Dear Woman struggling with infertility,
I know how you feel. I’ve been down that road before. Maybe it’s your body that doesn’t function the way most people think it should. Maybe it’s your husband that can’t produce children (most people don’t even think of that element). Regardless, none of your situation takes God by surprise. God did not make a mistake when he joined you and your husband together. Can I take a few moments and dispel a couple of myths? I just want to encourage you as you travel this journey. You are not alone.
Myth #1-“Having children completes your family.” Have you ever noticed when God created this world, he created 2 people: Adam and Eve. THIS was the first family. God did not create children with the first family. The first family was comprised of two people, and that family was COMPLETE. In Genesis 1:31a the Bible states: “And God saw every thing that he had made, and, behold, it was very good.” Notice it doesn’t say: “and, behold, it was lacking, so he created children.” When God created everything, it was finished. Complete. Perfect. When you get married, your family is complete. God may or may not add children to that union, but regardless your family is complete. Hannah, in I Samuel 1, desired to have a child. Elkanah, her husband, asked “Hannah, why weepest thou? and why eatest thou not? and why is thy heart grieved? am not I better to thee than ten sons?” If I say “now that I have children my family is complete”, that will infer that if you don’t have children your family is not complete. What utter nonsense! My life is to be complete in Christ, not in my children. Children are an addition, not the family unit itself.
Myth #2 – “Marriage was instituted for procreation.” My husband and I were able to sit down and talk with a couple not too long ago. They do not have children yet and they have heard it all. If marriage was designed for procreation, why do people stop having children after 1 or 2? If that were the case, why don’t more families have 20 plus children? If that were the case, why do some families have no children, even though they’ve tried? Many people argue the Bible says “Be fruitful and multiply.” Yes, the Bible says that, but do you know it was a command given to specific people?
The first time we read that statement is in Genesis 1. Verse 22 says “And God blessed them, saying, Be fruitful and multiply.” Look! There it is! The command. Yes, but read the rest of the sentence, “and fill the waters in the seas, and let fowl multiply in the earth.” He is speaking about creatures in the water and birds! Not man! Context is an important thing. The second time is in verse 28 where He is talking specifically to Adam and Eve. “Be fruitful and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it.” Yes it says be fruitful and multiply, but I believe the command was specific to two people. Genesis 9:1 God tells Noah and his sons, “Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth.” (He repeats this in Genesis 9:7 to Noah and his sons.) In these two scenarios, He makes that command because they are the only people on the earth. (He makes the command in chapter 8 as well, but again, he is referring to the animals on the ark.) In Genesis 26:4, God tells Abraham, “And I will make thy seed to multiply as the stars of heaven,…” God would give unto Abraham as He saw fit. In Genesis 28 Isaac tells Jacob, “And God Almighty bless thee, and make thee fruitful, and multiply thee, that thou mayest be a multitude of people.” Again, it was up to God to multiply his seed. And lastly, again in Genesis, God tells Jacob, “I am God Almighty: be fruitful and multiply;” He was speaking specifically to Jacob because from Jacob would come the nation of Israel. This command is not found anywhere else in scripture. If God truly meant for marriages to be baby factories, there would not be infertility issues within Christian marriages.
Myth #3-“Just adopt a child, then you’ll get pregnant.” Ugh. Because every person who has adopted a child gets pregnant, right? That’s not how things work. I know some people who have adopted children and have ended up having a biological child. I am one of those people. But I know just as many people who have adopted children and have not had biological children. Just because it happened for your hairdresser’s sister’s best friend’s daughter’s sister-in-law does not mean it works that way for everybody. Plus, that thinking puts less value on the adopted child. They are just a means to an end. That’s NOT why you should enter into adoption. Adoption should be considered when you are willing to love someone else’s child as yours. Fiercely. Without reservation. And for the record, my adopted girl is just as much mine as my bio girls. If you know me and my husband at all, you’ve heard us say things like, “She’s your child” or “She has your DNA” or “She gets that from your side.” Adoption is a beautiful thing, but it should not be taken lightly.
So if you are a woman struggling with infertility, you are not inferior. You are not worthless. You are not incomplete. God has a plan for all of His children. We may not always understand it, but nothing happens to us that does not first pass through the hands of God. Don’t let thoughtless and flippant statements steal your joy.