Monthly Archives: July 2016

Real Life Decisions with the Bible

Original post here: http://namandkatie.blogspot.com/2011/01/choosing-ivf-christians-experience.html along with other posts about our sons.

Can we really use the Bible to make real life 21st century decisions?  God’s instructions and care for His people are just as wise now as they were thousands of years ago.

This is from several years ago – years before Nam and I had any children Heavenside or here.  I still get chills remembering God’s embrace as I did this study.  I fall in love with Him again as I read the very real application of God’s word into our lives.

And I hope this helps direct somebody else to God’s word for wisdom on any path he needs.

You arleady know ultimately our conclusion from this study, prayer, and wise counsel was that God is the absolute sole creator of life through any means He wants.  Period.  There is no life without Him. And we felt confident pursuing IVF/ICSI to His glory however it would turn out.  Here was our study:

Choosing IVF – A Christian’s Experience

Praying about IVF

I know that God has promised us a child.  I feel completely convicted about this over and over and have for months.  However, I am unsure about how to proceed with this promise.  The doctors have told us that we have a very minimal chance (but still a chance!) of conceiving naturally.  They recommend IVF/ICSI.  Aside from the ethical dilemmas that I know can be navigated through, I have concerns about whether utilizing technology to create life – where there would be none without – is appropriate for us.

My main issue stems from the story of Sarai and Abram.  God promises Abram early on and repeatedly that he will have many descendents.  Always, this covenant is made with Abram, not with Abram AND Sarai.  Finally, Sarai gives over her maiden to Abram to impregnate so that Abram can build a family through Hagar.  And, he does.  Ishmael is conceived.  However, this was man fulfilling God’s promise, not God fulfilling God’s promise…which He does later.  God does eventually address Sarai when he tells Abram that He will bless her with a son so that she will be the mother of nations.  The news is repeated about Sarah conceiving (not the covenant with Abram) again by the three heavenly messengers.  Sarah does, in fact, conceive and bear Isaac.

I am praying about this, but I want to know further what God’s Word says on the matter of infertility.  So, some questions I am going to ask:

  1. In each situation of infertility, were children desired and why?
  2. In each situation of infertility, what circumstances brought about the infertility?
  3. How was the person’s relationship with God?
  4. What was the state of the relationship in which the infertility occurred?
  5. How did God Himself address the infertility?
  6. Did any circumstances change before fertility?
  7. Did the infertile person/couple change before fertility?
  8. Why did God give the blessing of a child?
  9. How is each instance similar to us?
  10. How is each instance different than us?

Before I explore these questions, I am going to list out some parameters that I believe God to set for us:

  • God uses varying methods of creation (word, Adam’s side, sex, immaculate conception)
  • God tells us to procreate (Gen 9:1, 9:7),
  • Sex is the method of procreation for people during Biblical times,
  • God created husbands and wives with the intent of sex between the two of them only (Gen 2:24-25),
  • Therefore, procreation ought to only occur within the boundaries of marriage.
  • God intends every single creation
  1. Gen 1     God speaks matter into existence.
  2. Gen 2     God breathing life into the dirt when he creates humanity
  3. Gen 29   The LORD opens Leah’s womb b/c she was hated
  4. Gen 30   God opens Rachel’s womb
  5. I Sam 1  The LORD opens Hannah’s womb
  6. Psalm 139            God knit David together in his mother’s womb
  7. Rom 4    God “gives life to the dead then calls into being that which does not exist” – Paul is thinking explicitly about the elderly Abraham and Sarah having a baby and becoming the father of many nations.

Ultimately, I need to know if utilizing a means other than sex for procreation within the confines of marriage is okay.  Is pursuing IVF us fulfilling God’s promise ourselves rather than waiting on God to fulfill His promise?

Infertility in Fertile Pages

Abram and Sarai
1.      Were children desired and why? Yes, God promised Abram descendents
2.      What circumstances brought about the infertility? Sarai was barren, then she was old
3.      How was the person’s relationship with God? They were obedient, righteous, and faithful (except for running ahead  – resulting in Ishmael)
4.      What was the state of the male/female relationship? Married, good relationship
5.      How did God Himself address the infertility? Continued to promise that Abram would have descendents;

Eventually said that Sarah would have a son

6.      Did any circumstances change before fertility? God told more of the covenant to Abraham – changed his name and had him and all become circumcised as a sign of the covenant
7.      Did the infertile person/couple change before fertility? Showed faith and obedience by becoming circumcised

Sarah laughed at the promise and lied about laughing (out of fear)

8.      Did the infertile person/couple change after fertility? Abraham kept covenant & circumcised Isaac

Sarah rejoiced and shared God’s goodness with others

9.      Why did God give the blessing of a child? To fulfill His promise

To have a chosen people

10.   How is this similar to us? Feel like God has promised us a child

We are confident that God will fulfill His promise

We have a strong marriage

Is IVF the same as Hagar?

11.   How is this different than us? I’m not barren or old

There IS a chance of conception naturally

God did not speak verbally to us

12.   And, so?  What can I take from this for us? God makes His promises clear

God fulfills His promises despite our wavering belief

We are to continue being faithful and obedient

Isaac and Rebekah
1.      Were children desired and why? Yes
2.      What circumstances brought about the infertility? Rebekah was barren
3.      How was the person’s relationship with God? Excellent
4.      What was the state of the male/female relationship? Excellent – Isaac was praying on behalf of Rebekah
5.      How did God Himself address the infertility? He answered His prayer
6.      Did any circumstances change before fertility? No
7.      Did the infertile person/couple change before fertility? No
8.      Did the infertile person/couple change after fertility? Rebekah went to the Lord with her questions

She loved one child more

9.      Why did God give the blessing of a child? Because Isaac asked
10.   How is this similar to us? Desire a child

Good marriage

We approach God with our questions

11.   How is this different than us? Praying for spouses’ fertility specifically
12.   And, so?  What can I take from this for us? Pray specifically for Nam’s fertility
Jacob and Leah
1.      Were children desired and why? Yes
2.      What circumstances brought about the infertility? Leah’s womb closed
3.      How was the person’s relationship with God? He opened Leah’s womb, but closed Rachel’s
4.      What was the state of the male/female relationship? Started out of a trick

No love

Duty/obligation

Eventually one of honor?

5.      How did God Himself address the infertility? n/a
6.      Did any circumstances change before fertility? Jacob’s love for Rachel was more
7.      Did the infertile person/couple change before fertility? No
8.      Did the infertile person/couple change after fertility? Hoped that Jacob would love her more and more

Praised the Lord

Competed with sister in jealous affection over husband

9.      Why did God give the blessing of a child? Because God saw Leah’s misery

Intended Joseph for future use

10.   How is this similar to us? Desire children

God sees our misery and desire

11.   How is this different than us? Based on love and choice, not a trick

No competing wives

Intention with child is not for spousal love

12.   And, so?  What can I take from this for us? God sees our misery and desire
Jacob and Rachel
1.      Were children desired and why? Yes

Innate

To compete with sister

2.      What circumstances brought about the infertility? God closed her womb because she had the love of Jacob and Leah didn’t (opened Leah’s womb)
3.      How was the person’s relationship with God? ?
4.      What was the state of the male/female relationship? Love

Turbulent

5.      How did God Himself address the infertility? He listened to her and opened her womb
6.      Did any circumstances change before fertility? ?
7.      Did the infertile person/couple change before fertility? ?
8.      Did the infertile person/couple change after fertility? Thankful to God

Asked Him for another son

Had another son

Died due to childbirth

9.      Why did God give the blessing of a child? He remembered her
10.   How is this similar to us? Relationship of love
11.   How is this different than us? No competing spouse

Not a turbulent relationship

God remembers us

God listens to us

12.   And, so?  What can I take from this for us? God remembers us

God listens to us

Manoah and Wife
1.      Were children desired and why? ?
2.      What circumstances brought about the infertility? Wife was barren
3.      How was the person’s relationship with God? ?
4.      What was the state of the male/female relationship? ?
5.      How did God Himself address the infertility? Angel of the Lord appeared to wife

Told her she would birth a son

Gave her specific instructions to avoid wine, strong drink, and any unclean food

Also gave instruction to not cut boys’ hair

Told the boy would begin to lead the Israelites out of the Philistines’ rule

Answered Manoah’s prayer and reappeared and repeated His instructions

Accepted offerings from Manoah and wife

Ascended into Heaven before Manoah and wife

6.      Did any circumstances change before fertility? no
7.      Did the infertile person/couple change before fertility? Fell on their faces towards God
8.      Did the infertile person/couple change after fertility? ?
9.      Why did God give the blessing of a child? Intended the child for future use
10.   How is this similar to us? Not
11.   How is this different than us? Wife is barren

God appeared to couple

God gave specific instructions for wife and son

God ascended to Heaven before couple

12.   And, so?  What can I take from this for us? Pray for God’s specific instruction

Pray that God will use our child very specifically

Hannah and Elkanah
1.      Were children desired and why? Yes

Innate desire

Ridiculed

2.      What circumstances brought about the infertility? Hannah was barren
3.      How was the person’s relationship with God? Faithful
4.      What was the state of the male/female relationship? Very loving

Husband cared deeply and provided for her

5.      How did God Himself address the infertility? He remembered her and she conceived a son
6.      Did any circumstances change before fertility? No
7.      Did the infertile person/couple change before fertility? Hannah poured out her heart to the Lord

Shared her anguish with priest

She promised her son over to His service (only keeping him a few years and then giving him over to the priesthood)

8.      Did the infertile person/couple change after fertility? No, husband continued his support
9.      Why did God give the blessing of a child? Had the specific intention for Samuel
10.   How is this similar to us? Pour our hearts out to the Lord

Loving, providing marriage

Shared our desire to raise our child for the Lord

11.   How is this different than us? No ridicule

No specific promise to hand child over somewhere

12.   And, so?  What can I take from this for us? Promise to the Lord to raise our child for His purpose

Continue to pour out our heart

Share our prayer with others

Michal and David
1.      Were children desired and why? ?
2.      What circumstances brought about the infertility? She despised seeing her husband give his all to the Lord
3.      How was the person’s relationship with God? I guess not great if she despised somebody worshipping Him
4.      What was the state of the male/female relationship? She spoke to David crossly
5.      How did God Himself address the infertility? She never had children
6.      Did any circumstances change before fertility? n/a
7.      Did the infertile person/couple change before fertility? n/a
8.      Did the infertile person/couple change after fertility? n/a
9.      Why did God give the blessing of a child? He didn’t because her heart was hardened
10.   How is this similar to us? It’s not!
11.   How is this different than us? We relish seeing one another worship the Lord

Our hearts are softened to Him

12.   And, so?  What can I take from this for us? Praise God for the other’s worship and obedience

Plead with Him to help keep our hearts soft

Shunnamite woman
1.      Were children desired and why? ?
2.      What circumstances brought about the infertility? ?
3.      How was the person’s relationship with God? Good (she recognized a man of God and cared for him)
4.      What was the state of the male/female relationship? Good (he honored her request to build an upper room)
5.      How did God Himself address the infertility? Spoke through the prophet and said that she would have a son
6.      Did any circumstances change before fertility? She was always hospitable to the prophet Elisha

She went out of her way to make him comfortable

7.      Did the infertile person/couple change before fertility? No
8.      Did the infertile person/couple change after fertility? Kept her steadfast faith so that her son was even raised from the dead!
9.      Why did God give the blessing of a child? Because of her care for Him and Elisha
10.   How is this similar to us? Good relationship with God
11.   How is this different than us? We should care more for His people

No prophets to care for

12.   And, so?  What can I take from this for us? We should care more for His people
Zacharias and Elisabeth
1.      Were children desired and why? Yes
2.      What circumstances brought about the infertility? ?

They were old

3.      How was the person’s relationship with God? Excellent
4.      What was the state of the male/female relationship? Excellent
5.      How did God Himself address the infertility? Sent Gabriel to tell Zacharias that he would have a son and the son would prepare the way for the Lord
6.      Did any circumstances change before fertility? No
7.      Did the infertile person/couple change before fertility? Zacharias was made mute because he did not initially believe Gabriel
8.      Did the infertile person/couple change after fertility? Elisabeth rejoiced and shared with neighbors her joy

Zacharias was made unmute and praised the Lord proclaiming what his son was to do

9.      Why did God give the blessing of a child? To prepare the way of the Lord
10.   How is this similar to us? Strong relationship with God

Strong marriage

11.   How is this different than us? Gabriel not spoken to us; not old
12.   And, so?  What can I take from this for us? Believe the Lord
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