Nate Pyle explores “The Disgrace of Infertility” at his blog From One Degree to Another.
After Elizabeth became pregnant with John, she praised God saying, “The Lord has done this for me,” she said. “In these days he has shown his favor and taken away my disgrace among the people.”
We know that disgrace. My wife knows that disgrace. I know that disgrace.
No, it isn’t the same type of disgrace that Elizabeth experienced. In that day, an inability to bear children was equated with sin. It was assumed that the reason for barrenness was your own doing. You must have done something. You must have something to repent of. Some sin you committed. Some reason God was withholding his blessing from you.
You created the problem by your disobedience, and now God is punishing you.
Thankfully, the shame of disapproving eyes and rumored gossip doesn’t surround infertility in America anymore. But shame still exists….
Shame slips in with the silent words spoken as another month pregnant only with hope passes by. It is amazing how much silence surrounds the struggle of infertility. The silence of not wanting to talk about it. The silence of wanting to talk about, but being scared. The silence of trying to avoid the one thing you are wondering about, but not wanting to focus on it, and yet having your mind dominated by it. The silence of not feeling comfortable talking with others about it because it involves sex. The silence because you just don’t want to deal with the questions.
That silence gives shame all the voice it needs to whisper silently, “Something is wrong with you”….
Church is a good place to find support, but it isn’t always a tower of refuge. The American church is one place in our culture where marriage and kids is an expectation. Singles are constantly met with questions about when they will get married, and unnecessarily pitied or prayed for when a potential spouse isn’t in the picture. Young married’s are bombarded about when they will start having kids, as if their marriage doesn’t really matter until a child validates it.
Read it all here