“So when do you plan on starting a family?” a distant family member said after my husband and I had been married three months. Perry and I looked at each other and laughed. How could we think about being ready for kids when we hardly know each other as husband and wife?

Has this happened to you? You’re at a holiday gathering or birthday party and there’s that one family member who loves to repeatedly bring this up.

This can be challenging to hear for those who don’t desire to have children right away (or ever) or for those walking through infertility. The topic of children can be a painful reminder of something you’ve been praying for, whether it’s a biological child or an adopted one. 

Are you ready for kids? Before you answer that…

If you’re wondering if you and your spouse are ready for kids, you’re in good company. And you might need to have several conversations to determine where you both stand. (Depending on your background and experiences, this can lead to deeper fears and insecurities about yourself resurfacing, so make sure you find the right time and place for it.)

As you engage in those conversations, here are five helpful questions to talk through together.

365 devotions for your marriage on the days you feel like it (and ones you don’t).

1. “Have we prayed about when we should have kids?”

This should be the first question you talk and pray through together. Why? Because God is the Creator of all things—including family. And praying for a future family involves surrendering your hopes and dreams to Him. And when you do decide to start a family, you may find yourself continually resurrendering to God over a timeline that’s out of your control.

If you haven’t prayed about it because you’re scared God might not give you the desire of your heart, be vulnerable with your spouse about it. Then approach God with your fears together.

2. “How many kids do we want?”

You may have discussed this prior to getting married, but thoughts, feelings, and circumstances can change once you’re actually married and walking day-by-day with your spouse. Talking through this question can serve as a great starting point for being connected in this conversation. Perry and I have always said a range of kids we hope to have someday, but we’re both open to a conversation if circumstances change. 

3. “Should we stay in our current jobs when we have kids?”

This is a conversation Perry and I have had a lot recently, as we think about the next few years. As everything is the Lord’s, including our current jobs, we’ve wrestled with God about what we want to be doing when we are ready for kids. 

Have you and your spouse had a conversation similar to this? There are many factors that can lead to job change. Sometimes a job may require time away from home often, whether traveling for work or working overtime. Another factor that could merit a job change is one spouse desiring to be a stay-at-home parent. Process these factors as you’re discussing this question together.   

4. “How are we doing financially as we plan for a future family?”

Perry and I have been praying for financial stability and peace amidst planning for a future family. There has been a line we walk between surrendering everything to God as a step of faith and making wise financial decisions. Toeing this line looks like being in prayer about our finances and surrendering them to God, and then making a financial decision that makes sense for the situation and reflects how we feel He is guiding us.

Being able to “afford” kids isn’t the goal. But being on the same page about finances will help when we have kids and our expenses increase.

5. “Where do we want to be living when we have kids?”’

We have had many conversations where we’ve dreamed about where we’d like to live when we’re ready for kids. We don’t live very close to family, and we want to live in a safer neighborhood with better schools. While Perry is from the Midwest and I’m from the Northeast, we currently live in Florida. But we both believe proximity to family is a priority when we think about starting a family.

When the “Are we ready for kids?” question arises, my hope is these questions can help give clarity to what you both think on the topic. And remember: You are not alone in the process, God is with you and your spouse. He cares for you.

None of us are fully ready for kids. There’s so much unknown on the other side of pregnancy, adoption, or even infertility and deciding where to go from there. Remember, God often doesn’t provide exactly what we need until that very moment we need it.

Copyright © 2023 by FamilyLife. All rights reserved.

Brooke Wilson is a content writer and editor for FamilyLife at Cru’s World Headquarters in Orlando. She is newly married to her husband, Perry, and they have a Chocolate Labrador named Willow. Originally from Syracuse, New York, Brooke moved to Florida to pursue writing & editing content full-time. A few of her favorite things are photography, running, and sipping a warm chai latte across from a friend.