My spouse does not want to have children, but I do; what do we do?
Many married couples struggle with the issue of one spouse wanting to have children and the other spouse not wanting to have children. It is highly advised that couples discuss this topic before getting married, but the reality is that people may not be completely honest with their partner or themselves because they really want the relationship to work. While the world supports disagreements over having children as an appropriate reason for divorce, Christians know that God wants them to work to preserve their marriage (Mark 10:9).
The most important step couples must take is bringing the issue before God. Our relationship with God is our number one priority. Through prayer and reading Scripture couples can gain wisdom on how to proceed and insight into God's will for their situation (Proverbs 3:5–6; Ephesians 5:15–21). God says children are a blessing and one of the reasons He wants men and women to get married is procreation (Psalm 127:3; Genesis 1:28; 9:1). Whether or not we want or do not want children, God is ultimately in control of it.
Our relationship with our spouse is our second priority. It comes before our other relationships, aspirations, and responsibilities. The Bible instructs wives to submit to their husbands and husbands to love their wives (Ephesians 5:21–33). In addition to bringing the issue before God, spouses need to communicate with one another why they want or do not want children. By having a detailed and honest conversation they can begin to understand one another's perspective. Then they can work together to find a solution. They may even want to go to counseling. One solution could be a compromise such as waiting a few years before getting pregnant, fostering or adopting instead of having biological children, or maybe even volunteering or working with other children.
Sometimes the reasoning for not wanting children is purely selfish, such as wanting to focus on personal interests or a career. It can also be because of fears about giving birth, parenting, negative experiences with their own parents, or something completely different. Reasons for having children can also come from selfish or insecure motives, such as jealously over friends having kids. A desire to have children or lack of desire to have children is not necessarily "right" or "wrong." It is something to be explored and prayerfully submitted to God. When making the decision whether or not to have children, couples need to seek God's will over the matter and root their decision making in their love and respect for each other. They should pray that God will transform their minds and hearts so that they will know His will (Romans 12:2).
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