Growing up I dreamed of having two boys and two girls. After being asked, "How many kids do you want?" and hearing, "You're going to be a good mommy," so many times, it became ingrained from birth that you have kids. Everyone has kids. Our culture’s norm is to go to college, get married, and have kids. So I went off to college and got married and then came time to have kids but there was a slight problem, when the time came, I didn't want to.
My husband and I were missionaries to college students and I was thriving. I just couldn't see how kids would fit in the picture. I found comfort in the verses talking about the barren woman who had many children. That made sense to me. My time without kids meant more girls coming to Christ and being discipled. I felt like a mom to many, those girls were my kids.
Two or three years after getting married, my husband and I staffed a summer project missions trip-type thing. There were around 80 students and 20 staff. This project allowed me to see a wide range of moms in ministry, anywhere from a few hours a week to full time. My preconceived idea that being a mom meant you couldn't do anything else was shattered. I got to see each mom choose for themselves what level of involvement they could handle at their stage of motherhood. My eyes were opened to the reality that ministry outside the home and motherhood were not exclusive and was not a formula. I saw that each woman was built differently and each family was unique with its own dynamics. I got to see each woman walk dependent on the Lord and choose through each stage what was best for her family. It was beautiful. It was freeing. I found freedom that being a mom didn't mean I had to fit into someone else's box for my life.
But the question of, "Why kids?" still remained. I had grown up in a culture that told me that getting a degree, getting married and having kids so I could be happy was the goal for my life. It was written on my heart that having kids was for the purpose of finding happiness, feeling worth and significance. I was told over and over the joy having a little person dependent on me couldn't be compared to anything else. The battle of finding my worth and significance in what I did instead of what Christ did had been a lifelong battle for me, so it didn't seem to fit into what God's reason for having kids. So the question of, "Does God really want me to have kids and if so why?" was continually a question I couldn't find an answer to and it seemed no one was talking about it.
So why kids? What really is the point? Is it about me and my happiness? Is it where I find worth and significance? Or could God see it very differently than what we've always been told? Yes, I believe so.
Good thing God tells us very obviously what the point of having kids is.
"Has not the LORD made the two of you one? You belong to him in body and spirit. And why has he made you one? Because he was seeking godly offspring. So be on your guard, and do not be unfaithful to the wife of your youth." Malachi 2:15
Isn't that an amazing verse! Having kids isn't about us! It's not so we can be happy. It isn't so we can have someone to take care of us when we are old. It's because the Lord wants godly offspring. He wants more people to love Him and walk with Him. Having kids is all about Him!
That changes everything.
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Laura, the creator and host of Missional Women is married to her best friend Austin, and has three kids, two of who are adopted. They have been missionaries to college students for the last 11 years and currently serve in Denver Colorado with Master Plan Ministries. Laura loves to speak to women's and college groups and wrote an in-depth Bible study, Beholding Him, Becoming Missional which goes through First Samuel. You can find her on facebook,twitter, youtube, instagram and pinterest.
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