A Most Painful Day
Thinking back on the years when I desperately wanted to have a baby it was one of the worst times of my life. Every month I had a reminder of what could not be without a divine miracle- which God didn’t seem willing to do. But the most painful day of the year was Mother’s Day. I’m telling you this because I want you to know that we should be praying for those who desire children and cannot conceive for whatever reason. So here’s some advice from someone who’s been there:
We should never assume someone is too selfish to have kids because we never know what is behind their choice or with what they’re struggling. I know a couple who have strong health issues coming down the line that have chosen not to pass along the issues. It is still difficult on them.
We should never ask a lady if she’s pregnant. A belly may not indicate a baby and we might insult her or hurt her if she desires a baby but can’t conceive. Perhaps ask if she might like a baby some day and maybe she will say if she’s pregnant.
We should NEVER make foolish Christianese comments or platitudes such as below for “Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but that which is good to the use of edifying, that it may minister grace unto the hearers.” (Ep. 4:29) Yes, I heard many if not all of these- some on Mother’s Day.
-Maybe you have sin in your life.
(Don’t we all, yet most bear children…)
-I won’t support you if you go for artificial insemination or a donor.
(Thanks, I needed a knife in my back right now!)
-Maybe you wouldn’t be a good parent.
(As opposed to the pedophiles and abusers who become parents?)
-You need to have more faith.
(Why don’t you have the faith for me like the men putting their friend through the roof?
-You need to pray more.
(Perhaps say I’ll pray for you and then do it often.)
-Maybe it’s not God’s will for you.
(Only makes me ask: What did I do wrong?)
-Don’t give up hope.
(Really, it’s that easy after years is it? What have you waited for this long?)
-You should just relax/ adopt because lots of people get pregnant after.
(Relaxing and adopting won’t cause miracles- only God can do that.)
-What’s wrong with you?
(Not really your business. Besides, it just might be husbands problem…)
-You should go here (insert place) because everyone that goes there gets pregnant.
-You can have my kids.
(Okay, lets get the legal papers signed… oh, you didn’t mean it?)
-Kids are just trouble anyway/ You are so lucky, you can just take off when you want!
(Wow, that makes me feel better that you have kids and I can’t!)
(Not unless you’ve been through it…)
-Aren’t you glad you don’t have kids?
(Yep, that’s why there is a constant ache in me, I cry so much and watching parents with kids is so painful.)
“Therefore comfort one another, and edify one another, even as you also do.” (1Th. ) Okay, enough with the wrong things to say, here are some of the things you could choose to say instead:
-It must be really tough going through this, would you like to talk/ have coffee…
(Don’t advise-unless asked, just LISTEN. This is most important, imo.)
“For all the Law is fulfilled in one word, even in this, "You shall love your neighbor as yourself." (Gl. 5:14) “Carry each other’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ” (Gl. 6:2) old NIV (verb tense- keep on carrying)
-I am going to pray for you as often as I can. Would you like to have me pray for anything specific?
-I will stand by you no matter what you decide.
(Let their decision be between them and God.)
-Life is tough. Is there anything I can help you with?
(Don’t ask if you won’t follow through though.)
-Pray in general for infertile couples especially on Mother’s/ Father’s Day, for strength and peace.
Lord, help all those struggling on Mother's Day: those who desperately want to be mothers, those whose children are struggling with mental or physical issues, those whose children can't be with them, those having difficulties with their teens, and all those having a hard time. Let Your wisdom, peace and love flood through them today.