Can I be honest and candid with you? I’ve been trying to write this blog entry for months and months, but I’ve come to realize that I can’t without truly sharing my heart with you.
The issue of “family planning” can be very controversial, and that’s why I’ve been so reluctant to be completely open about where Andy and I stand. As many of you know, we’ve been married over a year now. So, you must come to the conclusion that either, a) we don’t want children yet and have been purposefully trying not to, or, b) we’ve been trying to have children, but haven’t been able to. The truth is that we have been trying not to have children yet, in order to better prepare for them.
Now, I’m not against having children right after you’re married. I myself was born only 11 months after my parents got married. However, when Andy and I got married, we felt that we really were not ready to have children right off the bat. For one, I was student teaching in the fall and Andy was taking classes at the community college. Secondly, while Andy has a good steady job, we didn’t feel quite ready yet to take on the financial stress of a baby. Only after we’ve been married this long have I come to realize that there’s another very good reason for not rushing into having children.
Everywhere I look, I see mothers whose lives revolve around their children. They are their number one priorities. But you know what I also see? Husbands who are suffering from neglect and being pushed aside by the children.
Ladies, your number one ministry in life is not your children. I know that may be a real shock to your system, but it’s true. When you said “I do”, your number one priority and ministry should have become your husband. You are his helpmeet, his right-hand woman, his necessary piece. All to often, however, I see women flipping that priority the wrong way.
When you are seeking what the Lord’s will for your life is, it should center around this idea of being your husband’s helpmeet. Helpmeets come in all shapes and forms, depending on what the Lord has in store for a wife and her husband. One woman may be the best helpmeet to her husband by working outside of the home in order to support him through school, or help the family save up enough to buy a house or have a baby. Another woman may be the best helpmeet to her man by working in his business with him. Still another may be the best by staying home and taking care of the house, working from home and at home. The word helpmeet does not necessarily include children.
Now, before you think I’m advocating not having children, then think again. Andy and I want a gaggle of children running around this house before too long. And I admit that there are days that I see a baby and just ache to have one of my own. But still, I wait. Why? Because my husband doesn’t feel properly prepared yet. He wanted to have a home of our own first, and now we do, but now we’ve got to fix up this home. We really couldn’t be doing the remodeling we are doing with a baby around. And I’m on board with that.
Furthermore, in our 14 months of marriage, I’ve come to realize how essential a good, healthy marriage is before you have children. If I had gotten pregnant right away, Andy and I would have missed some of the sweetest times of growth together. We’d have a 6 month old right now, and even before the baby came would be morning sickness and expensive doctor’s bills among other things. Babies are a blessing, but they’re hard work! If you don’t have a solid foundation to your marriage, then having a baby will only make things worse. I am so thankful for the times that Andy and I have had together, as just the two of us. We’ve been able to travel and do things that we’d never have been able to do with a baby in a stroller. And we’ve also been able to save up some money for when a baby does come. Had we gotten pregnant during the time since we got married, we would have accepted it as the Lord’s will and joyfully welcomed a baby, but we haven’t, and I know that that has been the Lord’s will as well.
So, ladies, kiss that precious little one, but don’t forget to kiss your husband also. Put him first. I promise you that if you do, your children will be just fine. Much more so than they would be with parents who have a strained relationship. Be a mother, but be a helpmeet first.