Be Fruitful and Multiply
At one of my bridal showers six or so years ago, we played the classic game where I had to guess my husband’s answers to various questions. Of course, the question came up: How many kids does he want to have? I answered easily with what we had already agreed upon: 2 or 3. We’ll see. I’m not much of a planner when it comes to things like that; besides, we were getting married young enough — kids were far from my mind.
Now I look back and can’t believe how naive I was to assume we’d be the ones to make the decision on how many kids we would have and when we would have them.
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Longing to Be Fruitful
To make a long story short: It took us countless doctor’s appointments (“Nothing is wrong here…next time I see you you’ll be pregnant!”), many difficult conversations (“Is it time to give up?”), 2 ½ years (during which time all of our friends got pregnant and had at least one kid), and a miscarriage at 7 ½ weeks (doctors had told us in advance the pregnancy wouldn’t last, but that didn’t make it any better) before we finally found ourselves pregnant.
I’m 23 weeks now as I write this, and though I know things with our marriage will change when we have a baby, the truth is, they already have.
The Impact on our Marriage
Looking back now, I still don’t think I am able to fully realize the impact our fertility issues have had on our marriage. But I do believe that the old cliche, “What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger,” certainly applies here. If you have found yourself in the midst of fertility issues when you’re trying to fulfill God’s command to be fruitful and multiply but can’t, here are three things I want to remind you of.
Be Centered on the Most Important Thing
Premarital counseling reminded me that a marriage needs a solid foundation to stand on, Christ! However, it’s easy to devalue that when things are going great in your life and in your marriage. But difficulties and hardship often point us to our creator.
In the midst of our struggles with infertility, we wrestled with questions of faith and debated what the Bible said was right. We prayed and read the Bible together. We began to recenter our marriage on what it should’ve been centered on in the first place: God.
Two Are Better Than One
Truthfully, there were times during infertility when I thought that the whole thing might be easier if it were somehow only between me and God; if I didn’t have to consider the feelings and thoughts and opinions of my husband. We often disagreed on the path to take regarding infertility treatments, and I was unsure of how to reconcile our desires.
However, Ecclesiastes 4:9 (NIV) tells us, “Two are better than one because they have a good return for their labor: If either of them falls down, one can help the other up. But pity anyone who falls and has no one to help them up. Also, if two lie down together, they will keep warm. But how can one keep warm alone?”
I realize now that my husband was not an extra “obstacle” through infertility, but the person who would help me up when I was struggling, and vice versa. We learned how to encourage each other through the different ways we processed the grief of miscarriage and the disappointment of infertility, and again I’m thankful.
Jesus is All You Need
This was something my husband and I were both reminded of throughout our struggle to be fruitful and multiply.
I remember during one difficult conversation we had — realizing we had differing opinions and desires regarding IVF and adoption, almost to the point of agreeing to disagree — when my husband said in disbelief, “What are we going to do then? Just never have kids?” As if kids were an essential part of life; as if life wouldn’t be complete without them.
Although it was my husband who voiced this question, I realized that I had the same thoughts. But in subsequent conversations with each other and with God, I’m thankful to have realized perhaps the most important of the lessons I learned: Children are not the “end all be all” in life; Jesus is.I’m thankful to have realized perhaps the most important of the lessons I learned: Children are not the “end all be all” in life; Jesus is. #FruitfulandMultiply #infertility #faith #Christianity #IVF #adoption #children #pregnancy Click To Tweet
Being pregnant now, it’s easy to look back and be thankful, to think about how our marriage was strengthened and it was all worth the wait. But the harsh truth is that not everyone gets pregnant eventually.
I don’t mean to say that to be discouraging, but to be honest. Sometimes the worst thing, when I was going through infertility, was the well-meaning relatives and friends who would try to encourage me with: “It’ll happen eventually!”
But the reality is that our lives are lived in the waiting, in the hoping. In the midst of infertility, realizing that Jesus is all you need is the key to strengthening both your faith and your marriage.
This was a guest post written by Jen. Jen is a full-time teacher and part-time infertility and faith blogger. For more of her posts, check out her blog at contentmentandchaos.com.
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