I’m 33. Never been married. Not in a relationship. In my life, having a child won’t be an option for me. Due to health issues, I won’t be able to have a child. Thankfully, I know there are so many children in the community and world who need love. Should God place the desire for a child on my heart, I have options.
This message isn’t one of “poor me” but of one that of “be careful” what you ask or say jokingly. I attend a small church, we usually run less than 100 in worship. I know the people, and they know me. Jokingly someone mentioned giving up their child because he’d been really difficult that morning. They then turned to me, nudged my arm and asked “When are you going to have kids?”
They know me but don’t know anything about my background. I don’t have a maternal need. They don’t know that I’m not in a relationship. They don’t know that, because of health junk, carrying a child won’t be possible. Until God places on my heart that I need kids I get to be a really stellar aunt! Without pressure from others, I will rest in God’s grace, waiting and watching for His will and timing.
I have friends continually hoping that they’ll be able to hold a living baby in their arms but sadly have miscarried. I have other friends going through all sorts of infertility treatments with desperate prayers that they’ll be able to conceive that month. I have other friends who have been married for years, and they simply don’t have a desire to be parents.
I’m not saying any of these are right or wrong or trying to debate anything. I’m simply offering a gentle word of caution that unless you know someone closely enough to know their stance on children it’s really not up to you to ask something so personal.
Be very cautious wading into these wordy waters. Thankfully, I was able to tease back the person who asked me about kids and mentioned that I could just have theirs if he was up for grabs. But what if I’d been the person that, the day before, found out the infertility treatment didn’t work or hadn’t told anyone about a pregnancy and then had to grieve the loss of a child? You don’t know if a couple is working through relationship problems.
You don’t know how your innocent joke or flippant question will be received. You might be causing great stress, grief or hurt.
Ask someone about what they’re excited about right now or how their day is going. Ask about a hobby or if they want to join a book club. If or when someone wants to tell you about having a child, allow them to choose the words and timing without being put on the spot.
“Let your speech always be with grace, as though seasoned with salt, so that you will know how you should respond to each person.” Colossians 4:6