Christian "Vows"

I was speaking to a young lady this morning. She is a Christian and loves the Lord. She had a question for me that I was rather unable to answer well. Here is the story - She has three young children. Two and a half years after the birth of the third child, she was still experiencing amenorrhea. For various reasons this was really troubling her, so she prayed and asked the Lord to restore her “fertility” saying " if you do this by next month I will consider that you MAY want me to have more children"
Now, a few years later, she is looking at herself a feeling a fool. The family situation, her husband, her own conscience and all factors are seeming to say it is time to permanently “end” her fertility and the possibility of having more children.Yet she is terrified to move toward what she feels is wisest for her family, because she feels she will be “breaking her vow.” Any thoughts on this?

Dear Tami
Thanks for sharing, I was just wondering if this might be the same story you shared on a post about vows? This is definitely a very intimate matter, and I cannot even begin to imagine what she must be going through as she looks for a solution.
Permit me share a few thoughts here. Based on what you have described I am wondering if she did make a vow - when we look at vows that were made in scriptures like that of Hannah, Jepthah, they did ask God to do something and in return they would do something or they promised God they would do something or vowed to themselves to do something. In this case it seems she said if God did restore her fertility within a certain time frame, she would consider that He wanted her to have more children…meaning if He did not that would be a an indicator that she should stop child bearing attempts?
If I get the situation right, I am wondering if it is reflective of how we see vows described in the Bible…It seems more similar to the kind of request Gideon made with the fleeces in Judges 6? Is it possible she might be feeling bad about a vow she did not make ?

Another thing might be that using a specific response from God within a timeframe as ( in this context) to make decisions could lead to conclusions that may not necessarily be the case and so Scriptural guidance is very vital. If we refer back to Gideon, God had already told Gideon that He intended to deliver the children of Israel by His hand and we know His word does not change. If Gideon had put the fleece and God did not do what he requested by the next morning would it have meant that the Lord’s will concerning Gideon delivering the Israelites had changed?

In this case it seems that because of the expectation our sister had from God, she is probably concerned that if she goes ahead to continue her child bearing attempts and eventually bears a child she would have violated what God wanted from her since He did not end the fertility situation when she expected Him to. The scriptures (albeit interpretational and contextual issues) is most often the most reliable way of finding out God’s will about a matter on a general level which can be pointers for direction at individual levels in some cases.
Regarding fertility, the Word makes us know it is His will for people to be blessed with the fruit of the womb
Psalm 127: 3 says children are a heritage of the Lord and fruit of the womb his reward
Psalm 128:3, psalm 84:11, Deuteronomy 7:13 -14, Deuteronomy 28: 11
There are also examples of barren (Sarah, Rebecca, Elizabeth, Samson’s Mother etc) but the Lord made them conceive.

While it is true that there are many who desire kids and have not had them (for various reasons), at least the trend we see from scriptures is that it is the general will of the Lord that he promotes fertility and doesn’t stop it (though humans surely have their role, choice and responsibility in this as well). In real life as well there are numerous testimonies of women who bore kids and only bore another after 8 or more years even after gynecologists had written them off child bearing.

On the other hand, there seems to be no scriptural indication that would permit us conclude that if someone has had children before and couldn’t have more then it automatically means it is the Lord 's way of saying not to have more children. Besides, He has also given us the ability to make the choice to also stop bearing children when we want to. I know that as our sister seeks the Lord she would know what to do, I don’t know if she will get all the ‘answers’ but perhaps she will get a bigger picture than the current situation?

Hopefully, these few thoughts and scriptures could also provide pointers to another perspective about the situation. I pray for her that the Lord would grant her wisdom amidst the counsel she receives and that she would find an answer of peace.

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