It’s a hot button issue; more than ever before women have control over their reproductive lives. We have everything from birth control pills to fertility treatments at our fingertips. We can choose to have a baby now or freeze our eggs and save them until, well, just about whenever we feel like it. In the future, it is forecasted that people will be able to choose everything about their baby from gender to eye color. The question is: Where do we stand as Christians in this ever-changing world? The truth is that opinions on the subject vary within the body of Christ.
First, I think it’s important to emphasize that not every woman that God created was meant to have a baby. That doesn’t mean that they don’t want children, like children, or appreciate children – it simply means that God is true to His Word. We are a body with different parts. We all have different callings and not every woman will have children. That doesn’t make them less blessed, less loved or less valuable. In fact, my best friend Karla actually calls women that fall into this category “Mothers of Many”. She calls them that because she believes that God’s calling for them is to be used to touch many lives, both directly and indirectly. They are changing the world. These women are teachers, doctors, lawyers, politicians, writers, and activists among other things: all jobs that would be difficult to fully dedicate themselves to if they were full-time mothers as well. For one reason or another (either for health, relationally, or circumstantially) the opportunity to be a parent was never on hand.
Next, there are those women who have a roundabout idea about how many children they want to have. They reach their limit and decide to get their “tubes tied” or use some form of birth control. Many factors aid in deciding to move forward with that decision. It is often based on financial responsibilities, the amount of time that parents have to spend with their children, and overall work. Many parents raising children will often comment on what an expensive, time consuming and exhausting endeavor it is – granted I often hear them immediately follow up these comments with, “It’s worth it, though.”
In another category, you’ll see the Michelle Duggar’s of the world. She’s the woman featured on The Learning Channel’s show 19 Kids and Counting and yes, she is currently pregnant with her 20th child! Women in this category feel that children are a blessing from the Lord, and they decide to let the Lord give them as many children as He chooses to bless them with. I’ve met a few women in this category, and they just want to let the Lord decide for them. They make a lot of sacrifices and are sincere in their desire to honor and obey the Lord.
Subsequently, we have the other extreme. Women who desperately want to have a child and for one reason or another are unable to conceive. In the advent of modern technology in the field of human reproduction, a whole new world has opened up. Women who choose to wait to have children later in life now have the ability to visit fertility clinics and receive everything from hormone injections to fertilized eggs. Nowadays, women don’t even have to carry their own children.
Eggs can be fertilized in a lab and implanted in a surrogate who carries the baby to term.
My goal for this article is not to tell you what is right and what is wrong. The purpose of this article is actually to remind each other of one thing: God is still in control. In every single one of the scenarios that I listed, God is in control. Based on the descriptions that I have given above you may or may not have formed an opinion about some of our sisters reproductive lives. Please don’t do that. We should be building the body up. We should be encouraging and supporting one another and interceding for one another in prayer for clarity. If there is a concern about a child being in danger, then obviously, prayerfully considered action should be taken. However, if it’s more of a gossipy, unflattering, self-righteous opinion that’s really disobliging then perhaps asking the Lord to change your heart might be necessary. God knew that women would be able to one day tie their tubes. He also knew that one day there would be such a thing as a fertility clinic. Here’s what we need to remember: Without God, there is no life.
God is the one who chooses whether or not your birth control will work. My friend Karla, the one I mentioned earlier, was conceived even though her mother had an intrauterine device (IUD), a form of birth control, implanted. I also know women who undergo cycle after cycle of fertility treatments and spend an enormous amount of money only to end up failing to conceive. In the end, let us remember one thing – God’s plans will not be thwarted. So let’s keep an open heart toward one another, and a closed door that the enemy cannot infiltrate.
Marisa can be reached at [email protected].org.