August 31, 2007

Blessings from the Blogosphere

Okay, that title is a little silly, and by some, what we write about here is regarded the same, but for others it really resonates and reflects their experience. WordWench, a Purple Woman, put this gift today on a post I published on April 2, 2007:

Married Childfree Catholic

"Thank you so much for this blog! I can't believe I have found it.

I am 39 years old, Catholic and single. I am also a woman who since the age of 18 has known that I did not want children. This is simply because I have never desired to have them and also because I know I am not parent material. I do not have the patience to go through all of the daily things that raising children involves. And I simply have never desired to be a mother.

This in no way means I am not a caring person...I feel I can show my nurturing and caring side through the extensive volunteer work I do with the blind and at a local food bank, and the care I give to animals. I also live with my elderly father and help him out (I am an only child, mother deceased.)

As a Catholic who has remained single (just haven't found right man) I find myself feeling increasingly alienated in my local church and also in the church at large because of this overwhelming idea that only those who procreate are 'in the right'.
I value so much the woman's comment about free will. If God had meant me to be a mother, wouldn't He have given me that natural desire? Instead, God I feel gave me the discernment from an early age to know what I was NOT meant to do as well as what I was meant to do. I feel it would be TRULY selfish of me to marry and have children just because I felt it was what I was supposed to do, rather than what I truly desired.

I am so glad there are others out there voicing this because I really feel lately like there is no place for me in my Church. Thank you."
August 30, 2007 11:31
You're welcome! Please visit the blogs of other Purple WomenTM as listed in the Childfree Love links in the sidebar.

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Anita_D said...

I understand exactly where this writer is coming from. I grew up in the Bible Belt area of the US. I now live in England and don't feel those expectations from my friends here. But, my friends back at my home church are always asking when we are going to start having a family. I feel the pressure that it is expected and it is "God's Will". But, I too from a young age knew I wasn't meant to be a mother.

LauraS said...

What amazing timing. I was just finishing sending a document to a friend who is helping me with my survey analysis when I read this post.

I have spent the last few days doing a frequency analysis of data from my survey for the Childless by Choice Project.

In the survey I asked respondents to complete the following statement: I remained childless because I believe _______.
Two of the most frequent reponses were:
I have no desire, no need to have children, and
I am not parenthood material, it's not me.

WordWench you are not alone.

Britgirl said...

God's Will. I think that must be one of the most overused phrases there is. I find it's generally used in place of (or as a cop out) for "I don't want to take personal responsibility for my own thoughts and my own actions and the consequences so I'll just leave it to God to decide...." I wonder, what do they do people do with their God-given free will?!

Shelley said...

Britgirl - there are definitely a lot of people in this world who excuse shameful behavior by calling it "God's will," though it's unlikely they ever really consulted Him about anything. For me, one of the most significant things I ever did with my free-will was choose whether or not I was interested in God's will. As a person who is very sincere about trying to do what God wants for my life, it's very hard for me to read your comment. It saddens me to be reminded that your viewpoint is completely justified.

britgirl said...

Shelley - I understand how you feel. So this next comment, read present company excluded.:)

Having been an active member of the church for years - and very interested in God's will - and having known personally several people who made every single decision they made God's will rather than than take responsibility for their actions, my view is, unsurprisingly influenced by this.

Just one example. A close christian friend of mine got married after knowing her husband less than a year. Did she and her friends consult God? Well, yes they prayed at length. And it was God's will (which overrode any pleas to wait a bit, get to know the guy a little better etc) as far as they were all concerned.

The problem was, it wasn't the guy's will, and probably not even God's will - it was hers. So fast forward to a year later. He starts hitting her about - while she's pregnant of course, she boots the low-life out, she's now a single mother. Seems this God-given guy was only using her.

God's will for her to marry him? God's will for her to be a single parent?
Accordng to many, it's God's will that women have children, and since I don't want them I'm probably "rebelling" against God's will. I can live with that.

I left the church years ago because I was in danger of losing my faith - I felt. I gave up religion to find God. No one seemed to be able to think or make a decision for themselves, it was always " God's will.

It isn't that I am against things being God's will at all. It's important to understand that I do think it is very important and it does play an important part in my life. I just don't use it to replace my own decision making process.

My difficulty is undertanding how some people (present company excluded) completely replace their responsibility to think, decide and accept the consequences of their actions by making every single thing "God's Will."

Anonymous said...

I just came across this posting and it convicted me of something. I am one of those who like to tease my bros'and sis in Christ at church on when theyre going to get married and have kids. Now I realize that could be offensive to some, I am very sorry. You see - people do things because they are ignorant of how it affects other people. People can have different perspective of things and we cannot just assume they will understand ours.

I've been a Christian for 4 years now and I am still learning a lot about how it is to be a true Christian. I believe in God's will but it doesn't mean I am not doing my part in decision making.. God gave us freewill.. whether we consider his leading or not, I believe He is watching us and picks us up when we fall. It's all a matter of knowing Him. That's why it's important to know who God is, by reading His word. The world offers a menu of beliefs and it is up to us to choose which one we would believe in.

I believe that we are created in the image of God and that we have our own uniqueness of gifts. I have nothing against folks who are called not to get married... maybe that is their calling.... maybe they just have not met the right guy or they need to pray for the right one (I did and He did gave me the right one).. There's a season for everything and a reason why things happen the way they are. If we understand everything in this life I don't think we would ever need a God... Maybe God made it that way so we can find Him :)

I found this article that might help you out more about understanding what God's will is.

Anonymous said...

Dear Anonymous -- Thanks for your gift. I am glad this article helped you see another perspective.

Purple Men and Women everywhere, as well as those who are desperately trying to have kids, will appreciate your sensitivity.