“What if They Never Conceive?”

Yesterday, an aspiring grandfather contacted me to ask about groups in Oregon.  He has already given a copy of Pregnant With Hope: Good News for Infertile Couples to his son and daughter-in-law, and also been reading the book himself.  What more can I do, he wanted to know, and… what if they never conceive?

That is every infertile couple’s deepest fear:  What if we never become parents?  What if this is ultimately a pointless quest – a wild goose chase that consumes time and money, and leaves us empty-handed?

I’ll tell you what I told him – and I urge you to consider it carefully.

The only couples I’ve ever seen wind up empty-handed are those who insist on dictating the terms by which they’ll become parents.  They say things like, “We’ll try IUI, but we’d never consider IVF.”  Or “We’ll do 10 cycles of IVF if we have to, but we’d never consider adoption.”

They acknowledge, “We would happily adopt a baby whose family history we know and approve of,” but they’re adamant that “We’d never consider a foreign adoption…, or an egg donor…, or a sperm donor…, or foster parenting…, or [insert line in the sand here].”  Some couples even insist, “Natural conception is the only godly way to become a parent.”

I’ve already written several posts about this mindset.  I believe it’s dangerous not because of the boundaries themselves, but because of the presumption to know the mind and will of God.  Intentionally or not, these couples are playing God, rather than inviting God to be God in the midst of their circumstances.

When couples insist on barring the door to possibilities God might lead them to, they risk closing the door on His best for them.

I realize it might sound as if I have an agenda – as if I’m trying to steer couples toward a particular path, or around the prohibitions of particular denominations or religions.  I’m not.  I have no agenda other than compassionate, attentive listening to the concerns of infertile couples, and obedient, attentive listening to the word of God.

My deep desire is to deliver hope to those who have begun to question God – both His plan and His purpose.  I would never presume to tell a couple what direction to take through the wilderness of infertility.  It is their responsibility to listen for the Lord’s voice, to discern His direction, and to follow it toward the future He has always had planned for them.

I am only here to encourage, to deliver hope, and to point toward Him as the source of all wisdom and truth.

So, what can this aspiring grandfather say to encourage his son and daughter-in-law as they struggle?

He can tell them that, in all my years of experience, I have yet to see the Lord abandon any couple that feels called to parent and remains open to the Lord’s leading on how that will happen.  If they trust and obey, sooner or later, it always happens.  Maybe not the way they imagined.  Maybe not when they expected.  Maybe not as they would have scripted at the beginning of this journey.

But always.

Every.  Single.  Time.

Scripture says that God honors those who honor Him, and He delights in blessing those whom He loves.  So, praise God from whom all blessings flow.


Need more encouragement?  Click this link to purchase your copy of Pregnant With Hope: Good News for Infertile Couples.


Filed under Bystanders, Hope, Perspective, Trust

5 responses to ““What if They Never Conceive?”

  1. hill jack

    praise be to god almighty, that’s so true one should keep a firm trust in god and keep trying , it will achieve it;s destination then, there are many infertile couples in the world but some of them blessed with a joy of pregnancy

  2. Aimee

    Thank you so much for this! I believe sometimes it’s easy to begin feeling sorry for yourself and start to feel that my dream of being a mother is unattainable. It’s at those times that God leads me to words like yours which help to put things back into perspective. I will be a mother one day, in His time. After 5 years, I have accepted this and am joyfully anticipating what He has in store for my husband and me. Thank you again! You helped to bring me back to reality and know that God is with me through all of this.

  3. I have known since age eleven that I would not be able to have biological children. My husband and I are so blessed with our 2 children we adopted out of foster care. We fostered them before getting to adopt them and even though the experience was heart-wrenching at times, it was definitely incredibly humbling and faith-building. When people say that the only “godly” way of becoming a parent is through natural conception really, really bothers me. I have grown closer to my Lord through my infertility and adoption of my children. I see His hand in all of this and I give Him all of the glory! My children are precious, beautiful, loving, and unique just like He created them to be. Afterall, all children are truly His anyway. We are just given the grand responsibility of raising them!

  4. These are great insights regarding on properly dealing with infertility as a married couple. Those who are struggling with such condition will surely find these ideas helpful. Thanks for sharing.

  5. I understand what you’re saying about allowing each couple to reach their own decisions, but I also think that each couple may have to be willing to say, “We will go this far down this particular path and no farther.” I don’t think that is limiting God. Dealing with infertility means making some hard decisions when faced with technology after technology that holds out the possibility of success. My husband and I came to the conclusion that we would try IUI but not IVF. We did not feel that choosing IVF would be the wisest decision financially, emotionally, or ethically for us. IUI did not work for us, so now we’re pursuing adoption. I do think couples need to be honest about their thoughts and potential regrets if they choose to decline a treatment. I would have regretted not giving IUI a try, but I don’t feel that way about IVF. I am ready to move on. I completely agree that the Lord will open doors to allow people to become parents and I have no doubt that we will have children in our home in the future. I also think it’s good to advise couples not to get too far ahead of themselves and to stay open to options as they proceed down the path of infertility. But I also think it might be unrealistic to say that you will not have to purposefully close some doors and not have to decline to pursue some forms of treatment as you walk this path.

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