Infertility, the Church, and Science

There are two statements I heard from godly people when I struggled with infertility.

“Fertility treatments are wrong…” said by someone who did not research these treatments.

Or…”I look at fertility treatments like I do blood pressure medicine. If you need it take it…”

Inside Explosion. Explosion of the Star. Space Theme Illustration.

Neither answer understands the procedures nor the moral and ethical considerations of such treatments.

Two statements from women facing infertility stand out to me as well.

“How can I love a God who is able to give me the desires of my heart, but won’t?”

And…”I did it all right. I waited to have sex before marriage and so did my husband. Why can’t we have kids?”

This is why I long for a church to take some time to research, understand, and help guide couples facing infertility.

There are scientific options that are both making fertility treatments better and potentially more ethically/morally/spiritually dangerous. Where will a Christian couple turn when they need guidance to difficult questions if the church is not willing to step up?

Pastors I challenge you before you counsel a couple facing infertility to do your research.

Couples I challenge you to prayerfully research fertility treatments and adoption to allow God to direct you.

Here are some questions you must ask before embarking specifically on in-vitro fertilization, but other fertility treatments as well.

Since life begins at conception:

1. What must we as a couple do to protect/give the best chance at life any babies created during IVF?
2. Is our relationship healthy to last throughout fertility treatments and raising of the children created? For example if we have embryos frozen will we remain married long enough to bring them all home?
3. Who will make choices regarding our babies in the freezer should one or both of us (my spouse and myself) die?
4. Will we allow genetic testing of our embryos? Is it worth the risk to the embryo? Would the test results change our devotion to giving each child created a chance for life?
5. How much money can we devote to fertility treatments? Once a life is created we are financially responsible for maintaining that life to the best of our and science’s understanding.

Those of you struggling with infertility I pray God’s peace, wisdom, and comfort will be upon you as you navigate the journey of infertility.

And church, please help those hurting and struggling. Research and think deeply before you speak. It is ok to admit you don’t know.