleasures and freedoms adult life offers, without the responsibility that life requires – sex without responsibility of children or marriage, credit cards where we buy without first saving up, government bailouts for bankruptcy. Young adults never go through the rites of passage to becoming an adult.
And we’re wasting time. The average age of video game users is 35. 35.
Jesus, the greatest leader we could ever have, points us to another way of life. It was His suffering, submission, and perseverance that blazed the trail for us to walk in.
In your relationships with one another, have the same mindset as Christ Jesus:
Who, being in very nature God,
did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage;
rather, he made himself nothing
by taking the very nature of a servant,
being made in human likeness.
And being found in appearance as a man,
he humbled himself
by becoming obedient to death—
even death on a cross!
During the days of Jesus’ life on earth, he offered up prayers and petitions with fervent cries and tears to the one who could save him from death, and he was heard because of his reverent submission. Son though he was, he learned obedience from what he suffered and, once made perfect, he became the source of eternal salvation for all who obey him and was designated by God to be high priest in the order of Melchizedek.
The gospels record Jesus prayer in the Garden of Gethsemane as saying, yet not my will, but Yours be done. His goal was the cross. And, not just the cross, but the glory that awaited Him when He sat back down at the right hand of God, after redeeming mankind. It is glorious.
Yet we don’t look at our own lives that way. I can say in the course of my life I’ve ran away from lots of submission, until I got married. It was then that I learned that the key to true freedom was through submitting to my husband… Even when his ideas seemed foolish… And I knew they were… Acknowledging when he was right without rolling my eyes… When he says the wrong thing… And he’s harsh… And he doesn’t do half of what I do.
An Eternal Perspective of Family
The Kingdom of God is such a backwards, upside down kingdom compared to what we are used to. You’ve got to give to get, lose your life to find it, humble yourself to be exalted, walk in love to cast out fear. When someone strikes you on the one cheek, offer the other. Go low to ascend highest. It’s walking in meekness to find a strength like no other.
I believe there is no better way for a life to give more, sacrifice most, and receive more eternal benefits than through marriage and raising children. Here you give more than you think you have, are challenged to love more excellently than you’ve ever thought possible, and hold those treasures from God with loose hands.
Keep in mind, as you live your life; that one day you will have to give an account for everything you’ve done – every thought, everything you’ve invested in others and the fruit it produced and how you’ve handled yourself under the pressure you experienced. Will your life amount to all the material possessions you’ve accumulated? We live like kings here in North America. Will heaven have people there because you brought them there? Children are the most influenced by the gospel. The choice is yours.