Posts tagged “Fertility

Luther: Desiring sterility is inhuman and godless

Posted on January 16th, 2013

Luther on Rachel’s words, “Give me children, else I die!” (Gen. 30:1): One must also consider that at that time fertility was regarded as an extraordinary blessing and a special gift of God, as is clear from Deut. 28:4, where Moses numbers fertility among the blessings. “There will not be a barren woman among you,” he says (cf. Ex. 23:26). We do not regard this so highly today. Although we like and desire it in cattle, yet in the human race there are few who regard a woman’s fertility as a blessing. Indeed, there are many who have an aversion for it and regard sterility as a special blessing. Surely this is also contrary to nature. Much less is it pious and saintly. For…

Caring for Leah

Posted on January 9th, 2013

Concerning Jacob’s disregard of his wife Leah, Luther finds this great consolation in the Lord’s opening of her womb (Gen. 29:31): Everyone should know that God cares for him in his calling. For God cares about little, mediocre, and big things. He is the Creator and Governor of everything. But who would believe that God cares for Leah? Surely all men should conclude firmly that God has regard for and cares for them, no matter how small, abject, and lowly they are. For this is why Moses so carefully depicts the condition of Jacob’s household affairs and sets it before our eyes. Luther’s Works, Volume 5

Emily Horacek: Feminism’s anti-women slant

Posted on March 5th, 2012

Responding to my analysis of Lisa Miller’s diatribe against natural fertility, Emily Horacek wrote something far too good to be buried in the comments, so I’m elevating it to its own post. The anti-women slant of feminism is what bothers me about all of this the most. If I have many children, expressing a very feminine ability, I am somehow under the thumb of my husband. If I work inside the home instead of outside of it, I am somehow not a full member of society. If I practice a religion where the men step up to their masculine role and speak on my behalf, somehow they are not credited with speaking for me but rather selfishly on their own behalf. The only way…

Newsweek’s Lisa Miller: Bible “worthless” for family life, GOP candidates with large families “smug” patriarchs

Posted on March 5th, 2012

The Washington Post’s “On Faith” column for March 2 features Lisa Miller of Newsweek (“Romney, Santorum and archaic ideas on fertility”). Her second paragraph begins, “There’s nothing wrong with big families, of course” – and then proceeds to tell us precisely what is wrong with them. She describes a “crusade” against birth control, which would be utterly laughable if the stakes here weren’t so high. That evil men are trying to deny women access to contraception is the meme that every establishment media outlet is parroting. One wonders if these people are truly so foolish to believe that; surely someone like Miller is intelligent enough to see that this is a lie, which makes me wonder how she sleeps at night. It’s likely made easier…

Unbearable days

Posted on November 26th, 2011

In two recent posts we’ve looked at problems with Christians closing the door to their fertility. Gentleness is needed, however, for those who struggle with infertility. Russell Moore observes, Mother’s Day is a particularly sensitive time in most congregations, and many pastors and church leaders don’t even know it. Infertile women often find this day almost unbearable, not because they’re bitter or covetous or envious, but simply because it’s a reminder of unfulfilled longings. Some pastors, commendably, mention in their sermons and prayers on this day those who would love to be parents but haven’t yet been given this opportunity. -Adopted for Life, p173 For the infertile and those who have suffered miscarriages and stillbirths, not only Mother’s Day but baby showers and baptisms…

Sex and Choice

Posted on November 19th, 2011

Mollie Hemingway has a post on Ricochet with a provocative question: “Why Do We Lie about Female Fertility?” Reading through the comments reminded me how thoroughly the language of choice permeates all discussion of conception. Sex is a given, but children are a choice. This is true even among many (probably most) practicing Lutherans. Most Lutherans are pro-choice. They would (rightly) recoil at choosing to abort an unborn baby. But they think nothing of choosing whether or not to allow sexual intercourse to be open to the conception of children. One aspect of God’s gift of sexual intimacy between husband and wife is pleasure (or, as the marriage liturgy has it, “[that they] may find delight in one another”). But the chief end, which is not…