I ACCIDENTALLY PUBLISHED THIS BEFORE I PLANNED TO – it is not yet complete but I think is raises some thought provoking questions. So, I have left it visible. (And It may have more than my usual number of spelling and grammar errors.)
It is often said that children are a blessing. If we want children and none seem to come it can feel like we lacking blessing from the Lord. In such a trial, it is common to seek the opinion and expertise of fertility specialists. Those who have followed my blog will know, I think there are a number of fertility paths it is not good go down. Yet, it seems all to common for Christian brothers and sisters to find themselves down these paths, and even into problems, before they realize it. Why is this? Is there a general lack of knowledge about what fertility experts offer? There may be but lack of knowledge is not the only problem. Are we not apt to turn a blind eye to concerns, when offered the child we so desire to have?
To what extent do we seek to control many aspects of birth, like when to have babies, how many to have, not too have too many, etc.? How do we decide? To what extent are we willing to accept things the way they are? Those of us who object to others taking things into their own hands, by aborting their children, to what extent do we try to take things into our own hands with both the making of babies and with the prevention of pregnancy? To what extent is the killing of abortion different from the discarding of embryos of IVF (see..), and from avoiding birth by using birth control? To what extent is abortion different from desiring children at any cost?
Where does birth control fit into “leaning not on your own understanding” and letting the Lord “direct your path?” (Proverbs 3:5-6)
Consider Psalm 127.
1 Unless the LORD builds the house, They labor in vain who build it; Unless the LORD guards the city, The watchman stays awake in vain.
2 It is vain for you to rise up early, To sit up late, To eat the bread of sorrows; For so He gives His beloved sleep.
3 Behold, children are a heritage from the LORD, The fruit of the womb is a reward.
4 Like arrows in the hand of a warrior, So are the children of one’s youth.
5 Happy [blessed] is the man who has his quiver full of them; They shall not be ashamed, But shall speak with their enemies in the gate.
Psalm 127 connects the Lord’s building of a house to parents and children. At first glance, having lots of children is described as a blessing. Having a full quiver of children is a blessing when we consider blessing from a spiritual rather than a physical point of view. The quiver is a special pouch for carrying arrows. When hunting for food or when protecting one’s self from enemies, having a lot of arrows would be a good thing. But is –more children means more blessing– the only conclusion we should come to?
This passage talks of happiness and blessing from having a “full” quiver of children. Can the person who desires lots of children but has only been able to have a few, or none, not also be blessed? Are they not blessed? Could it be that the real blessing is tied to the desire to have one’s quiver as full as the Lord fills it? How many arrows are in a quiver filled by the Lord? In David’s case, when he went up against the giant Goliath, a few stones was enough. For David to do what the Lord had for him to do only required one. What about those who do not want more than a few? What about those who desperately want more than the Lord has given them and walk the path of IVF to get more? What about the person who has lots of children and does not really want them? Are these people living blessed lives?
The Lord Looks at the heart. When we look at the children conceived in a more philosophical sense than scientific sense….
In my blog post….
— to be continued — Even though it was accidentally published before it is complete. I think it raises some thought provoking questions. So, I have left it published. When I have completed it I will republish so those following my blog may be reminded to read again.