Don’t you have faith?

A (Mormon) friend of mine was stressed out this morning because of a talk she had with her husband last night.  He wants to have children soon, perhaps even before he gets a job (he is finishing school right now).  My friend wants to wait until they have health insurance and he is employed… “and we’ll need a reliable car,” she adds.  Her husband asked her, “Don’t you have faith?”

 

When she told me all this, I tried to remember how faith worked for me when I was a Christian.  I said to her, “It seems to me that faith is what you call the hope that everything you didn’t plan for goes alright.”  You still have to be responsible, especially when you’re bringing a child into the world.  My friend knows this.  But the faith thing threw her off.  So I told her this story.

 

My parents have had some rough times financially.  My dad doesn’t have good business sense and he’s bad with saving and using credit cards, while my mom has good financial habits.  And my mom was a full-time housekeeper with four kids.  When money was tight, my dad would still want to tithe (they were Evangelical Christians).  And mom would say no.  “Don’t you have faith?” my dad would ask, and my mom would get angry.  “Don’t try to guilt me into spending money we don’t have.  Look at the bank account; there either is or is not enough money.  It’s not about faith.”  To my mom, faith in this context was a tool to make her feel guilty.

 

I eased up on the guilt part when I told my friend this.  But it’s important for her to see that possibility, even if she doesn’t agree with it.  She gives her husband a lot of authority in their relationship.  But if she doesn’t feel ready to have children, she shouldn’t have to have them.  She at least wants health care.  I encouraged her not to give in on that one, and she said she wouldn’t.  She’s a very smart woman, and it is at least a little sad that she’s not going to finish law school.  Being a mom is great too… I’m just saying.

 

Furthermore, I can’t help wondering… where does a husband get off pressuring his wife to have children when she isn’t ready?  She will have to spend the time pregnant, get time off work, maybe quit her job, and probably be the primary caregiver.  Myself, I don’t want kids.  And my husband might in the future.  I guess I may change my mind as well.  But as it stands now, if my husband came to me and said he wants a baby, I don’t think that would be possible.  We should probably just move to Chicago so he could be near our goddaughter.  I think he would be happy with that.

 

I like kids quite a bit.  Other people’s kids.  I’m not interested in taking a lifelong lease out on one of them.

 

But if the topic comes up, at least faith won’t enter into it  🙂

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