What infertility can mean to a conservative Christian girl.
A few months ago I was told I have poly-cystic ovary syndrome and that it can be difficult to have children naturally.
I had done my research and suspected it for months, but to hear the words come out of the doctor’s mouth and not my own hit me like a ton of bricks. It was like the judge’s final statement, finding you guilty of some heinous crime and sentencing you to death, when you had done nothing wrong.
But why is it such a big deal? A little medical assistance and you can start your family, right? If nothing else, you can adopt.
That one line is very presumptuous.
The reason possible infertility feels so much like the black spot is not just because you can’t have children. That is a large part of your womanhood and worth grief. But also because of the role of the woman in the conservative Christian culture.
Girls are trained and brought up to be help meets. We spend our whole lives preparing for that special day when we seal our lives together with our fantastic, but as of yet, unknown husband. We learn to cook and to clean and keep a house in proper running order. We save our kisses and hearts for him, forsaking all others, and waiting only, patiently for him. In our endeavor to protect our precious hearts from being given freely away, we often end up avoiding young men all together. We ofttimes end up not thinking of them as brothers, but as potential husbands, and not necessarily our own. They are someone else’s future husband. I saw a quote the other day that basically said “I’m loving my husband that I haven’t met, and keeping pure just for him.” How much can you assume in one phrase? 1)You are assuming that you will get married. 2) You are assuming you have not met the man you will marry. 3) You, a fallible human being are assuming that you are “pure”.
Wow. You are perfect? You alone? You are made into a perfect, brand new creation through Christ. But on your own you can’t keep that up. Are you keeping pure only for your future husband? What about the one who makes you pure? The one who casts your sins as far as the east is from the west?
But all that aside (That is a whole other can of worms), what about those of us who aren’t so pure and perfect? What about us damaged goods?
And that is where infertility ties in. If you can’t have children, you can’t hold up that role of wife and mother that we all want, and are trained to have. Even if you have never even had a crush, you are now damaged goods. You feel unwanted and unlovable. A man who wants to have as many blessings as the Lord allows is not going to want to knowingly get into a situation where those blessings are unlikely.
What if instead of being loved because of the future you can have together, you are loved because you are smart, funny, beautiful, unlike anyone else? What if even above all that, you were loved because you are a perfect child of the King? What if instead of looking down on you, people empathized with you?
I’m not saying this out of bitterness, please don’t take it that way, I’m saying it because I think it needs to be said.