-Problems with the reproductive organs
-Certain medical conditions
Some of the biblical couples who experienced infertility:
Abraham & Sarah
Isaac & Rebecca
Jacob & Rachael
Manoah & Wife
Elkanah & Hannah
Zechariah & Elizabeth etc.
The alarming rate of delayed pregnancy/fertility has caught a lot of women off guard. Many marriages in our land today have been destroyed because of childlessness or infertility. Couples run from one herbalist, spiritualist or hospital to another in search of babies. It tears families apart and has given rise to polygamous situations. Some even end up in bar beaches where they wait upon the mermaid spirits for some sleepless nights. When people are desperate to get what they want, they may be willing to do anything – even if it means being swindled, maimed or killed. This raises the question:
Should childless couples today simply pray for babies?
Whose fault is it?
Is it caused by God or is God aware of this situation?
Why did God allow Satan to have this happen to us?
Will we ever conceive?
We will attempt to answer these questions in the second half of this article. Some people have also turned to medical knowledge, such as vitro fertilization, to help childless couples conceive. Some people believe that delayed pregnancy or childlessness is God’s punishment for sin.
Children are a blessing from God. If you’re hoping to have children of your own, you may adopt, take in a foster child, or work with children in your neighborhood or church. Infertility can be a crisis of faith for couples who want children but are unable to conceive. This difficulty can raise questions about the purpose of marriage, the worth of marriage partners, and their sense of belonging in the Christian community.
Couples often marry for many reasons, including but not limited to the following: to enjoy sex, to have children, and to have a life partner. While childbearing is often thought of as the primary purpose of marriage, it is not the only reason why couples enter into this contract. If there are problems with infertility or childlessness, the marriage is still supposed to be maintained for other purposes. However, for many Christians today, this is not always the case. For them, childlessness may seem like a refinement of their relationship with God. This is because God expects His followers to be Christ-like, and this sometimes involves pain and sacrifice. Recognizing our ultimate goal of becoming more like Christ reminds us that marriage and childbearing are not our only purposes in life. Childbearing is not our only purpose in life. Some atrocities have been and are still being committed by some childless couples today:
Sarah took Abraham’s fertility into her own hands by offering Hagar to him. She had trouble believing God’s promises and waiting upon the Lord.
By doing this, Sarah was not only able to get what she wanted but also allowed Abraham to have a child of his own.
Some of us encourage our husbands to marry second wives (Gen. 16: 1-14) in order to have children at all costs. This topic will be discussed fully in my next submission on DIVORCE AMONG CHRISTIANS in the subsequent editions of this magazine.
In the Old Testament, a woman without children was considered a failure, and it was a social embarrassment for her husband. Unfortunately, this is still the case for women today. Children are a very important part of society’s economic structure – they provide labor for the family and care for old age parents. Some women were forced to give their housemaids to their husbands or marry other wives.
3.0: TYPICAL CASES OF DELAYED FERTILITY
A number of couples in the Bible had to wait a long time to have children, even after they were married:
– Abraham and Sarah waited seventy-five years before having Isaac (Genesis 16:1-4; 21:1-7).
– Isaac and Rebecca waited twenty years before having Esau and Jacob, the father of Israel (Genesis 25:19-26).
– Jacob and Rachel waited eight years before having Joseph, who became the ruler of Israel (Genesis 29:31-30:24).
– Before having Samson, Manoah and his wife spent several years without children (Judges 13).
– Elkanah and Hannah also experienced many childless years before giving birth to Samuel, who became a prophet in Israel (1 Samuel 1).
– In a similar way, Zechariah and Elizabeth spent several years without children before John the Baptist was born (Luke 1).
If we take a closer look at the case of Zechariah and Elizabeth, we can see that they were both very religious people who followed all of God’s laws. They were also from a family of priests and had served in the temple for many years. Even though they were getting old, they didn’t have any children.
David said that children are gifts from God, but he also said that childlessness is not a curse. He said that it’s just God’s way of not giving the gift of children to certain couples (Psalm 127:3). There are many couples like Zechariah and Elizabeth in our churches today. Some of them have adopted children, but others are still waiting for God to bless them with children of their own.
4.0: SOME ANSWERED QUESTIONS
As a result of more couples deciding not to have children, the need to answer some of the questions they face has arisen. Here are some additional views on some of the most commonly asked questions:
a. Should childless couples today simply pray for babies?
Yes, you can pray that God will answer your prayers. Children are a gift from God, and it is only God who decides who will receive that gift. (Romans 9:15-16; Exodus 33:19) Those who came before us prayed with faith and received their gifts. (Genesis 15:7-8)
b. Whose fault is it?
If a childless couple remains cordial with God and each other, then the enemy may be to blame for their lack of children. According to Matthew 11:12, it is the duty of childless couples to wrestle their gifts away from Satan.
c. Is it caused by God or is God aware of this situation?
God is aware of your situation and has allowed it to happen so that your faith can be tested. After all, Abraham was tested and so were Zechariah and Elizabeth. So, why not you? (Luke 1:25).
d. Why did God allow Satan to have this happen to us?
As mentioned before, the Bible does not have any instance where a woman is barren, infertile, or childless with the exception of David’s wife, Michal. Michal was Saul’s daughter and was cursed by her husband for scorning him while he was praising and dancing to God (2 Sam. 6: 16-23).
e. Will we ever conceive?
Yes, the childless couple must conceive since others before them have done so. God’s word is always new and fresh in our midst, and there will never be a barren or infertile woman among us (Deut. 7:14; Gen. 18:14).
For seven long years, the writer was a victim of fertility issues. But when it was finally God’s time to give us the gift of a child, we were blessed with a healthy baby boy. Throughout the period of infertility, we put our trust in God, knowing that He would eventually come through on His promise to give us a child. And He did! We never gave up on praying and fasting to reduce the power of Satan and his demons. We did this in order to arrest them and stop them from tormenting us and preventing us from receiving God’s blessings. Eventually, after all of our effort, when it was God’s time, we had a baby boy, just like Sarah.
It’s important to understand that delayed pregnancy/fertility is not the same as infertility or childlessness. A lot of couples, because of ignorance or lack of patience, label it as such. But we must remember that all of the women mentioned in the Bible – Hannah, Sarah, Rachael, Elizabeth, Rebecca and Manoah’s wife – had children after all. The only exception is David’s wife (Michal/Saul’s daughter), whose case was a curse. There was no instance of an infertile woman in the Bible.
In 2 Corinthians 12:7-9, Paul had a similar case to many modern-day situations in which families are asking “whose fault is it?” and “why did God allow this to happen to me?”. In Paul’s case, God was aware of the situation and replied to him, saying “My grace is sufficient for you”. After that, Paul never talked about the problem again. In situations like these, it’s important to first understand that God has allowed it but not caused it. Encountering difficulties and hardships in our lives is how we tell others of the goodness of God. If we never had any trials or tribulations, we would have no testimony of God’s goodness to share with those around us. So when things get tough, remember that it is an opportunity for you to share your faith with others and testify to the goodness of God in your life!
Anyone who wants to become more like Christ must be willing to face difficulties and challenges. If we can remember that the ultimate goal is to become more like Christ, we will realize that marriage and having children are not the only things that we were created for. Having children will not guarantee our spot in Heaven or allow us to achieve Christ-like maturity. Therefore, our pursuit of having children should not be with the same level of importance as those who do not have a relationship with Christ.
Delayed pregnancy or childlessness can be a tough adjustment for couples to make, but it’s important to remember that grief must run its natural course. After coming to terms with this new reality, couples can begin to take notice of the needs around them that they may have previously been unaware of. They can channel their longing for children into helping out at churches and fellowship centers as teachers, counselors, youth workers, friends, and confidants. Not only will this give them a sense of purpose, but it will also help them feel closer to God.
Childless couples need to remember to have faith and trust in God. They should also try to be joyful in all situations, as this will help them overcome obstacles (Phil. 4: 4-6). It is important to resolve to carry God’s cross the way it is Providence for us and to accept His troubles the way we accept His gifts (Matt 16:24; Mark 10: 28-30).