This question was posed in a response from yesterday’s post.
Q: This is an important issue and I think it is essential that we learn to think biblically about children rather than assume the perspectives and attitudes of our culture. By the way, I’d be interested in your thoughts on whether or not putting off kids until school is complete is wise and justified. As we all know, many students put off having kids until their mid-thirties or later (well, not to much later) in order to complete their education and find steady employment. As you’ve thought through these issues, do you think parents should first get their house in order, so to speak, before beginning a family?
A: Thanks for your comments. I would say I am more hesitant to put off kids for school.
Obviously, my own experience went really well with having augustine during school- I started my masters degree when he was 6 weeks old and I really enjoyed the opportunity to study and be a mom. Naturally we had to accomodate to him being in our life: my first semester I took two hybrid courses so I was only on campus for three hours every week and then two weekends (just a friday night and a saturday morning) out of the whole semester. Later semesters I took online courses so I could study at home. Now I am going to school part-time. All this to say- Augustine was such a blessing in our life. Never would I change my mind to have the sole opportunity to study in the school atmosphere with having to delay seeing Augustine face to face. Augustine is such a better part of my life than any degree will ever be! I think it is sometimes harder for couples to see this as they do not have a name or a face of their future children. It is a very rational (rather than personal) question: kids or school. But when evaluating the question: my Augustine or school? I would choose Augustine anyday. And, I really think that you do not have to choose one or the other. You merely need good priorities to your time. Shaun and I hardly ever watch tv or movies, we aren’t involved in a million extra activites- thus we have time for a child and time for our studies. So, it does require one to re-evalute how they would spend their time and energy.
Secondly- I think it is interesting to note that I hardly ever see someone pulling out an 18 hour semester in order to finish up quickly to have children. Usually students take their time through school, then upon graduation when it is convinient and financially prosperous (according to some cultural standards) they finally have kids. Is it wise and justified to put off a blessing?
Finally- When you get married later in liife it can be more difficult to adjust to a different person’s desires and needs because you have had more time to get “set in your ways”. Likewise is the scenario with children. I think it is more wise to have children at a younger age to avoid a scenario that can lend towards selfishness. Also, if we start having children later in life, it will be much more difficult biologically to be physically able to foster a large family. At this point in your life you may decide you want a larger biological family but it is no longer physically possible due to age (though- praise the Lord for adoption!).
Plus, just from a physical standpoint alone: The younger a woman’s body is, the easier it is for her to carry, deliver, and raise a baby. Your body starts to decay the older it gets. It is just a natural process. The older you deliver a baby the more prone you are to have pregnancy complications. Why delay?
You also asked if we should “get our house in order” before having a family. In this fallen world we will never be perfect at raising a family. Thus it is an unattainable pursuit to completely order our households before starting a family. The Lord gives us 9 months to prepare for a little one. Take that time to acquire wisdom from Godly couples, spend time in the word and in prayer, and arrange for another part-time job (or sell some of your stuff) if you think you are financially unprepared. Though for some this reason could indeed be a legitimate delay of children (say you’ve been unemployed for 6 months and have no job prospects; or a husband and wife are having marital difficulties- I would advise working to resolve these conflicts before bringing a child into the world). However I would say the majority of couples use this reasoning to foster their selfishness.
We must think of children as a gift, a blessing.
That’s my two cents.
What are your thoughts on the matter?
Thanks for reading!