Not the Destination...

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Infertility in Marriage

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Working in ministry, I have spent time with many engaged couples over the years, who when asked their goals for marriage they reply, “To start a family!”  When I was engaged, I remember very fondly the excitement I had to announce that we were expecting our first child.  I was the girl who had baby names picked out from the time I was 10-years old.  (Grace for a girl and Logan for a boy!)  I was ready and I simply couldn’t wait. 

The thought of infertility and miscarriages never crossed my mind, even though I had poly cystic ovaries and severe endometriosis.  It was a thought I simply didn’t consider.  “What would we do if I couldn’t conceive a baby?” 

As I began working in marriage ministry and began teaching NFP, I began asking couples to ponder the above question…What if?  I have seen too many couples plagued by infertility, and in turn, saw many marriages crumble because of this terrible plague.  In today’s world, we are simply irresponsible if we fail to ask an engaged couple how they may handle the news of not being able to have children.  I can only speak for women, but I know that when secondary infertility hit our home I felt as though my job as a female (to be companion to my husband and mother) was taken away from me.  My body simple did not do what it was supposed to do, and I was angry, sad, and somewhat desperate to make it work!  I also know that my feelings were minimal compared to what other women feel because we weren’t actively trying to conceive or not conceive…we were leaving it in God’s hands.  After two pregnancies that ended in miscarriages, I felt defeated and spent a whole lot of time in prayer. 

Sadly, I have seen too many couples lose faith in God and in their marriage during their times of infertility.  They pray for miracles, and nothing happens, so there must not be a God who loves them.  They begin to blame each other, or themselves, and feel that one person in the marriage isn’t trying or caring near as much as the other.  The devil rejoices in this!  God sobs with us! 

It is NEVER the will of God to hurt His children!  He never desires to see us in such pain…instead it is in these moments He desires for us to crawl into His lap and let Him console us, but instead we watch couples run the other way.  We begin to bargain, telling God that if He gives us this, we will ask for nothing more…For some reason, we as married couples, feel we have a right to children.  God NEVER promises this!  He also never promises that we won’t have crosses to bear.  What if that cross is infertility?  How are you, as a married couple, going to navigate those waters?

I want all couples to know that it will NOT be easy…infertility will break hearts!  (I was there…burying two children I wish were living in our home with us!) However, if I clung to MY efforts and MY agenda during that time, instead of to my loving Father who held me in His arms, I would have been very bitter, angry, and frustrated and I know God wouldn’t have wanted that for me. 

Everybody’s journey with infertility will be different.  We are not all called to adopt special needs children from China, like we were, but God will use your marriage for something BIG, if you let Him.  So, what are you going to do if infertility plagues your marriage?  I beg you, and I pray for you…cling to Christ!

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