"“Choosing to live your life by your own choice is the greatest freedom you will ever have.”"
Childless vs Childfree
There’s a difference between the term childless and childfree, a big difference. Couples who are childless refers to one or two members missing something extra in their life: children. Childless couples can be broken down into a couple of categories. A childless couple can be one that wants children but cannot have children or they can be a couple that currently does not have children but intends on having them. There may be a couple of other variations but these two are primarily common in the “childless” term.
A childfree couple can also be broken down in several variations but the most common are those couples that live a life without having offspring by choice. They can choose to not have children for a long period until they are more stable to do so but it currently does not fit in with their lifestyle so they choose to be childfree for the time being. They can be a couple who chooses a life without children in their distant future as well. Childfree couples do not generally choose to live a life without being around kids altogether, as many have families full of kids such as nieces and nephews or friends with children. They just choose to not have their own offspring.
Society doesn’t particularly understand the childfree choice as a whole. Many childfree couples are deemed childless. Relatives and friends of childfree couples may not understand what the term really means. Too often childfree couples are told they are going through a phase which will pass. Too often childfree couples are told they don’t know what they really want. Being childfree is viewed more as a handicap or living an incomplete life than an option or choice. It goes against social norms and evokes pity by those who feel childfree couples are missing out on the purpose of life.
If you go to a gas station, a supermarket, or a pharmacy you can easily pick up condoms. Go to the doctor or the health department and you can get birth control pills or a contraceptive shot. Schedule an appointment for a quick procedure and you can get an implant in your arm. Birth control isn’t just available to prevent early pregnancies; it’s also there to prevent unwanted pregnancies. There are a ton of avenues one can take to prevent pregnancy and yet there is an expectation by our friends and families for when we are to stop playing and start procreating.
But The Bible Says...
Genesis 1:28 – “And God blessed them, and God said unto them, ‘Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it: and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth.’” This passage is an overly expressed reminder to those who live a childfree life by those who disagree with the choice. For followers of the Bible, Genesis 1:28 gives a clear instruction, or blessing, to procreate. “Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it….” These instructions say many things from this one line. It says to be fruitful and multiply; have children. It says to replenish the earth; replenish means to restock or fill up again. And it says to subdue it; synonymous with suppress or control. This was referring to a time when the earth was not populated. This was right after the creation of Adam and Eve. In present time there are debates about the population of the earth where people are trying to determine if we are overpopulated or not. There are about 7,000,000,000 people on the earth, and the population is growing at a very high rate. If we are not overpopulated, with 7 billion people on this earth, why is it such a bad thing for a small group of people to choose not to procreate? If we are overpopulated why is it a bad choice for couples who choose the childfree lifestyle to help “subdue it?”
Most Important Part Of Life
The most common argument presented to childfree couples by parents is the presumption that they will miss out on the most important part of life: parenting. What many fail to realize is one person’s desires don’t always match their own. Parenting may be the most important part of that particular parent’s life. It doesn’t necessarily mean it will fit everybody’s idea of what is most important to them. It’s phenomenal for a parent to be proud of their children and make a difference in a young person’s life. It’s amazing how the human body creates life and how much joy that can bring. But parenting isn’t meant for everyone. What brings joy to one person might bring regret to another. Childfree people don’t hate kids. Some make the best aunts and uncles, the best babysitters, the best company. Some enjoy the company of babies and children as much as anyone else but prefer to go home to their spouse without having to add a small person to their relationship.
It's A Choice
Not everyone has the desire to have their own children. Not everyone thinks producing kids will make them whole. Not everyone thinks their relationship is missing a baby. It doesn’t make a relationship lesser than anyone else’s. Having children is a huge step. It’s a decision that should not be taken lightly, yet it is expected to have a one-way answer. This is a choice. Being childfree isn’t the end of the world. It’s just the path less traveled.