My Question: Should couples who cannot have children be expecting a miracle from God?

Hi everyone,
I know Christian couples who want to (but cannot) have children but are still strong in their faith. A few have already gone over their childbearing ages. I also know a young couple who are Christians and want to have children but are struggling because they haven’t had success. I have two children myself and I really feel for them. What would you tell them? I have heard it often said that God also responds to an expectant heart of faith. Would you tell them to expect a miracle from God?

My younger self would answer with an absolute YES. I am also fully aware that a miracle is not always God’s answer. This question can also touch on our stance on miracles today. My problem is when the lack of a miracle becomes the marriage breaking point. I want them to exercise faith and at the same time not give the answer that only God should give.

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The first verse that came to mind after reading this was the verse in Proverbs: “Delight yourself in the Lord and He will give you the desires of your Heart”. I thought of this from the perspective of God creating/giving us the desires, not us producing the desire and then seeking God to bring it to pass. This leads to another question then: Is this God or is this me? If we can some how come to the conclusion that the desire IS from God then I think one would have to and would want to stand in faith while God brings it to pass. If not, then God would certainly not be obligated in any way to simply fulfill any and all desires that we have. In the final analysis, we will always need to trust that God knows best and that He loves us. We won’t always understand but we can always trust.

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The first thought that came to my mind was James 1:27. It seems like if God has given a couple the gift of parenting, but they cannot conceive, they should probably ask for guidance about adoption (caring for the fatherless).

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@nkaravaki Great question brother :slight_smile: Your question reminded me of God’s words for eunuchs, who could not have children, in the Old Testament. Back then children were even more central to peoples’ identity than they are today and God promised them a name better than sons and daughters. I think if we look at God’s promises in Scripture, He never promises us a good career, children or even marriage, but He does promise to call us His own and to fill us with His love.

For this is what the Lord says:

“To the eunuchs who keep my Sabbaths,
who choose what pleases me
and hold fast to my covenant—
to them I will give within my temple and its walls
a memorial and a name
better than sons and daughters;
I will give them an everlasting name
that will endure forever.

Regarding marriage without kids, I think that as Christians we must take our wedding vows seriously. We committed to the other person in sickness or in health - kids or no kids. We must honor God by loving one another. And, as @Cody mentioned, adoption is a great option for those who want kids and cannot have them. Just like God adopts us into His family, we can adopt kids who need a home into ours. Though I recognize not everyone is cut out for adoption and that it can be difficult.

I’ve also known couples who adopted and then had kids of their own - more than one actually. So while I do not think there is a guarantee, I do not think there is a reason to lose hope either. We can’t know the future, but we can trust God today :slight_smile:

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Thank you so much @nkaravaki for your caring heart towards those whose desire for children has not being fulfilled.

Speaking as one whose dreams have been shattered (and redeemed😊), I commend you for attempting to put yourself in the shoes of one who is struggling/suffering in this manner.

With respect to your question:

I would focus more on listening and being present in their pain. This may involve asking them heartfelt questions geared toward inviting them to talk if they need to, but usually when someone can tell you care they will open up when they need to.

I do believe God responds to “an expectant heart of faith”, but not necessarily in the way we hope. I think we need to be careful that we are not putting ourselves in God’s place when praying for a miracle. As Jesus said in Luke 22:42 “not my will but thine be done”, we should be prepared to submit to His will.

When someone is struggling with unmet dreams, it is a sort of death that must be grieved. Being in the midst of this process is so difficult because one holds in tension a sense of hope as well as a readiness to accept the loss. Most of the time, the person or couple are well aware of their options; the struggle is with grieving the potential loss. This is where being with the person/people and simply loving them is paramount. It seems like you are already doing this.

In reading @1rickolson 's response, I thought of Hannah in the Old Testament who’s sincere desire was to have a child. So sincere was her desire, that she prayed with everything she had and promised God she would submit her son to his service. With the question of desire and whether a desire is God-given or not, I believe that the desire for a spouse and for children are put there by God. However, we live in a broken world and this means that our honest desires may not always be met.

I hear what you are saying:

It is so difficult to watch people we care about suffer through painful times like these especially when they seem to be taking a toll on the marriage. May God grant you wisdom and discernment as you navigate these waters with this couple. May He guide you as to how best to love them through this harrowing time.

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Thank you @1rickolson for taking the time to respond to this question.
I tend to think that all our desires are part of the freedom to feel/want, given to us by God. I think you’re suggesting here that we then should check if our desires align with what God would want us to pursue. Correct me there if I am misrepresenting you.

I know trust will come up often in this conversation and again you have rightly suggested it. I have to trust God. Also, I have to trust them to trust God. Thanks again.

Thank you @Cody. “Adoption” has not come up yet in our conversations, but it is something I will ask them about. I hope and will trust God to guide them in facing this together. My hope also is that I play only a required minimal role so that it is really their journey together with God.

I think that most people would generally assume that having children is God’s will and, in most cases I believe that to be true. The questions don’t arise until the pregnancy doesn’t happen or doesn’t work out. The same cannot be said of ALL desires. “I feel” and “I want” are not necessarily the best place from which to make a decision. I agree that it is always important to begin and end with both love and compassion for those questioning what is happening or why but I think that at the appropriate time we should also encourage one to seek and embrace God’s will and His timing for our lives no matter how we feel or what we would prefer. I have not understood a great many things in my life and I don’t know that we can or should understand everything. What I do ask of God is: “I want You to provide for me and lead me ONLY where You want me to go and that You want me to have”. This prayer can be extremely difficult when we cannot see what could possibly be wrong with our requests or our desires and, maybe there is nothing wrong with them but…These are the times when we can only trust God and seek to be at peace while He continues to weave the threads and bring our lives to where He knows they need to be. I hope that I am being appropriately understanding and considerate of ALL who are suffering through this emotional topic. My wife and I got one step beyond pregnancy and then lost the child prior to birth. Asking why is the natural question to ask but why questions are quite often the least answered questions.

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