Carol dreads Mother’s Day. In the past, she and her husband have always gone to church and then to Grandma’s house where the men in the family cook a Mother’s Day feast. But this year Carol may skip church. Why? Last year she left the Mother’s Day service in tears. Her pastor had preached on Psalm 127:3, “Sons are a heritage from the Lord, children a reward from him.” He said a godly home is “rewarded with the treasure of children.” Carol was deeply hurt. “He implied that those of us who are unable to have children must not have a good home based on the Lord,” she recalled.
Carol and her husband are among the one in six couples in North America who face the pain of infertility. Defined medically, infertility is the inability to achieve a pregnancy after a year or more of regular sexual relations. It can also be defined as the inability to carry a pregnancy to a live birth.
But statistics and definitions say little about emotional pain. For eight years my wife and I struggled with infertility. We visited almost half a dozen doctors, spent thousands of dollars, and experienced a roller-coaster ride of rising hopes and shattered dreams.
And throughout our ordeal we experienced both blessing and bruising from the body of Christ. Some believers were extremely helpful and supportive. Others only poured salt on our wounds without realizing it. We believe the church must become a healing community for infertile couples. Here are our challenges to the church:
• Be careful with the Word of God. Used carelessly, the “double-edged sword” can become a dangerous weapon. Psalm 127:3 is a prime example. To be sure, this verse teaches that children are a wonderful blessing from God. But if children are evidence of God’s blessing, does the lack ...1
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