When you are married and you both want a child and yet you can’t seem to have one no matter how hard you try, what happens to your marriage? Does it deteriorate into becoming a petri dish for making a baby —where the main goal of your life together eventually centers on making it happen? Being married without children can be difficult sometimes.
Married Without Children
Many couples are dealing with this dilemma because sadly, millions of couples are struggling with infertility.
What happened to the many dreams these couples brought with them into marriage? Does every other dream pale because the one dream of having a child isn’t happening?
And if all of your concentration in your married life centers around making a baby, can that become your “idol” —”an object of ardent and excessive devotion and admiration?”
It can appear that way, and for some it is that way. I hope that is not true for you, and if it is, that you find a way to fight it.
Marshall Adams and his wife Sonja found themselves fighting this battle. In a Today’s Christian Women article titled, “Married Without Children” he wrote something that they both learned during their infertility battle.
“Often, infertility deals a deathblow to a marriage, as a couple deals with years of disappointment and turns against each another. But it doesn’t have to be that way. Through a recognition of God’s sovereignty, an emphasis on prayer and making the marriage—not conception—the number one priority, infertility can draw a couple closer instead of destroying them.”
Further down in this article, Marshall went on further to write:
“We had to make our marriage a greater priority than our baby. This was easier said than done. In our experience, infertility can easily turn a baby—or even a pregnancy—into a form of idolatry.
“Scientific fertility advancements certainly contribute to a couple’s idea that they can make a pregnancy happen. Therefore there is the temptation toward idolatry. But our Christian subculture does that, too. Some Christians put such an emphasis on children being a gift from God that we can easily forget that they are just that—a gift. Children aren’t a right. And they’re not something people can create through “trying” to get pregnant. I know couples who seem to conceive every time they look at each other with passion. But even these conceptions are God-ordained.
“As Sonja and I struggled with infertility, we had to remind ourselves that God’s foremost command to us was that we commit our relationship—and our expectations for our family—to his sovereign will.”
No doubt, those conclusions didn’t come without a lot of pain and times of tears, as you very well may know.
I hope you can learn through the experience of others, and not have to live with as many regrets that you may otherwise find yourself living.
On that note of being married without children:
The following is something that Candy Arrington wrote that may minister to you. Concerning the time she battled infertility, she wrote:
“My greatest regret is not living life fully during the waiting years. Often, I was totally absorbed with medical procedures, my emotional pain, and, frankly, anger with God. I had a near terminal case of self-pity. Now, looking back, I wish I’d learned to have more contentment in my circumstances.
Some things to consider as you make the most of the waiting years:
• “Remember your first love. You married because you wanted to spend the rest of your lives together, not to produce a child. Your spouse is the most special person in your life. Keep your romance alive. Make love, instead of trying to make a baby.
• “Reject lies. Satan is a master of deceit, and infertility is fertile ground for his lies. He whispers, ‘You’re defective,’ ‘If God really loved you, he wouldn’t allow this,’ and ‘It’s not fair.’ Reject those lies and claim the truth of Scripture: ‘Resist the devil, and he will flee from you’ (James 4:7). And this: ‘Thank you for making me so wonderfully complex!’ (Psalm 139:14)
• “Resist negative emotions. Envy, self-pity, and anger go hand-in-hand with infertility, robbing you of joy. Find someone who’s been through the battle of infertility and can encourage you, not join your pity party. Or talk to a professional counselor. (To find an online and/or local support group, try www.hannah.org, a Christian organization dedicated to those who struggle with infertility.)
Also, concerning being married without children:
• “Rejoice despite circumstances. It’s difficult to find anything to be happy about when you’re hurting, but it’s important to find ways to celebrate. Find something that brings you joy—such as cooking, gardening, tennis, or hiking. Take weekend getaways. Spend time with nieces and nephews. Focus on something besides your situation.
• “Write it down. Journaling is a great way to “talk” about your fears, frustrations, and heartaches without taking others on the journey with you. Constantly talking about infertility with others can have a negative effect on your relationships, so pour out your heart in the pages of a journal. Talk to others about their lives instead of just yours.
• “Minister while you wait. Nothing gets your mind off yourself faster than seeing the needs of others. Volunteer to help in a soup kitchen, start a Bible study in a nursing home, help with a hospice program, counsel at a crisis pregnancy center. Also be open to providing words of encouragement for other infertile couples. Focus beyond the ‘me zone.’
• “Accept God’s control. Ultimately, despite all the physicians and procedures, God is in control. Romans 8:28 reminds us: ‘And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them.‘”
To help you further on being married without children:
Lisa Brock has written an article which is posted on the Focus on the Family web site. It gives “ways to make infertility —the emotional roller coaster —a little easier.” You can read that particular article and others they post as well, by clicking onto the link below:
If you are dealing with the pain of infertility, please know my heart —our hearts, here at Marriage Missions, goes out to you. We pray the Lord helps you to find the strength to cope with the pain you are dealing with and the hope that your future will have bright moments ahead.
Below is a link to an article I hope you will read because there may be something in it that can lift your heart a bit at this present moment:
• BIBLICAL ENCOURAGEMENT FOR COUPLES WAITING TO CONCEIVE
And then another link to an article, which I pray will also help you in some way:
• THE BIBLE AND THE PAIN OF INFERTILITY
Additional Blogs on Being Marriage Without Children
Before concluding this article, however, there are two more blogs I’d like to share with you. They are ones that you may want to pass onto others, who need the information on being married without children.
One of then posted on the Intentionaltoday.com web site. And the other is posted on the Faith Lafayette web site. It can be helpful if you want to know what NOT to say to those who are married who don’t have children. We need to be sensitive to all the different scenarios that might be happening in their marriage.
Please read Ngina Otiende’s insightful blog:
• 5 THINGS NOT TO SAY TO COUPLES WITHOUT KIDS
And then read Brian Nicholson’s blog to learn:
• 5 Things Infertile Couples Want Friends, Families, and Churches to Know
May the Lord minister to you in your marriage in ways that you never thought possible!
Cindy Wright of Marriage Missions International wrote this article.
If you have additional tips you can share to help others, please “Join the Discussion” by adding your comments below.
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Filed under: Childrens Effect on Marriage
4 responses to “Married WITHOUT Children”
(GHANA) What is the Christian means of birth control?
Hi Betty, I encourage you to read the article we have posted on this web site, under the “Sexual Issues” topic, titled, Birth Control: Should We Use It As a Christian Married Couple. I believe upon praying and reading and praying some more, God will show you what you should do concerning this issue in your marriage.
I read and hear so many stories from Christians regarding infertility that all seem to end with becoming pregnant or adopting. Either way, their happy endings always result in children of their own. Where are the testimonies of those who never become pregnant and for whom adoption is not an option? It would be encouraging and refreshing to hear from Christians who never have children, but who find joy and purpose in their lives and marriages anyway.
Kimberly, My heart cries with yours. You are so right in wondering where the testimonies are of those who never become pregnant, yet want to be. That has got to be such a horrible thing to go through—something that you can cause you to feel very alone in, as you walk that painful journey. I want, with everything in me, to help to ease your pain. I can only imagine the depth of pain you have been experiencing. Eventually, I hope to post an article for those who want to be pregnant, but haven’t been able to conceive.
In my search, I found a few articles that lead to other articles that may bring you some insight. First, I encourage you to use the gleaning principle. In other words, go back through this article, praying as you read, asking God to show you comfort through at least some of the things that are written. Just grab onto quotes that minister to your needs. Don’t attach them to negative talk like “but that only applies if you eventually have a child later on.” I hope you can accept the quotes on face value. Do you feel comforted if you don’t attach any “but…” to it? Whatever you do, don’t put God in a box. He may be trying to minister to you but you may (or may not be) putting your own conditions onto the things He is bringing your way.
So, here are a few articles I found that may minister to you. They aren’t in any particular order of importance. You will be able to perceive if they are helpful or not to you. First, I encourage you to go to: https://www.crosswalk.com/blogs/christian-trends/it-s-not-wrong-to-be-sad-when-you-can-t-have-kids.html. Here is another that is related: https://www.desiringgod.org/articles/longing-for-motherhood. And then here is another one that I found that may minister to you in some way (I know these are a lot of articles, but I pray that you will find comfort and insight as you go on this reading journey): https://www.crosswalk.com/family/marriage/longing-for-children-facing-infertility-in-marriage-1371247.html. Furthermore, here’s another article that may minister to your heart as you read it: https://www.thegospelcoalition.org/article/god-fulfill-desire-for-children/.
The following is a great article, but I want to warn you to be careful about the links that are posted within the comments that are posted after the article. This web site obviously didn’t catch this, but some of the links are suspicious and could take you to spammers, links to “spellcasters” and “priests” that are bogus and can infuse viruses into your email system. Most of the comments are great, but just be careful about going into those comment links. Here is the article: https://thrivinghomeblog.com/where-is-god-when-you-cant-get-pregnant/.
The following is a web site that you may find comforting. Before you go into it though, I want you to know that you will find articles about those who have walked the infertility path who now have children. But peruse past those articles. Do what you can to rejoice for them without coveting. This is a difficult thing to do. But it’s a healthy place to get to… you sure don’t want to deny them joy. And that also doesn’t discredit the pain they experienced in the past. You just want to move on so you don’t feed your own pain. And look for articles that you can relate to at this point in your life. Here’s the web site—it has some great articles: https://barrentobeautiful.com. Here is one of those articles: https://barrentobeautiful.com/2017/02/16/the-god-of-empty-rooms/.
And then I found this article (of a woman that has not been able to get pregnant through the years) that is titled, “Lesli’s Infertility Story: https://www.amateurnester.com/2014/11/on-the-journey-with-lesli.html. Here is an article posted on the Marriage Missions web site that I hope you will glean through to see what you can learn from and apply. Ultimately, whether you have a child or not, it’s important to keep your marriage relationship healthy: https://marriagemissions.com/infertility-how-to-keep-your-marriage-strong/.
And then go into this part of our web site to look through the recommended web sites that are there. Several of them deal with infertility and dealing with all that happens during this painful journey. Skip over the web sites that deal with children issues, but instead go into the ones that deal with infertility issues—dealing with matters of the heart when a spouse longs to have children but haven’t been able to have one. I hope all of this helps: https://marriagemissions.com/about-us-2/childrens-effect-on-marriage-links-and-resource-descriptions/. I pray the Lord ministers to the depths of your hear and longings. I also hope that you feel the Lord’s comforting presence, even in your pain because “The LORD is near to all who call on Him, to all who call on Him in truth.” (Psalm 145:18) Sometimes we sense His presence, and other times we don’t. I hope and pray you will. Please know my prayers are with you.