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Medicine, Pregnancy, and Faith in God s Plan

Today s post is written by guest blogger Spence Shelton, our Summit Small Groups pastor. A common question I ve been asked is whether taking medicine to help increase a couple s chance of getting pregnant interferes with God s timing and/or shows lack of faith and patience in God s plan. Here s a great response by Pastor Spence:

First, I cannot pass up the chance to affirm you and your husband in seeking to become parents! This is one of the great joys of life and callings on us as married couples. You are honoring God in this endeavor, so please remember that. Like arrows in the hand of a warrior, are the children of one s youth. Blessed is the man who fills his quiver with them. He shall not be put to shame when he speaks with his enemies in the gate.   (Psalm 127:4-5 ESV)

Ok, four things to remember as you go through the question of using chemical assistance in getting pregnant:

1. Medicine that seeks to reverse the effects of sin on a fallen, broken world is usually a good thing.

For this conversation: we were created to make babies. But one of the many effects of sin on our world is an interruption of God’s created order.  While not directly our fault, this is simply sin’s corruption on our world (Romans 8:19-25) and its why we long for a day when sin’s corruption will vanish.  In the meantime God has given Christians the task of declaring that hope to the rest of the world in how we speak and live. Desiring to raise up the next generation of Christ followers is one central way we can do that. So fertility medication in itself is not necessarily a bad thing.

2. A good thing can become a God thing, and that’s a bad thing.

While the desire to have children is good, it is so easy for us to allow this to become an idol in our lives. By that I mean our source of joy, security, and validation begins to be determined by whether or not you are pregnant. This is especially likely to happen in this instance because we are (rightfully so) very emotionally invested in the idea of being parents. So as you consider fertility meds, allow the gospel to constantly evaluate your motives. Christ, not children, must remain the center and source of our lives. Otherwise, we will just make idols out of our children as they grow, training them to worship self instead of God.  Practically: I’ve seen several couples spend tens of thousands of dollars and many years on fertility meds so they can have their hearts desire. Children had replaced christ as their source of worship. Guard yourself against this.

3. Adoption is not a back-up plan.

A good reading through Romans 8 and Ephesians 1 will show you how God has “adopted” us into his family. So if parenting is supposed to be a reflection to our children of God’s love for them, adoption is arguably the best way to do so. Going back to the idolatry concern, the point is not to create little “mini-me” people who look like me. The point of having children is to raise up the next generation of Christ followers for God’s glory.  This frees us from the embedded lie in our minds that adoption is what we do if we cant have “our own” kids. Remember, the goal is to be parents not to be pregnant! For more on this:

4. Seek counsel from other believers in your life.

Much as you’ve done by asking the question and seeking an answer, I encourage you to be open and honest about this with believers who are close to you in your life. Do you have a small group? One of the best things my wife and I did as we went through a year of infertility was share that struggle with one other couple in our small group who encouraged us and helped us evaluate our motives along the way.

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