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Wednesday, December 7, 2022

Childbearing is not a birthright – Counsellor Agyei

Children are adorable, lovely, charming and affectionate to be with. They are valued as the most precious of possessions, especially in this part of the world. The pressure from society to have children over the course of a marriage is as a result great, and the number of kids the couple has “validates”  their union.

Due to the sense of satisfaction and fulfilment that children bring to spouses, they thus become the main focus of most marriages.

When a couple has been married for a while without having a child, the question “When are you having kids?” is frequently asked. It appears as though they are asking this question in order to assume responsibility for the children’s upkeep.

While some spite and mock childless couples with pregnancy, others call them names that are unworthy of mention and consideration. They refuse to appreciate that children are not just supermarket-sold goods. This strikes me as ridiculous, insensitive, and uncalled for.

It is understandable that even newlywed couples who have only been together for three months would feel frustrated, anxious, restless, dissatisfied, and uneasy. They start to be terrified of how society will label them and of the ridicule they will face.

As stated in God’s Guiding Principle for Marriage, “Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and cleave to his wife, and they shall become one flesh” (Gen. 2:24), it is crucial to realize that the success of a marriage depends on the interaction of the three components of the principle: leaving, cleaving, and becoming one flesh.

Children are not specifically addressed in this principle, thus the fact that a marriage is childless does not call into doubt its validity and does not support its dissolution either. A marriage without children is a complete union.

In any event, having children does not necessarily indicate that a marriage is successful or meaningful. To make the marriage successful and meaningful, only Leaving, Cleaving, and One Flesh is required.

Children are a blessing from God, but they are an additional blessing to the marriage. After instituting marriage, God blessed Adam and Eve, and He said to them: “Be fruitful and multiply . . .” (Gen.1:28). This fruitfulness is not limited to the fruit of the womb. God has indeed blessed humans with a variety of different fruits, including the Fruit of the Hand (Jer. 6:19), the Fruit of the Mouth (Prov. 18:20), and the Fruit of the Thought (Prov. 31:31). This demonstrates that couples are blessed with more than just the fruit of the womb.

Psalm 127:3 (NASB), which reads, “Behold children are a gift of the LORD, the fruit of the womb is a reward,” supports the aforementioned. It is a privilege, not a right, to receive gifts. Children are gifts from God, and He chooses whom to give at His willing time.

So, it’s important to understand that having children is not an entitlement or a right for every couple. A privilege, indeed!

By Sammy Adjei

The writer is a Love & Relationship Expert, and a Licensed Counselor. He is a member of the Ghana Psychological Association (GPA), and the Ghana Academy of Christian Counselors (GACC). Contact: +233 (0) 207295852

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