3 Sons are indeed a heritage from the Lord,
the fruit of the womb a reward.
4 Like arrows in the hand of a warrior
are the sons of one’s youth.
5 Happy is the man who has
his quiver full of them.” –Psalm 127
As my husband and I have sought to add to our family for over three years, we have learned in a way the fertile often take for granted that the creation of new life is the exclusive realm of the Almighty. No matter how much a faithful couple actively attempts to participate with the Holy Spirit to conceive or how much the not-so-faithful medical community may boast of its ability to manipulate the biology of the life-generation process, it is only God who infuses the soul into each tiny body and ultimately decides if a pregnancy will be sustained. Although we can pray, we are in the end completely powerless to make it happen.
Although our understanding that every child, born and unborn, is a direct blessing from our Creator has been reinforced time and again, during our three-year battle with subfertility we struggled with the idea that children are a reward. Because that wording is biblically based, we couldn’t help but become first hurt and then angry at the implication that He must somehow find us unworthy of the particular reward we’d been craving, a desire that we believe He Himself placed on our hearts to begin with.
We’ve come to understand our struggle with the word “reward” by thinking about it this way.
Children aren’t necessarily so much a reward for good behavior as they are a call to conversion. They are gifted to those who seem least suited to parenthood as often as they land in the lives of families who love and serve the Lord. But because God loves each and every soul He creates, He seeks for all to enter His kingdom. To achieve that end, sometimes He sends children. And sometimes, He doesn’t.
Copyright 2013 Sharon Rayner