Should I Hold Off on Having Children?
My husband and I decided that, until he is finished with his education, I would work full time to support us. I have a great job that pays the bills and I’m happy to work during this season. While we both want to start a family, my job prevents us from having children for at least a few years. My husband would love for me to quit working and stay home, but it would just be financially impossible during this season. Practically, it all makes logical sense, but I can’t help but wonder if I’m really doing the best thing. Am I right to postpone having children? Thanks for your insight!
Thank you for acknowledging your husband’s leadership, for your desire to help him as you understand the challenges of this season of your lives, and for your underlying sensitivity to seek the Lord’s direction by digging out the principles found in His Word and through your personal communication with Him. One thing I can assure you: God not only loves you and your husband, but He also has a plan for your lives, and He will be faithful to prepare the way before you, to walk with you, and to be your rear guard!
When a couple chooses to marry, they are accepting responsibilities as well as privileges (Gn 1:27-28). Your responsibility to your husband as his helper is the highest human commitment and is an assignment from the Lord Himself (Gn 2:18-23). That earthly commitment is surpassed by the covenant you both have with the Lord, who mandated that a man and woman who commit themselves to the marriage union are to be prepared to multiply and replenish the earth, i.e., bring in the next generation.
From experience I know how difficult it is to provide the necessities of life while attending school. My husband believed strongly that the Lord wanted me to attend seminary alongside him, and in these subsequent years, I have seen clearly why that was true. I know very well the sacrifices that will always follow any couple who choose to live on one wage because my husband and I made that decision in the early days of our marriage while in the years of academic preparation. However, I would also bear testimony to the joy that comes from sacrificial living that enables a couple to live out God’s plan for marriage and even receive God’s gift of a child at what may seem an inconvenient time. From my experience and observation, you will never leave the workplace because you do not need the extra income it brings. Few beginning ministry positions meet the “needs” to which you grow accustomed when either partner has a well-paying job, much less the standards set by a dual-income family. When I was in the workplace, I made more money than my husband did in his seminary ministry job (and that income was even more than he made in his first full-time position after seminary).
Perhaps then you should turn to a different realm of reasoning for making a decision so important to your lives now and in the future. Although this decision is one that only you and your husband can make, you dare not do so without carefully considering the matter beyond what you see with human eyes (Prov 3:5-6). You must bring God into your circle of counsel, beginning with taking time to pray individually and as a couple—agonizing before Him and waiting on Him to give you answers. Read Scripture with an open heart. Seek godly counsel. But, above all, talk with your heavenly Father.
If I may be in that circle of counselors, I would offer these words:
· Go to your knees as a couple and ask the Lord to help you catch a vision on how to return your husband to the position of primary provider for your family (Gn 2:15-17), even if that means adjusting his school schedule. Most certainly, moving to sacrificial economy and stewardship in your lifestyle is to venture out in faith. When you are doing it yourself, God may choose to let you do it your way. Seek His direction.
· Give the Lord an opportunity to bless your womb according to His timing (Ps 127:3). The blessing of life is not one to be claimed according to your convenience and planning.
· Once you determine to change your course, if indeed you do, look for ways to reduce your living expenses, putting everything on the table and being willing to make sacrificial changes in your lifestyle. Look at the option of cottage industries, using your skills and giftedness in your home to supplement your income.
God is still in the miracle business. I know women who have skills equal to yours yet by conviction walked away from the comforts of convenience and security in order to live within whatever income their respective husbands provided.
Yes, there are costs to be paid with any decision to follow God’s way, not just while you are in school, but for every season of your life. Yet I can testify that obedience is rewarding in ways you cannot even imagine. I am breathing a prayer for you now.
I remain yours in the journey,