From the beginning of history God has commanded the human race to “be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth” (Genesis 1:28) for we are told that, “Children are a heritage from the LORD, the fruit of the womb a reward” (Psalm 127:3). But even though procreation is commanded by the Lord and a natural part of how God ordered creation, some couples simply cannot conceive children. Approximately one in ten couples struggle with infertility.

Infertility is a result of the fall. When sin entered the world in Genesis 3, so did disease, sickness, and bodies that sometimes cannot perform the “normal” functions the way God designed. Because infertility is such a common affliction affecting couples, churches must address this topic from a gospel-centered, sensitive, and loving perspective.

Natural Emotions

Grief and deep heartache are natural emotions to feel over the fact that you cannot bear a child. When a woman grieves over not being able to conceive, she is experiencing the loss of a dream, a hope deferred, and ultimately grieving over sin’s devastating touch in the world.

The pain of infertility can feel devastating. While the modern Western culture doesn’t place as high a value on reproduction as in ancient times, many women are still ostracized or abnormal because they cannot fulfill the desire to be a mother.

Finding out that you can’t conceive presents new realities for which we may have to adjust. In the midst of infertility, fix you gaze firmly upon the hope that is in God alone. Cling to every promise that in his Word. Trust that the Lord is ultimately good. Even though you might not feel his goodness, press in and believe his Word.

Second, infertility may even tempt couples to use unethical measures as they chase their dreams. Even though the pain of infertility may run deep in your heart, I urge you to choose a better path, such as adoption.

No Last Resort

Adoption is often treated as a last resort or a last-ditch effort to build a family. Many couples will choose to adopt because they are experiencing infertility, and their hearts still deeply long for a child. But adoption is a great privilege as couples welcome another’s child as their own. Earthly adoption is one of the clearest representations of the gospel. Adoption is redemption on display for the world to behold.

Apart from the gift of my salvation, earthly adoption is the greatest gift I’ve ever received. I was an orphan—both physically and spiritually. My story began in Romania with a 19-year-old unwed girl who wasn’t able to take care of me. The Lord sovereignly chose adoption for me. I am blessed that a man and a woman from the United States made a decision that radically altered my life forever when they traveled across the world and chose me as their daughter.

I was rescued from a life void of love and care and freely given a new life beyond my wildest dreams. Adoption is immensely personal, because I was specifically chosen, sought out, bought, declared to have all the rights and privileges of being a member of a new family, and most importantly, loved beyond belief.

If you are God’s chosen one, you were not an afterthought or part of a failed plan; you were intentionally chosen. In Ephesians 1:4-5 Paul writes, “He chose us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and blameless before him. In love he predestined us for adoption through Jesus Christ, according to the purpose of his will.” Your salvation and adoption by the Father was planned and purposed before time began.

Adoption should be celebrated and welcomed to boldly proclaim the gospel to those in need and to a watching world. The world won’t always read a Bible, but they will read Christians. We have the unique opportunity of displaying the character and nature of our heavenly Father by how we respond to trials.

What a sweet privilege to honor the Lord through your pain and to place your ultimate hope in him. As you seek to glorify the Lord, consider the call of James 1:27 to display God’s grace by taking care of the orphan. Though a hope has been deferred, your childlessness is not in vain. The story doesn’t have to end there, for adoption can be a beautiful answer to this deferred hope.