Over the last three decades, women have been waiting longer to start having children. In 1970 the average age of a first-time mother was about 21. In 2008 the average age was just older than 25. Here I am in 2014 pushing that average age even higher. I'm a 27-year-old woman, married and without kids.
I always imagined that I'd get married and have kids around the two-year anniversary mark. And I was on schedule . . . until I got a new job a few years ago—a job that I thoroughly enjoy and look forward to working every day. The fact that I now am able to delay parenting is a freeing concept. It gives me a sense of control—yet I know that God is ultimately in control of my life.
So how do I then balance God's will with the ability to plan my family? How do I know when God wants me to move to a new phase of life? Do we live in an age when God must work against all odds to exercise his will?
Praying for babies
These are questions that we all will be forced to wrestle through. Only a couple of generations ago, these were not vexing questions. People assumed that they would get pregnant when God wanted them to start a family.
We see that same idea throughout the Bible—that God is the one who blesses couples with children. In Genesis, "Isaac pleaded with the LORD on behalf of his wife, because she was unable to have children. The Lord answered Isaac's prayer, and Rebekah became pregnant with twins" (25:21).
In 1 Samuel, Hannah poured her heart out to God requesting a son who she could then dedicate back to the LORD, and God answered her prayer (1:11–20).
In Luke, Elizabeth got pregnant because God heard Zachariah's prayer (1:1–13).
God has revealed himself as sovereign, but he has also given us free will in how we choose to live our lives. So my husband, Jeremy, and I have a choice to make for how we will choose to serve God in our lives.
As I've pondered my dilemma, I've also become concerned about something else: Why don't I feel strongly about something so important?
At times I feel strongly to focus on my career. I know the good works that God has called me to (Ephesians 2:10) are partly, if not mostly, fulfilled in the work that I do. God gave Adam work before giving him Eve, before the command to multiply (Genesis 2:15). And while I do desire to be a mom and raise kids, I resonate with Sharon Hodde Miller: motherhood is not my calling.