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Is It Sinful for Christian Couples Not To Want Kids? Albert Mohler Weighs In

Albert Mohler
Albert Mohler, president of Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, speaks at the For The Church Conference sponsored by Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Kansas City, Mo. The conference was held Tuesday, June 14, the first day of the two-day 2022 SBC Annual Meeting at Anaheim, Calif. Photo by Adam Covington (courtesy of Baptist Press)

In an episode of “The Briefing” on Friday, Dr. Albert Mohler addressed a listener question about whether Christian couples are morally obligated to try to have children. 

Mohler, who is the president of the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, is an author and public theologian who often speaks about pressing cultural issues. 

The question came from a 27-year-old woman who just celebrated a year of marriage and who wanted Mohler’s advice regarding a question she and her husband had been contemplating: “Is it sinful for Christian couples to not desire to have children?”

Mohler gave a measured response, reframing the question more positively and encouraging the couple to “be open” to having children. 

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“The comprehensiveness of the biblical worldview reminds us…of what is called ‘the unity of the goods,’” Mohler explained, “which is to say when God gives us something good, and he gives it as a thing, we’re not to try to take that thing apart.” 

“When God gave us the thing—the institution we call marriage—he gave us the conjugal act, which is the marital act, it came with multiple dimensions: the dimension of unity, the dimension of passion, other things that are well known in terms of the goods of marriage,” Mohler said.

He continued, “But one of the goods of marriage is procreation. And thus the Christian worldview has pretty consistently said…throughout two millennia of Christian history that every Christian marriage should be open to the gift of children.”

Although Mohler conceded that he isn’t in the position to tell any Christian couple how many children they should have, he did say, “If you have two people who are Christians, and they marry, and they’re within the reproductive age span, I think the expectation is that marriage should be open to the gift of children.”

Not willing to go any further, Mohler said, “That’s historic language, and I’m simply going to rest on that language. I think it really does say what I mean to say, and that is that every marriage should be open to the gift of children.”

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Mohler went on to remark that he would give the same advice to two 80-year-olds getting married because while it is unlikely for them to conceive a child, the biblical account of Abraham and Sarah illustrate that nothing is impossible.