Two anons asked (edited for length):
– J.S, I hear all the time that marriage is for procreation. And that’s it. As an asexual, I have no interest in physical intimacy OR producing children… and yet I’m made to feel as though I’m … an unnatural sinner heathen land because (and I quote) “they don’t produce children either.” People tell me I just need to ‘open my heart to Jesus to correct this sin’ but I’ve never really had an interest in those things …!
– I don’t want to be a Christian any more. I’m sinning and being selfish by not wanting children, for wanting a spouse to share life with but not willing to give up birth control methods to seek out a Christian spouse. If my entire purpose of loving someone is to just produce something I don’t feel capable of caring for … then WHY was I even born? I feel like God’s a huge jerk for expecting everyone to have and want children.
I get questions like these all the time, whether it has to do with children or future career or forgiving someone or what kind of clothes to wear at Sunday service.
Please let me put this all very simply then.
Everyone else around you has a vision for your life.
Everyone thinks they know better for you than you do for yourself. Of course this can be partially true. Certainly there’s a way to filter advice and discern good wisdom. Parts of someone else’s vision might be good for you — but no one has the right to dictate their entire plan over your life. That authority only belongs to God.
Also: most people are not even following what they’re telling you, or they just want you to do what they’re not doing, or they’re living vicariously through your victories.
Once at Starbucks, I heard this young red-headed dude telling his friend about all the benefits of an all-vegan diet and how to exercise all-natural and the way to get six-pack abs in a month. The red-head dude offered to train his friend. The friend asked, “How did it turn out for you?” And the red-headed expert said, “Oh, I don’t have time for all that.”
Everyone does this, all the time.
It doesn’t mean that someone needs to be perfect to give you advice. It just means that most people have a secret agenda in their advice, because they want to have some kind of control over you that they don’t have for themselves. It’s a bizarre reverse-hypocrisy that we’re all guilty of doing.
If God has called you to a single life without children, then cool. Just know that not many people will be cool with it, and you can’t take that personally. I repeat: You can’t get discouraged every time someone throws their ideas on you, because people will do this to you your whole life.
If you react emotionally every time someone else doesn’t like your life, you’ll be throwing drop-kicks all day. There’s no end to the drop-kicking. It’s exhausting. So let them be.
Your dream might be to dance or draw or write or make movies or start a non-profit or own a gym or create technology — and there will always be someone who cuts in on your dreams and makes you feel like you’re worthless. But so long as you pursue God and His calling: who cares what these people think? They certainly have wisdom, but they are not the ones who have to live your story.
Some of us forget that Jesus didn’t have a wife nor children nor a home. He was perfectly content to be single. I’m not saying we need to follow this — but I’m saying that if Jesus lived this way, then the church shouldn’t be so hard on single people who don’t want marriage nor children.
Unfortunately, people will talk because they’re people. They talk. They will throw their version of you on you like shackles. Shrug and move on. Pursue what God has called you to do, and let God take care of the opposition.
I’ll also add: God has a very hilarious way of changing your mind on things when you least expect it. I meet plenty of people who go through a break-up and swear off marriage forever, only to be the first to marry and have twelve kids. Please don’t completely write off God’s sudden interruptions in your life — because they’re not really interruptions. He could change your heart on these things.
God will also heal those broken places from the past that cause hurt and fear and anxiety — because God doesn’t want you to decide anything based on reactionary decisions. Maybe your parents divorced and so marriage is not attractive for you: but no one can live based off what went wrong before. Ask God sincerely for clarity in your vision.
Be open to that, seek wise counsel, and keep a few people around you who are willing to challenge you and disagree. Sometimes they will be right, but ultimately: God is the one who writes your story. Follow Him.