Posts tagged “Infertility

Sermo Dei: Trinity 1, 2017

Posted on June 18th, 2017

God built fatherhood into man’s nature. God made man and blessed him for fatherhood. “Be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth and subdue it” (Gen. 1.28). Man was made for fatherhood. The man we call Abraham is—as you can see from today’s Old Testament reading (Gen. 15:1-6)—originally named Abram. Abram means “exalted father.” That refers to God, Our Father. Abram, named for the Father, wants to be a father himself. Abram wants a son. But he is old, and his wife is old. Some of you know how difficult it can be to conceive a child. And as the years go by, you feel worthless, and hopeless. That’s where Abram and his wife Sarai are. They didn’t have the many options that confront…

The God of a Self-directed Future

Posted on August 22nd, 2013

Russell Moore is spot-on here: This counter satanic humility can be seen, first, in Christians learning to give up the sense of desperation we feel when we lose “control” of our lives, our expectations, our families, our churches, our country. I don’t know what your personal trap is for kingdom building. For me, the satanic temptation was there in the having of children. When my wife and I first married, I was absolutely terrified of her getting pregnant “too early.” I had all kinds of plans for my schooling and for my ministry, and I didn’t think we could “afford” children for a while. The day finally arrived when I was “ready” to be a father. Maria and I made the “decision” and celebrated…

The hell of barrenness

Posted on January 31st, 2013

Luther comments on the deep sorrow of Rachel, barren many years, and how despair drives her to sobbing, sighing prayer: Therefore Moses has employed a significant word: “The Lord remembered.” It is as though he were saying: “She had almost despaired within herself, and she was convinced in her heart that God would never remember her, yes, that He had forgotten her forever.” “I shall not be a mother,” she thought, “but I am the most wretched of all women. I should have been the mother of the house, but God has forgotten me.” In this way she was led down into hell, where no hope of help seems to be left. In despair she takes hold of her maidservant and hands her over…

Praying is more difficult than preaching

Posted on August 10th, 2012

Luther continues the discussion of infertility in the marriage of Isaac and Rebekah, and highlights the challenge of persistent prayer. In the same way Rebecca took refuge in earnest and persistent prayer and sighed anxiously night and day. Isaac, too, prayed for her and placed before God nothing else than that one trouble, namely, his wife’s barrenness. We should learn from this that all our troubles, even those that are physical, should be placed before God, but above all the spiritual needs. Isaac prayed in this way: “If it means the hallowing of Thy name, and if it tends to preserve Thy kingdom, give Rebecca offspring.” Where a promise is lacking, as Rebecca lacked it, prayer should supply this and should come to the…

The trial of infertility

Posted on August 9th, 2012

In the Genesis lectures, Luther discusses the trial Isaac and Rebekah endured in their infertility. This is another trial. After the flame of lust has ceased and Isaac has become a husband and has had Rebecca as his wife for 20 years (for so long does God delay the promise in which He had promised his father Abraham: “Through Isaac shall your descendants be named”), another affliction now follows, and indeed one that is far more burdensome than the previous trial. The victor over lust overcame the devil by his chastity up to the time of his marriage. In the marriage state he longs for offspring, in accordance with the promise; and he certainly has no slight hope, since he knows that his wife…

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…