When the Desire of Your Heart Is for One Gender over the Other

Is it wrong to specifically hope for a boy or to desire a girl versus just hoping and praying for a healthy baby, no matter the gender?

I’ve been trying to find answers to that question. The Bible doesn’t offer any insight concerning that exact question. It does, though, provide everything needed to seek God’s will and determine what is right, wrong, godly, and sinful.

desiring one gender

I’m going to break it down.

Is it sinful to want something? I don’t think so. Moses wanted a better life for his people. Gideon wanted proof. Hannah wanted a baby. Their desires were all God-pleasing. Sometimes, we want things that are not God-pleasing, like (fill in the blank). David wanted Bathsheba for his own, and even acted out on his sinful desire by killing her husband. In some cases, wanting something is definitely not godly and right.

So, is it God-pleasing to want a child? Absolutely! God gives us children as a gift and as a heritage from him (Psalm 127). Humans are the crown of his creation; we are made in the image of God (Genesis 1:27)! To want a child is to want a most precious gift.

What about when we get a little more picky?

You have two sons and would really like to have a girl next time. Or, you are due in three weeks and are really hoping for a little boy for your husband. Have you been there? I have. But is it OK to think that way?

Before my husband and I purchased our first home (stay with me here), I had my “House” Pinterest board loaded with images of lots of things I wanted in a home. I just wanted a house, but more than that I hoped for an open-concept home with 9 foot ceilings and charm. In His time, God blessed us with our first home. What is more, He not only provided us with a house, but with a home that had many of the features that I had loved! God blessed me with something that I wanted.

Now, obviously, a human child is worth far more than a house and maybe this comparison doesn’t work. But what I do know is, God blesses us even beyond what we need or what we think we deserve.

To the best of my knowledge, I do not think it is wrong to want a specific gender if the reasons behind the desire are honest and godly. For example, let’s say you have a daughter already and are hoping for a son so that your husband can enjoy the experiences that only a father and son can share. Or, maybe you have been blessed with little boys and hope to have a daughter so that you can have the same relationship with her that you cherish with your own mother. I do not think that these desires are wrong or sinful. And just because we want something, even for the best of intentions, doesn’t mean that we’ll receive it. God has a plan.

However, here is where things can get a little sticky: if our desires for a specific gender are for selfish, sinful, or for hurtful reasons, then the desire is no longer God-pleasing. Or, when baby does arrive and he or she is not the gender you had hoped for and your disappointment hurts your relationship with your new little babe, that’s not good.

I don’t know of any mother who has not loved her new little one, though, simply because they were male instead of female or vise-versa. We love our children no matter what. They are so precious; they are such blessings.

In the end, no matter what our desires are, God knows what we need. …for your Father knows what you need before you ask him. (Matthew 6:8) He knows who each and every member of our family will be; he has designed a unique family and a plan for each of us. “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD (Jeremiah 29:11). He takes such good care of us, and not only that, he blesses us, too!

I think, to the best of my knowledge, that it is acceptable to desire one gender or the other if our desire is honest and God-pleasing. But when that baby does arrive, we’ll love on him or her no matter what, rejoicing in the fact that God has blessed us with a precious child to add to our family with a unique plan for our future!

God knows what we need. Trust him. Seek his will for your family and your future. Pray. And rejoice!

Children are a heritage from the Lord – Psalm 127:3



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