Friday, April 08, 2005

Birth - who really has it - control?

Before I say anything else I want to point out that this is completely my own conviction (and my husband’s).

Let me go back a bit. All my life I have wanted to be a mom. When I got married I was all set to get on with my plan of having babies and being a mom. My husband wasn’t quite as excited about the prospect of becoming a parent so quickly. Out of respect for him I went on the pill, though I wasn’t very excited about it. Someone gave us a book to read called, “The Way Home” by Mary Pride. It confirmed the beginnings of my convictions, that I wasn’t really in control at all. Kelly took a little longer to let these thoughts sink into his heart. After about 8 months we flushed the rest of the pills and figured we’d see what God did. It was 4 years later before God opened my womb (after a little surgery on Kelly’s system). There was another 4 years before number 2 showed up. We’ve had another 2 babies and are working on adopting #5.

My basic premise is that God has not at any time declared Himself unwilling or unable to control our reproductive systems. At no time has He said, “Why don’t you guys take care of this part of creation, I’m not up for it anymore.” I haven’t seen anywhere in scripture where God tells people to quit being fruitful or to cut off their ability to reproduce. Throughout scripture you see time and time again that children are a blessing from God, the deliberate closing of the womb by God was a curse (Michal, David’s wife). Let me clarify that I do NOT for a moment believe that someone struggling with infertility is under a curse (I’ve been there myself). (Kelly’s addition - The possibility does exist that barrenness MAY be a curse and one should look at one’s own sin and sins of ones forefathers’ (both husband and wife) for possible reasons why. Study Deuteronomy regarding curses for disobedience and blessings for obedience - one being a fruitful womb.)

Allowing God full control of the reproductive system requires a great deal of trust and faith. For 13 years we trusted that God would give us children as He saw fit. The last two came pretty close together, one with several health issues and the younger was just difficult. I went into postpartum depression and decided I definitely didn’t want anymore children. We checked out the tube blocking procedure that is relatively new, made an appointment, cancelled it. We signed up for the big ‘snip’, cancelled it. Wrestled some more, made another appointment, once again, we were halted. We just couldn’t go there. After spending the last 13years declaring that God was in control of my womb it seemed more than a little hypocritical to go anywhere else but where we had always been going. Trusting, having faith that God really does know what we can handle and that He really is in charge of this thing. Does that mean we’ll have more kids? Maybe, and if we do I am convinced that He will also give us the resources and grace to handle it. Whatever our lot, He has taught us to say, “It is well.” We will put our confidence in Him.

As you can see we are NOT into ‘controlling’ how many children a woman’s body should or shouldn’t produce. There are a zillion other issues surrounding this one that I am not bringing up on purpose. My basic premise is that we should not presume that we are in control. I myself am a ‘pill’ baby. My parents were encouraged to abort me – aren’t y’all glad they didn’t listen!! My husband and I are of the belief that if we want God to be LORD of our lives we will do our best to give Him ALL areas and not let fear control us.


rene the rugrat said...

As I indicated earlier, despite the fact that you are discussing the use of technology to control how few children a woman gives birth to. Technology is also used to control how many.

Kelly had surgery (technology) so that he could impregnate you. I can respect your choice to not use technology to prevent further pregnancies, but you guys used technology so that you could in the first place.

Knowledge gained through research into both sides of the equation is used to benefit the other; if we stimulate this pregancy happens, therefore if we suppress it pregancy should not.

This is further complicated by the fact that it appears that the inability to conceive is natural selection at work (if I may dare to use that term on a Christian site). From the last reseach I read on the subject it appears that the children who are products of fertility treatments are more likely to suffer from the same problem as their parents; they are more dependent on fertility technology than the general population. The jury is still out on how true this is, and will be for another 20 -30 years or so. The real test will be the next generation, reproductive technology really came into it's own in the 1980's, so if the current crop of "fertility treatment" babies have even more problems conceiving than their parents did...

My point is that fertility treatments, which I am assuming you are in favour of are, just as much an attempt on our part to control an area of our lives that you believe should be left to God as contraception is.

flowerlady said...

I don't believe I said I wasn't in favor of technology but rather this belief that we hold to that we somehow can/should take control of this. Remember that technology has saved our son's life on numerous occasions and we are quite thankful for it. Yes, Kelly had surgery to correct a medical condition that we would not have been aware of except that we had to go through some medical testing. He also had his appendix out, I was rather in favor of that, too. The doctors actually told us not to expect to get pregnant for several months after the surgery as his body healed. My point - God is in control of this thing that we have decided WE are in control of. We got pregnant less than a month later. So was it the surgery or was it God's timing. And actually we aren't very excited about fertility treatments,etc. We had decided we would go for adoption rather than go that route because it isn't that unsimilar to the hormone stew that prevents conception.

CWG said...

My wife and I have decided to put my snipping on hold. (After all, what would it look like if we had odd numbered children...wierd....:)We intentionally did not tell many people as we didn't want to be influenced by others opinion. Child bearing is a crutial thing and we had better get a huge sense of what the heart of God is on it. For me the jury is still out on that one. I see the possible benefits of both, however if it truly conflicts with Gods design for a family then it really doesn't matter what I think at that point. I love your faith though...God will honor that.

rene the rugrat said...

I see very little difference between choosing to correct a condition to get pregnant and having surgery to prevent pregancy. One opens the valve and the other closes it. Either way a person is relying on technology that we have acquired since creation, rather than the hand of God, to achieve the end that person desires.

I have more but I erased it. I realised this is the wrong the forum for this discussion. Primarily because it is a point where we can chose to agree to disagree. I like a good debate, which is where I was heading. You simply want to share your opinion and your reasons for it. You have. And I have said all I will on your blog.

flowerlady said...

CWG - So ya think having odd numberd children is weird? I guess as long as the children aren't odd, eh? :)

Rene - you debate-freak, you!! ya know I love ya so come over and we'll debate till we're blue!! perhaps I'll let the husband take you on, he's much better at debate than I

CWG said...

HEHE I should have clarified myself on the 'odd' comment... I was referring to our families. We both have five kids, we seem to inspire each other to keep the quiver full...Okay I was having fun, just being silly. :)