For many Christian couples, the opportunity to begin or grow a family through the blessing of childbirth is at the forefront of their lives. These couples want nothing more than to serve their Creator within the human vocation of parenthood. However, lurking in the shadows, waiting for the opportunity to undermine those dreams, is the seemingly silent force of infertility. Infertility has been destroying the hopes and visions of many married couples who have endlessly searched for answers to a seemingly unanswerable question.
What is the infertile couple to do when feeling confused, alone, and separated from the divine providence of God? One suggestion is for the couple to embrace that their doubt and pain is very normal. Finding a support group, or other couples who have suffered with infertility, may be important. An appropriate social support network can normalize many of the common mental and emotional experiences that only a couple with infertility issues can completely understand.
Emotional adjustment within the despair of infertility can present unique situations in which the couple experiences difficult thoughts and emotions that could cause a separation in their relationship with God. The disciples in John 9 provide an excellent example of this irrational thinking when they ask Jesus, “Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?” For the infertile couple, the sinful mind begins to assume that there is some underlying reason or punishment that God is choosing to withhold the blessing of children. They might wonder, “Is God telling us that we would not be good parents? Isn’t it God’s plan for us to ‘be fruitful and increase in number’?” (Genesis 1:28).
It is extremely important for the couple to express and clearly articulate any discrepancies between their current thoughts or emotions and God’s perfect providence. In these instances it is important for the couple to cling to the scriptural truth, “Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven” (Matthew 6:10).
Counseling services are available from WLCFS Christian Family Counseling for couples struggling with the emotional impact of infertility. For more information, please call 800-438-1772.