When picturing a family, what comes to mind? Perhaps a mother and father laughing as they swing a cheerful child between them. Where did this family come from? Perhaps the mental slideshow includes a wedding day with a glowing white dress and handsome groom. The next picture shows a growing bump on this same woman, ending with a squalling child in arms with adoring family gathered around.

For many couples, the last two pictures are not possible. It is called infertility. Infertility, as defined by the World Health Organization, is the failure to achieve a clinical pregnancy after twelve months or more of regular unprotected sexual intercourse. That sounds crisp and medical, but it causes a profound effect upon those whom this quiet calamity falls.

To hope for children is in line with Psalm 127:3, “Behold, children are a heritage from the Lord.” When that hope is not realized, other verses start creeping in. Deuteronomy 28 describes children as a blessing for obedience in verse 4 and counters it with a barren womb as a curse for disobedience in verse 16. Though those verses are specific to God’s covenant with the ancient Israelites, and not applicable to any one of us today, couples may start to recount their sins, searching for an explanation. Look past these one-to-one comparisons and realize that today’s world is warped by sin. A sinful, broken world has altered what God designed to work perfectly.

This is a time to pause, pray, and consider the options. In today’s world, if a couple wants to have children, it is usually possible. Before seeking treatment, exploring adoption, or committing to childlessness, a couple needs to research and understand the ethical and emotional implications of the possible options ahead. Because God in the Bible is the respecter and creator of life, each step along the path to parenthood must include respect for God, and for life itself.

For a deeper understanding of the issue involved, we suggest people go to the following link: