Kindly take notice that this piece challenges some religious and cultural beliefs and whatever I say isn’t law but an argument.

When people choose to marry themselves, there are social, civil and religious expectations which the society has of them. However, the most important factor that should govern every marriage is “why did we get married?” Many couples have never asked themselves this question. They never asked themselves why they wanted to get married while they were single and dating. The general belief has always been that if you are of age and of a particular social status, you should get married.

The reasons why we marry are different although culturally, people generally believe marriage is for companionship and procreation. Well, my experience as a counsellor of over 16years shows that many people don’t have any aloneness or loneliness issue so marrying for companionship doesn’t click for them. For some others, the main reason why they are married is for the fulfillment of their sexual desires. For the people in this group, if their religion and social cultures allowed them and validated sex outside marriage, many of them wouldn’t get married.

In reality, many people are getting married not for companionship or procreation but to have a safe haven to fulfill their sexual desires and adventure without violating their religious and socio-cultural norms and ethics.

We are wired and equipped with the ability to do different things. However, our choices are more powerful than any gift, talent or ability that we may have been born with. Consequently, regarding marriage, Jesus mentioned that some are born as eunuchs, others are made eunuchs and some elect to be eunuchs themselves. The interesting thing to note is that Jesus never said it was wrong if anyone chose to be a eunuch. So Paul went further to say that he wished all men were like him – unmarried.

If you read all through the Bible, others who spoke on the reason for marriage used compassion, procreation and partnership as the reasons for Marriage. Paul was the first to bring in something entirely different – sex. To Paul, using 1 Corinthians as my basis, sex is a sufficient reason in itself for a person to marry. Following this, we can say that marriage is for companionship, procreation, partnership and sex. The question we need to answer then becomes “MUST marriage consist of companionship, procreation, partnership and sex?” Can a couple choose by their own election that they want to be married but do not want to live together, or have sex or have kids but only be partners in the things of life? Is the decision to have kids by a couple theirs to make or has the choice already been made on their behalf by Life, Society and God?

Well, in response to MUST EVERY COUPLE HAVE KIDS? and to determine if our answer is valid or not, we must first ask if it is a must for everyone to get married. From Jesus’ teachings and that of Paul, everyone mustn’t get married. Even some great prophets of God didn’t marry in Bible times. So then, must those who have married have kids?

My answer to the question in issue is an affirmative NO. Parenting is a skill set which no one is born with. Skills are things we either deliberately acquire by choice or we develop by reason of experiences from situations and circumstances we are/were faced with. Parenting is a job which you apply for when you choose to have kids, not a gender role. It may be more tasking than being a husband or a wife. Parenting is different from siring a child – it is a mentorship, guardianship, coaching job which comes with other responsibilities including providing the basic amenities of life, education and sponsorship over a period of time which may exceed 20 years. I feel it is proper for people to elect if they want to do such a job for such a long time or not.

I understand that the moment two people get married, many people start expecting them to have kids. However, if we say that marriage is for companionship, partnership, procreation and sex, then I believe it is okay if a couple says that their particular marriage would meet the need of companionship, partnership, sex but not procreation. We marry to meet a need in our lives. If having kids is not a need, and we are not ready for all that comes with parenting, I do not see a reason why a couple should have kids.

Many people have birthed humans that they were not and are still not yet ready to mentor, guide, coach etc. So they bring these folks into existence and hand them over to domestic staff and schools. They are ready to pay whatever you charge them as long as you take off the parenting job from them. Not everyone should have kids – if you are not ready to parent, don’t sire a child.

Many of the criminal, social and psychological issues that churches, courts, counselling offices and correctional centres are trying to fix today are problems that started from poor parenting.

 

Many people don’t have time for themselves. They work out their lives so much that they have nothing left for their spouse and marriage by the time they get home, yet, such people still decide to have kids. But why?

I know of three places in the Bible where God talked about having kinds – To Adam and Eve and also to Noah on multiplying and filling up the earth and also to the Jews in captivity when He told them to marry, have kids, and not dwindle into extinction. Now the earth is full. Housing is a challenge. You have no command to have kids if you feel parenting is not a task you want to do. There is no need bringing in kids that you are not ready and willing to parent properly. God said of Abraham that He knew Abraham would bring up his kids to please the Lord, and Eli may have been better off without those two boys.

There is no law that I know of, be it spiritual, cultural or civil that commands that every couple that gets married must have kids. If you want to contribute by way of addition to the world’s population, you may be a sperm or egg donor. Surrogacy is also allowed too. That is sufficient donation to the human race. You can choose to donate regularly to orphanages if your feel emotional about catering to kids. But if you aren’t ready to parent, don’t birth kids.

Couples who are both AS and those who may have some genetic issues which may pass to their offspring may choose to avoid having kids altogether.

So to the question of MUST EVERY COUPLE HAVE KIDS? My answer still remains NO.

God bless Nigeria (good people, great nation)

My name is Earl, and I am Alright.

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You rock!