Responding to our pregnancy difficulties
All human beings are created by God, who is the Father of all life. God’s Word shows that He tenderly forms each baby inside his or her mother’s womb and gives it a name. God calls every child a gift and blessing from Him. Hence, it can be heartbreaking when we have difficulty in conceiving or carrying pregnancies to full-term. Over and above the opinions of our doctors, what does God’s Word say about childbearing difficulties?
1 Corinthians 8:6 ESV Yet for us there is one God, the Father, from whom are all things and for whom we exist, and one Lord, Jesus Christ, through whom are all things and through whom we exist.
Psalm 139:13 ESV For you formed my inward parts; you knitted me together in my mother’s womb.
Ephesians 3:14-15 ESV … the Father, from whom every family in heaven and on earth is named,
Psalm 127:3 ESV Behold, children are a heritage from the Lord, the fruit of the womb a reward.
Three types of childlessness
In God’s original perfect design, we were meant to have children and multiply. By the time Jesus came to earth, the world had become a different place, corrupted by sin and brokenness. When He taught about marriage (Matthew 19), Jesus pointed out three different types of childlessness, using eunuchs as a metaphor. Eunuchs are men whose reproductive organs are either removed or unproductive.
Jesus said that some people would:
- not be capable of having children due to natural biological reasons (eunuchs from birth)
- have had their reproductive organs removed (eunuchs by human intervention)
- choose to remain childless in order to focus on serving God (eunuchs by choice)
Genesis 1:27-28 ESV So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them. And God blessed them. And God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth and subdue it, and have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over every living thing that moves on the earth.”
Matthew 19:12 ESV For there are eunuchs who have been so from birth, and there are eunuchs who have been made eunuchs by men, and there are eunuchs who have made themselves eunuchs for the sake of the kingdom of heaven. Let the one who is able to receive this receive it.”
Outside of these three categories, there are also couples who appear to encounter unseen obstacles each time they try to have children. Before any of us spend thousands of dollars on various fertility methods, let us examine the Bible to see if there are any spiritual reasons that hinder pregnancy. God’s Word is enlightening, encouraging and empowering for all parents-to-be.
God’s comfort and reassurance
For childless couples who faithfully love and follow God, He has wonderfully reassuring words. He promises an eternal place of honour at His home that is much greater than anything human sons and daughters can provide.
Isaiah 56:3-5 ESV … let not the eunuch say, “Behold, I am a dry tree.” For thus says the Lord: “To the eunuchs who keep my Sabbaths, who choose the things that please me and hold fast my covenant, I will give in my house and within my walls a monument and a name better than sons and daughters; I will give them an everlasting name that shall not be cut off.
God is tender, caring and attentive to our needs and desires. Just as breastfeeding releases hormones that seal emotional bonds between mothers and their children, God’s love is binding for those who choose to follow Him. Nursing mothers are biologically geared to provide comfort, food, warmth, and protection for their children, and so is God’s love for us.
Isaiah 49:15 ESV “Can a woman forget her nursing child, that she should have no compassion on the son of her womb? Even these may forget, yet I will not forget you.
We may never know why some of us are unable to conceive our own children, but we can be sure that God’s love for us is perfect and unshakeable.
No one understands a parent’s pain and heartache better than God. He watched His one and only Son undergo mocking, rejection, blasphemy, and crucifixion. He provided the ultimate sacrifice for our sins for all time, His own precious Child, who hung naked and humiliated on a cross.
John 3:16 ESV “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.
Thank God that He did not withhold His Son from dying for us in order to redeem our brokenness and sins. At the same time, we must be careful to observe all the warnings that our loving Father in Heaven has provided about how we are to live. Let us not forgot God’s laws when it comes to childbearing.
Hosea 4:6 NLT My people are being destroyed because they don’t know me. Since you priests refuse to know me, I refuse to recognize you as my priests. Since you have forgotten the laws of your God, I will forget to bless your children.
Choosing life over death
There is no life without God. He gives us breath and life through His Holy Spirit. Giving children the best possible start in life, therefore, begins with fathers and mothers getting right with God in all our ways first.
Job 33:4 ESV The Spirit of God has made me, and the breath of the Almighty gives me life.
God is spirit. Our faith is in the unseen work that God does, rather than the visible outcomes. Doctors may be able to observe babies in the womb and provide the best environments for their development, but they cannot determine the personality of the child, its talents, or even how many fingers it will have. God is the One who preserves a baby’s life and assigns a guardian angel to it. He works in the invisible to determine all this.
John 4:24 ESV God is spirit, and those who worship him must worship in spirit and truth.”
Hebrews 11:1 ESV Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.
Job 10:11-12 ESV You clothed me with skin and flesh, and knit me together with bones and sinews. You have granted me life and steadfast love, and your care has preserved my spirit.
Matthew 18:10 ESV “See that you do not despise one of these little ones. For I tell you that in heaven their angels always see the face of my Father who is in heaven.
Just like we determine the physical environments for our babies to be born into, we create spiritual environments for childbirth too. There are many possible biological reasons for infertility or miscarriages, such as stress, low sperm count, hormones, missing chromosomes, tube damage ovarian disorders, poor immune systems etc. The Bible provides a few more reasons that we ought to be aware of.
Ways we may spiritually hinder fertility
When we turn to God and follow His ways, we choose life for ourselves and our offspring. When we neglect His Word and warnings, we do the opposite.
Deuteronomy 30:19-20 ESV I call heaven and earth to witness against you today, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and curse. Therefore choose life, that you and your offspring may live, loving the Lord your God, obeying his voice and holding fast to him, for he is your life and length of days, that you may dwell in the land that the Lord swore to your fathers, to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob, to give them.”
1. Idol worship in our family line
All human beings belong to God, not to idols. If any parent in our family, up to our great-grandparents, forsook God to worship idols or their ancestors, they would have incurred God’s judgment to the third and fourth generation. Our Creator will not tolerate it when we turn to idols or the dead to give them power over our lives. This is similar to us allowing our own children to run to rapists and fraudsters and call them daddy or mommy. By contrast, God promises to bless the families that worship Him alone to a thousand generations.
Isaiah 42:8 ESV I am the LORD; that is my name; my glory I give to no other, nor my praise to carved idols.
Exodus 20:4-6 ESV You shall not make for yourself an image in the form of anything in heaven above or on the earth beneath or in the waters below. You shall not bow down to them or worship them; for I, the Lord your God, am a jealous God, punishing the children for the sin of the parents to the third and fourth generation of those who hate me, but showing love to a thousand generations of those who love me and keep my commandments.
God’s Word shows that when our ancestors worship Satan (also known as Baal-peor), our “children will not be born or grow in the womb or even be conceived.” Even if we have never participated directly in ungodly worship practices, we are still liable because we are in the same spiritual bloodline – until we declare we choose to turn our lives to God alone.
Hosea 9:10-11 NLT The Lord says, “…When I saw your ancestors, it was like seeing the first ripe figs of the season. But then they deserted me for Baal-peor, giving themselves to that shameful idol. Soon they became vile, as vile as the god they worshiped. The glory of Israel will fly away like a bird, for your children will not be born or grow in the womb or even be conceived.
Just as our parents passed on a biological DNA to us, they also pass us a spiritual heritage. If we take the time to draw up a generational chart that includes all members of our father’s and mother’s family lines and observe all that has happened individually and as a family, we might notice some patterns of generational curses. See Breaking generational curses.
Thank God that Jesus will free us from generational curses. Let us, therefore, go to Him to confess our family’s idolatry and pray to cut off all spiritual ties to our own as well as our ancestors’ idol or ancestor worship in Jesus’ name. Our Heavenly Father welcomes anyone who returns to Him.
2. Dedication of children in family line
When God first instituted His spiritual laws for mankind, He called people to set apart their first-born child for Him, to do His will.
Exodus 13:2 ESV “Consecrate to me all the firstborn. Whatever is the first to open the womb among the people of Israel, both of man and of beast, is mine.”
While we don’t normally practice this within Christian circles, we do see this in some Asian cultures where people dedicate every first-born child or son to an idol for blessing, good luck, fertility or protection – sometimes not just for three or four generations, but for forever.
A fortune teller or spiritual master is often involved in the family dedication or “blessing” rituals that originate from witchcraft or superstition. Sometimes, this master will also provide lucky charms as heirlooms and pre-select names or Chinese characters for each future generation according to the horoscope or zodiac signs.
The Bible warns that there will be “loss of children and widowhood” from following such witchcraft and superstitions. We unwittingly give Satan permission to bring death and destruction to our own loved ones through such practices. Thank God that Jesus’ name is powerful and His name alone will crush all schemes of the enemy. Let us pray a prayer of confession in Jesus’ name to cut off all idolatrous dedications our ancestors might have made for future generations from ourselves, particularly if we are or are having a first-born child.
Isaiah 47:9,11 ESV These two things shall come to you in a moment, in one day; the loss of children and widowhood shall come upon you in full measure, in spite of your many sorceries and the great power of your enchantments… But evil shall come upon you, which you will not know how to charm away; disaster shall fall upon you, for which you will not be able to atone; and ruin shall come upon you suddenly, of which you know nothing.
Ezekiel 33:11 ESV Say to them, As I live, declares the Lord God, I have no pleasure in the death of the wicked, but that the wicked turn from his way and live; turn back, turn back from your evil ways…
Also, see Witchcraft is mainstream and dangerous.
3. We have used our bodies as death chambers
God calls our bodies temples of His Holy Spirit. Sadly, we create death chambers in our bodies when we participate in abortions, and defile His holy temple. Like a nursing mother, God never forgets any child He creates in a woman’s womb. He has already named it and grieves over its untimely death.
1 Corinthians 6:19 ESV Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God? You are not your own, for you were bought with a price. So glorify God in your body.
Just as we will not want to leave our own children in foster homes where babies have been murdered before, we can expect that God would not do so either.
Abortion rips away God’s blessing on our womb from us and complicates future conceptions. According to research posted on the website of the Elliot Institute, afterabortion.org, “Women who had one, two, or more previous induced abortions are, respectively, 1.89, 2.66, or 2.03 times more likely to have a subsequent pre-term delivery, compared to women who carry to term. Prior induced abortion not only increased the risk of premature delivery, it also increased the risk of delayed delivery. Abortion is associated with cervical and uterine damage which may increase the risk of premature delivery, complications of labor and abnormal development of the placenta in later pregnancies. These reproductive complications are the leading causes of handicaps among newborns.”
When Cain murdered his brother, Abel’s blood “cried out” from where it had spilled onto the ground. Similarly, the blood of aborted babies inside our bodies will also cry out. Cain did not repent for causing the death of a family member and as a result, was cursed from the ground. Abortion will also bring a curse directly into our bodies if we do not confess. The womb will “no longer yield its full strength“. We cannot shed the blood of any human being with God’s breath in it and expect God not to take notice. Everything we do leaves a spiritual mark, similar to the digital footprint we leave in our tracks when we surf the Internet.
Genesis 4:8,10-12 ESV Now Cain said to his brother Abel, “Let’s go out to the field.” While they were in the field, Cain attacked his brother Abel and killed him. And the LORD said, “What have you done? The voice of your brother’s blood is crying to me from the ground. And now you are cursed from the ground, which has opened its mouth to receive your brother’s blood from your hand. When you work the ground, it shall no longer yield to you its strength. You shall be a fugitive and a wanderer on the earth.”
Genesis 9:6 ESV “Whoever sheds the blood of man, by man shall his blood be shed, for God made man in his own image.
Praise God that in His amazing grace, God assures us that He will not condemn us for aborting a child or helping to abort one if we ask for His forgiveness through His Son, Jesus Christ. Through the immensity of His great love and forgiveness, God’s life-giving Spirit will free us from the power of sin if we are truly repentant. See a sample prayer to repent over participating in an abortion.
Romans 8:1-2 ESV There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. For the law of the Spirit of life has set you free in Christ Jesus from the law of sin and death.
4. Our own sins
God promises us that we will have good success when we study His Word and are careful to follow His ways. God desires that we live life to the fullest – spiritually, emotionally, mentally and physically. His abundant life will flow through us to our next generation if we follow Him.
Joshua 1:8 ESV This Book of the Law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do according to all that is written in it. For then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have good success.
John 10:10 ESV … I came that they may have life and have it abundantly.
When we turn away from God‘s laws, particularly His laws on marriage, we fall into sin and may bring childbearing difficulties into our lives. We see this with Queen Bathsheba who committed adultery with King David, as well as King Abimelech who took Sarah, Abraham’s wife, to be part of his harem.
When Bathsheba became pregnant after sleeping with King David, David arranged to have her husband killed in battle, so as to keep their adultery from being exposed. They could not, however, hide their secrets or treachery from God. It was only after God sent the prophet Nathan to confront David that he repented. David was no ordinary man. God called David “a man after my heart, who will do all my will.” Yet in a moment of weakness, David sinned gravely against God and broke many spiritual laws. Sadly, David did not voluntarily confess his sins and paid a very high price as a result. Bathsheba gave birth to a son who died after seven days. Despite His love for King David, God had to apply His spiritual laws impartially.
Acts 13:22 ESV … he raised up David to be their king, of whom he testified and said, ‘I have found in David the son of Jesse a man after my heart, who will do all my will.’
2 Samuel 12:9,12-15,18 ESV Why have you despised the word of the Lord, to do what is evil in his sight? You have struck down Uriah the Hittite with the sword and have taken his wife to be your wife and have killed him with the sword of the Ammonites… David said to Nathan, “I have sinned against the Lord.” And Nathan said to David, “The Lord also has put away your sin; you shall not die. Nevertheless, because by this deed you have utterly scorned the Lord, the child who is born to you shall die.” On the seventh day the child died…
Similarly, King Abimelech sinned by taking another man’s wife, Sarah. He took Sarah into his harem not knowing that she was already married to Abraham. God in His grace, warned Abimelech of this transgression in a dream. At the same time, God also “closed all the wombs of the house of Abimelech“. After his dream, Abimelech repented and actively took steps to rectify his mistake. Healing came upon every womb in Abimelech’s household as a result.
Genesis 20:6-7,14,17-18 ESV Then God said to him in the dream, “Yes, I know that you have done this in the integrity of your heart, and it was I who kept you from sinning against me. Therefore I did not let you touch her. Now then, return the man’s wife, for he is a prophet, so that he will pray for you, and you shall live. But if you do not return her, know that you shall surely die, you and all who are yours.”… Then Abimelech took sheep and oxen, and male servants and female servants, and gave them to Abraham, and returned Sarah his wife to him. … Then Abraham prayed to God, and God healed Abimelech, and also healed his wife and female slaves so that they bore children. For the Lord had closed all the wombs of the house of Abimelech because of Sarah, Abraham’s wife.
God is both gracious and righteous. He does not hold our mistakes against us when we confess and ask for His forgiveness, but there are consequences for hiding sin and treachery. Is there anything we need to confess and ask someone to pray for us too? God’s Word says that the prayer of someone who faithfully follows God has great power to heal us.
James 5:16 ESV Therefore, confess your sins to one another and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person has great power as it is working
5. We have cursed God, people or ourselves
We set up barriers between God’s blessings and us if we have ever cursed, blasphemed, mocked or rejected Him, the Source of life. We invite God’s judgment, instead of His blessings, even if our curses were spoken thoughtlessly. In His holy justice, God cannot reward us for cursing Him, until we ask for His forgiveness and turn away from such ways for good.
Leviticus 24:16 ESV Whoever blasphemes the name of the Lord shall surely be put to death…
Matthew 12:36-37 ESV I tell you, on the day of judgment people will give account for every careless word they speak, for by your words you will be justified, and by your words you will be condemned.”
With His words, Jesus raised people from the dead and cursed a fig tree so that it died within a day. Similarly, our words also have the power of life and death. God can also not reward us when we “curse people who are made in the likeness of God” and attack others with our words. It doesn’t matter how mean or abusive they were towards us, we will always reap the consequences of our heartless words.
Proverbs 18:21 ESV Death and life are in the power of the tongue, and those who love it will eat its fruits.
James 3:9-10 ESV With it we bless our Lord and Father, and with it we curse people who are made in the likeness of God. From the same mouth come blessing and cursing. My brothers, these things ought not to be so.
Galatians 6:7 ESV Do not be deceived: God is not mocked, for whatever one sows, that will he also reap.
The Bible provides the sad example of Michal, King David’s first wife, who was filled with contempt for her husband as the king unabashedly celebrated the return of God’s Ark of the Covenant into his city. We cannot be certain if this is the reason for Michal’s barrenness but the Bible states that she was unable to bear children for the rest of her life after she despised King David in her heart.
2 Samuel 6:16,21-23 ESV As the ark of the Lord came into the city of David, Michal the daughter of Saul looked out of the window and saw King David leaping and dancing before the Lord, and she despised him in her heart… And David said to Michal, “It was before the Lord, who chose me above your father and above all his house, to appoint me as prince over Israel, the people of the Lord—and I will celebrate before the Lord. I will make myself yet more contemptible than this, and I will be abased in your eyes. But by the female servants of whom you have spoken, by them I shall be held in honor.” And Michal the daughter of Saul had no child to the day of her death.
We can also sabotage our own chances of having healthy babies if we have ever spoken careless words over ourselves, such as “I don’t want children”, “children are a nuisance”, “I can’t have children” or “I have lots of health issues”. Before we pray and ask God for children, we need to repent and renounce any curses we have spoken over ourselves or other people in the past. See Recognising and breaking word curses and Inner vows must be revoked.
Psalm 109:17-19 ESV He loved to curse; let curses come upon him! He did not delight in blessing; may it be far from him! He clothed himself with cursing as his coat; may it soak into his body like water, like oil into his bones!
6. We are victims of someone’s curses
Sometimes, we may be the target of other people’s curses. Thank God that we can also break them in Jesus’ name. God’s Word instructs us to go one step further and bless those who curse us and pray for their wellbeing. This is where we exhibit the abundant life that Jesus has died to give us, by following His Word and being generous with His grace towards others too.
Luke 6:28 ESV Bless those who curse you, pray for those who abuse you.
Waiting on God who is faithful
After we have confessed our own sins and that of our ancestors, as suggested above, let us turn our hearts completely to God. Through painful experiences in trying to conceive, parents may have been tempted to:
- question if God is good.
- doubt that He hears our prayers.
- wonder if He cares about us and our desires.
- compare ourselves with other mothers or fathers.
- give in to negative feelings of self-doubt and shame.
- become impatient or desperate and take things into our own hands.
God wants to use every experience in our lives to draw us closer to Him.
1. Check and prepare our hearts to be God’s guardians
Beyond preparing our homes or finances to raise children, God calls all His followers to prepare our hearts for godly parenting. God is the ultimate Father, both ours and our children’s, and we are to honour His parenting laws.
In essence, God sees every parent on earth as a “guardian” or “manager” of His children, someone who is to raise them according to His Word so that through Jesus, they will be prepared to be fully adopted into the Kingdom of God one day. Having children is not about self-fulfillment but about fulfilling God’s will for them.
Galatians 4:2 ESV but he is under guardians and managers until the date set by his father.
We are to raise God’s children to love the Lord. This is the supreme calling for all parents.
Here is what the Bible says about the role of fathers:
- Loves, stays faithful and is understanding to the mother of his children (Ephesians 5:25, 1 Peter 3:7)
- Makes time to counsel and guide his children (Deuteronomy 6:6-7)
- Lovingly disciplines his children (Proverbs 13:24)
- Welcomes his children after they admit to a mistake (Luke 15:20)
- Helps (carries) his children during difficult times (Deuteronomy 1:30-31)
- Has compassion for his children (Psalm 103:13)
- Prays for and declares blessings over his children (Job 1:4-5)
- Teaches his children God’s Word (Deuteronomy 6:6-7)
- Passes on wisdom to his children (Deuteronomy 4:9)
- Manages his own household well (1 Timothy 3:4)
- Gives only good gifts to his children (Matthew 7:9-11)
- Does not frustrate his children or cause them to become angry (Ephesians 6:4)
- Does not give his children reason to become bitter (Colossians 3:21)
- Is not a drunkard, not violent, not quarrelsome and not a lover of money (1 Timothy 3:3)
Here is what the Bible says about the role of mothers:
- Loves, submits to, helps and is faithful to the father of her children (1 Peter 3:1, Genesis 2:18, Exodus 20:14, Titus 2:4)
- Tenderly cares for her children (1 Thessalonians 2:7)
- Comforts her children (Isaiah 66:13)
- Provides wisdom and loving instruction to her children (Proverbs 31:26-27)
- Has compassion for and nurtures her children (Isaiah 49:15)
- Disciplines her children (Proverbs 29:15)
It can be tempting to idolise parenthood as the ultimate answer to being happy or having fulfilling lives and marriages. We can become fantastic parents who pour our hearts and souls into raising children and yet miss out on guaranteeing our own eternal relationship with God.
Without God, it will be hard for us to have all the answers to successful parenting and marriage. But when we choose to love and submit to Him first, He will provide all our answers and for all our needs.
2. Grieve and vent to God
God understands our grief for losing a child in stillbirth. He also grieved over His Son’s crucifixion. He takes no joy in the messiness and brokenness of this world where millions continue to reject Hi. When King Herod found that the wise men did not go back to report to him after they visited Jesus shortly after his birth, he arranged for a baby genocide and “killed all the male children in Bethlehem and in all that region who were two years old or under.” What grieving there must have been in heaven! God understands our grief. Only when Jesus comes back to rule over the new earth and new heaven, will there be no more pain. All our mourning, crying and pain will pass away. In the meantime, He promises to be close to us and comfort our broken hearts. He invites us to go to Him for consolation and peace. See Please vent to God.
Matthew 2:16-18 ESV Then Herod, when he saw that he had been tricked by the wise men, became furious, and he sent and killed all the male children in Bethlehem and in all that region who were two years old or under, according to the time that he had ascertained from the wise men. Then was fulfilled what was spoken by the prophet Jeremiah: “A voice was heard in Ramah, weeping and loud lamentation, Rachel weeping for her children; she refused to be comforted, because they are no more.”
Revelation 21:4 ESV He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away.”
Psalm 34:18-19 ESV The Lord is near to the brokenhearted and saves the crushed in spirit. Many are the afflictions of the righteous, but the Lord delivers him out of them all.
3. Submit our thoughts to God
God knows and hears the cries of our hearts. Yet for reasons we may not understand now until we meet God in heaven, we may not be called to have our own biological children. The question for us is if we can trust our Heavenly Father is still good. Pain, doubt, desperation, disappointment, and fear are all natural emotions. It is what we decide to do with them that determines if we submit to God or to Satan. Satan, the destroyer of our hope and salvation, will tempt us to doubt and maybe even curse God. We need to “take every thought captive to obey Christ.“
2 Corinthians 10:5 ESV We destroy arguments and every lofty opinion raised against the knowledge of God, and take every thought captive to obey Christ,
Here are some ways we can train our thinking patterns if we are tempted to believe statements such as “I am struggling to have children, therefore…
… I have little value.”
The truth: “I will celebrate how God has made me. He says that I am fearfully and wonderfully made. My value is not determined by my ability to have children nor other people’s opinions. Childlessness does not make me less valuable in God’s eyes. He loves everyone equally.”
Psalm 139:14 ESV I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works; my soul knows it very well.=
… I feel shame when I compare myself to my peers.“
The truth: “I acknowledge that Satan will tempt me to compare myself with others. Condemnation and shame are not from God. God calls me to follow Jesus, not other people. I will be careful not to covet what other people have, but to keep my eyes fixed on God and to wait on Him for all my needs, in case I miss out what He wants to show me and how He wants to bless me. He has promised me a place of honour in His home.”
Isaiah 50:7 ESV But the Lord God helps me; therefore I have not been disgraced; therefore I have set my face like a flint, and I know that I shall not be put to shame.
John 8:12 ESV Again Jesus spoke to them, saying, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.”
… God does not love me.”
The truth: “My faith in God‘s love does not depend on my circumstances. God’s love has already been proven by the fact that He sent His Son to die for my sins. Nothing can separate me from God’s love. I shall not fall for the lie that God does not love me, just because I do not receive what I want at this moment. I cannot hold God hostage to my desires. He sees everything across all time and knows what is best for me.”
Hebrews 11:1 ESV Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.
Romans 8:38-39 ESV For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.
… God is punishing me.”
The truth: “God did not create me with a desire for children, just to torture and punish me by withholding biological ones. God is trustworthy and only has good plans for me. I know I will flourish when I submit to Him and seek His will first. I will ask God for the wisdom and self-control I need so that I do not subconsciously fall for the lie that God is cruel. I will stay away from being a fickle worshipper and choose to praise Him in all circumstances.”
Jeremiah 29:11 ESV For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.
… Where is God?“
The truth: “I will not allow my negative emotions to overwhelm and blind me from seeing God’s presence. My emotions can isolate me from God. He is everywhere and I cannot escape from Him. I will stand on His promises to never forsake me and I will ask Him for His comfort and peace at this time of pain.”
Deuteronomy 31:8 ESV It is the Lord who goes before you. He will be with you; he will not leave you or forsake you. Do not fear or be dismayed.”
… God has to answer to me!“
The truth: “I declare that there is no one greater in this entire universe than my Creator. I may not understand all His ways because I can only see what is before me. God can see everything in the past, present and future. I choose to place my trust in Him because He is sovereign, powerful, loving and attentive to all details.”
1 Corinthians 1:25 ESV For the foolishness of God is wiser than men, and the weakness of God is stronger than men.
… I cannot live a fulfilling life.“
The truth: “I will seek to know the abundant life that Jesus promises me, one that is not based on this world but on knowing Him alone. I acknowledge that children may abandon me one day but God will not.”
John 10:10 ESV The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly.
4. Trust that His plan is best, avoid taking things into our own hands
As we wait for God’s plan and timing, He will use this time to draw us closer to Him. During this time, we must be careful to trust that God’s plan is best and not turn to our own understanding or methods.
Proverbs 3:5-6 ESV Trust in the LORD with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths.
The supernatural birth of Jesus was highly inconvenient and life-threatening for Mary and her fiancé, Joseph. She faced stoning for having a child outside marriage. Yet she humbly said, “let it be to me according to your word” to the angel who informed her about her future child. She trusted God’s way and timing to be good, even though she would not be able to understand everything or foresee the future. Mary’s choice to follow God first has blessed every one of us up to today.
Luke 1:34-35,38 ESV And Mary said to the angel, “How will this be, since I am a virgin?” And the angel answered her, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you; therefore the child to be born will be called holy—the Son of God… And Mary said, “Behold, I am the servant of the Lord; let it be to me according to your word.”…
On the other hand, Abraham’s wife took things into her own hands and left mankind with grave consequences. God had promised Abraham that he would have as many children as the stars. Abraham and his wife did not know that this prophecy was intended to be fulfilled over 20 years later.
During this time, Sarah’s hope and faith were severely tested. Instead of leaning on God, she decided to fulfill God’s promise her own way. She instructed Abraham to sleep with her Egyptian slave girl, Hagar. When this surrogate mother became pregnant with Ismael, Sarah became jealous and bitter. Sarah eventually coerced Abraham to drive Hagar and Ismael away into the wilderness after she gave birth to her own son, Isaac. In His grace, God promised Hagar that He would protect them and make her son “into a great nation” too. Ismael’s descendants went on to form the Muslim people group, which makes up about 25% of the world’s population today. Abraham’s sinful rejection of Ismael and his mother has led to generations of animosity between Jews, Muslims, and Christians. Sarah never lived to see the painful results of her actions, but we are still suffering the consequences today. Through Sarah, we see that God does give us the freedom to choose or overturn His will, and that disobedience can have very severe repercussions that we may never understand.
Genesis 15:5 ESV And he brought him outside and said, “Look toward heaven, and number the stars, if you are able to number them.” Then he said to him, “So shall your offspring be.”
Genesis 16:1-2 ESV Now Sarai, Abram’s wife, had borne him no children. She had a female Egyptian servant whose name was Hagar. And Sarai said to Abram, “Behold now, the Lord has prevented me from bearing children. Go in to my servant; it may be that I shall obtain children by her.” And Abram listened to the voice of Sarai.
5. Biological children vs. spiritual children
If we find ourselves in a situation where we remain childless, not all is lost. Even though the apostle Paul remained single and without biological children, he had an extensive spiritual family on earth. He became the “father in Christ Jesus through the gospel” to many believers, including Timothy who he referred to as his “beloved and faithful child in the Lord“. When Paul went to heaven, he would have joined hundreds of people who were his “children” on earth. What a joyous reunion it must have been.
Paul’s example shows us that even if we don’t have our own biological children, we are called to multiply through spiritual children, some of whom could turn out to do great work for God like the apostle Paul did. Our biological children will only live for 120 years at the maximum, but our spiritual children will be with us for eternity. Life on earth is truly fleeting by comparison.
1 Corinthians 4:15-17 ESV … For I became your father in Christ Jesus through the gospel. I urge you, then, be imitators of me. That is why I sent you Timothy, my beloved and faithful child in the Lord, to remind you of my ways in Christ, as I teach them everywhere in every church.
Psalm 144:3-4 ESV O Lord, what is man that you regard him, or the son of man that you think of him? Man is like a breath; his days are like a passing shadow.
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