I am posting this question and my response as a blog entry for two reasons 1) I’ve asked this question myself and 2) I am sure that anyone reading my blog has probably asked a very similar question. I just happen to have one dear friend who was brave enough to just come out and ask it and I love that she did.
The Question: “I’d be interested to know how God can see that having children is best for a teenager, still a child, but not for the many good valued, hard working men and woman on this planet who suffer with infertility? I admit, I will be your worst critic, but I am curious how that can be explained?”
This is really several questions rolled into one and I don’t really have an answer. I can address the question with my own experiences and what God has shown me through those experiences. And I can address the question with the knowledge I have about God through the Bible. But really, the only person who can provide a definitive answer on this question is God. That being said…
The first question seems to be why does God seemingly reward bad behavior, ie. teenage pregnancy?
This is an especially difficult part of the question for me. And the first thing I have to do is check my own heart.
When I was little and I got in trouble for something, I would often resort to, “Yeah, but she…” Wrong. Answer.
It wasn’t about what my sister or brother or neighbor did – it was about me. What I did. What I needed to learn. It’s not my job to be God, it’s God’s job to be God.
Even still, in arguments with my husband I find myself saying, “Well, fine, but last week, you did xyz.” And surprisingly (sarcasm), the arguments only escalate needlessly.
Still, dealing with a major issue, especially with our fertility issues, it has caused me to pause and wonder: How does a loving and gracious God allow a teenager to get pregnant easily while other, more mature and stable couples struggle?
I know that we live in a fallen world where people make bad decisions. Nowhere in the Bible did God say that we would live a life free of consequences on earth. As a Christian who loves Jesus, I know that my sins are forgiven in heaven, but often I have to deal with the consequences on earth. If I screw up, I have to own it and work through it.
People with children know that sometimes the best thing for your kids is to let them experience the consequences of their actions. Life provides the most memorable and deeply rooted lessons.
Based on my own experiences and what I’ve learned about God, this is what I think with regards to the pregnant teenager: anyone who has sexual intercourse runs the risk of getting pregnant. That is life. Sex is a very adult experience that has serious adult consequences. And outside of marriage, it can lead to unwanted/unplanned pregnancies and the spread of some pretty nasty diseases. I don’t believe teenagers are being rewarded with babies for their indiscretions, they are simply living with the consequences of it. How teenagers choose to handle their unplanned pregnancy will change their life and it will form a big piece of who they are. That is a mighty big consequence for a 15 year old and not something that I would have wanted to deal with at that tender age. But that’s what happens when participating in adult activities before you are ready to deal with the very adult consequences.
Second issue: so why do bad things happen to reasonably good people?
Alright, fine, maybe I can live with the answer to the first question. Maybe I can focus on working on me. Maybe I can live with the fact that sometimes people make bad decisions.
But what about people who try really, really hard to be good and don’t get what they want anyway?
For me, addressing this part of the question, continues to take a lot of soul searching.
Frank and I have a fantastic life together. We are mostly responsible (the occasional 18 month old tub of margarine not included). We think we could be pretty capable parents (but totally reserve the right to play pranks on any future children). We don’t smoke, we drink occasionally, and we’ve never even tried drugs. I mean, it looks pretty good and stable on paper – so why are we having such a hard time having kids? How is it that we haven’t earned biological children?
This, for me, comes down to my relationship with God and who He is and who I am.
I wish God was Santa Clause because then I could sit on His lap (does God have a lap?) and ask Him for a better metabolism. And smaller feet.
But he is not Santa Claus – and thank goodness (more cookies for me!)! I know that God is good, all of the time. Even when I am not good, He is steadfastly good. I know this from reading the Bible and I know this from my own life experiences.
It’s just hard to believe sometimes, especially when I am not getting what I want or my heart is breaking, it is hard to believe that. But then I see the evidence in my life of His goodness. I went through a lot of heartache with several guys before I met Frank. I know that if I stayed with any of those guys, I would not be as happy as I am today! But man, at the time, those break ups HURT. Ick.
I experienced a lot of the same with jobs, promotions, houses, family, etc, etc, etc. Things that initially seemed to be horrible, later turned out just fine.
I know, for myself, that no one deserves children. Children are a blessing. I cannot earn them, no one can. You can’t earn blessings. If you could, they’d be called paychecks.
And I am sure any parent reading this blog can testify that children are NOT paychecks – they are paycheck spenders!
If children were earned on a merit system, the world would look a lot different. A lot more people would have biological children that want them – and the fostercare system would probably be empty.
We know SO many couples struggling with infertility and many of those couples have been (and are!) a tremendous blessing to Frank and me. So many of these couples have shared their stories,wisdom, heartache, hopes and their sorrows with us and helped us figure out our own path. Without them, I would feel so alone in this and I don’t. So even in a time that could be full of only sadness, we have community, love and hope.
I guess the last thing I want to say about this (and this is really such a Reader’s Digest version of my feelings on the topic) is that I didn’t get to this point of view over night. God has been teaching me and helping me understand and providing before I even know what I need. And God listens to prayer. He may not do what I want Him to do, but the evidence in my life says that He always gives me His best.
I’m pretty ok with that.