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Monday, August 25, 2008

Fighting Lies with the Truth

This Saturday, Kristian and I will have been married for 5 years. We are both 32 years old. Despite the fact that we both love and want children, we have no children. We recognize the high value and honor placed on children and families in Scripture. We recognize that childbearing, like marriage, is a blessing and a tool for sanctification and for reflecting the gospel. While marriage and children are not the only blessings in life or the only tools for sanctification and reflecting the gospel in community, most human beings experience these aspects of life.

The older we get, the more difficult it is for us to consider our infertility. When I think about it, I often find myself battling despair. The battle is against my own flesh, worldliness, and lies of the enemy. I fight to take my thoughts captive to Christ through Scripture.

These are the lies I hear from my flesh/worldliness/the enemy:

1. I am less valuable as a woman without a child
2. My husband and I are not a “family” unless we have children
3. God doesn’t love us if He does not bless us with children
4. God is punishing us
5. Our lives will be meaningless without children
6. We will die alone without children
7. Our family and friends will abandon us as they have children and get caught up in the busyness of family life
8. Since I am not working now and I don’t have children my life is a waste
9. We’ll never be able to afford adoption

The above are lies, and Scripture tells me the truth:

1. My value comes from being made in the image and likeness of God (Genesis 1:27 “So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them.”)

2. Firstly, I belong to the family of the God of the Universe, as His child, regardless of my membership in any earthly family. (Romans 8:15 “For you did not receive the spirit of slavery to fall back into fear, but you have received the Spirit of adoption as sons, by whom we cry, ‘Abba! Father!’ ”). Secondly, my husband and I are a family. (Genesis 2:24 “Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and they shall become one flesh.”)

3. Yes, children are a blessing (Psalm 127:3 “Behold, children are a heritage from the Lord, the fruit of the womb a reward.”). However, God’s love for me is not contingent on children or on anything. Indeed, Jesus Himself lived as a single childless man! Nothing can separate me from God’s love. (Romans 8:38-39 “For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord." The greatest evidence of this love is Jesus’ death for me on the cross. (John 3:16 “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.” )

4. God does not punish me for sin because Jesus paid the price for all my sin on the cross. The Lamb of God was a worthy sacrifice to fully absorb the wrath of God for my sins. (Romans 5:6-9 “For while we were still weak, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly. For one will scarcely die for a righteous person—though perhaps for a good person one would dare even to die— but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. Since, therefore, we have now been justified by his blood, much more shall we be saved by him from the wrath of God.” Romans 8:1-4 “There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. For the law of the Spirit of life has set you free in Christ Jesus from the law of sin and death. For God has done what the law, weakened by the flesh, could not do. By sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh and for sin, he condemned sin in the flesh, in order that the righteous requirement of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not according to the flesh but according to the Spirit.” 2 Cor 5:21 “For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.” )

5. The meaning of my life comes from Christ. Everything in my life has meaning only because of Christ. To make the meaning of my life contingent on anything other than the Lord, is to make that thing an idol. (Phil 3:8-11 “Indeed, I count everything as loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For his sake I have suffered the loss of all things and count them as rubbish, in order that I may gain Christ and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which comes through faith in Christ, the righteousness from God that depends on faith— that I may know him and the power of his resurrection, and may share his sufferings, becoming like him in his death, that by any means possible I may attain the resurrection from the dead.” God wants me to be rooted in His love and to abide in His love. (John 15:9 “As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Abide in my love.” Ephesians 3:14-19 “For this reason I bow my knees before the Father, from whom every family in heaven and on earth is named, that according to the riches of his glory he may grant you to be strengthened with power through his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith—that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may have strength to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, and to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled with all the fullness of God.”) God is sovereignly working out all things in my life for my good- to conform me to the image of Jesus. (Romans 8:28 “And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose.”) God wants me to love Him and others. (Matthew 22: 37-40 “And he said to him, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the great and first commandment. And a second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself. On these two commandments depend all the Law and the Prophets.”)

6. God does not leave me alone. As Psalm 139:7 says, "Where shall I go from your Spirit? Or where shall I flee from your presence?” In John 14:18 Jesus told his disciples “I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you.” As Jesus promised, His Spirit is with me. (John 14:26-27 “But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, he will teach you all things and bring to your remembrance all that I have said to you. Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid.” )

7. See #6. I am a valued member of the body of Christ. (1 Cor 12:27 “Now you are the body of Christ and individually members of it.”) Children or no children, I am part of the community of Christ. As a member of Christ’s body, God has gifted me and wants me to be a blessing to others. I can be a blessing to children and families even if I do not have a child. (1 Cor 12:7 “To each is given the manifestation of the Spirit for the common good.”)

8. See #5. Also, as a wife, God wants me to be a helper to my husband. (Gen 2:18 “Then the Lord God said, ‘It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him a helper fit for him.’” Proverbs 31: 10-12 “An excellent wife who can find? She is far more precious than jewels. The heart of her husband trusts in her, and he will have no lack of gain. She does him good, and not harm, all the days of her life.”) In considering whether or not to work outside of the home, I should look to what God and my husband are asking me do rather than what others think of it. (Ephesians 5:22 “Wives, submit to your own husbands, as to the Lord.” Col 3:18 “Wives, submit to your husbands, as is fitting in the Lord.”)

9. If God calls us to have children, He will provide the means whether that is through physical healing for biological birth, financial provision, or adoption opportunities. Nothing is impossible for my God, and nothing will thwart His will. (Isaiah 46:8-11 “Remember this and stand firm,recall it to mind, you transgressors, remember the former things of old;for I am God, and there is no other; I am God, and there is none like me, declaring the end from the beginning and from ancient times things not yet done, saying, ‘My counsel shall stand, and I will accomplish all my purpose’, calling a bird of prey from the east, the man of my counsel from a far country. I have spoken, and I will bring it to pass; I have purposed, and I will do it.” Luke 1:37 “For nothing will be impossible with God.” Ephesians 2:10 “For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.”)

Do you feel despair over your life? Are you believing lies? To borrow Paul’s words in 2 Cor 12:4-6 “For the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh but have divine power to destroy strongholds. We destroy arguments and every lofty opinion raised against the knowledge of God, and take every thought captive to obey Christ…” Paul used these words to describe his ministry, but I do think they have application to the “arguments” and lofty opinions” we listen to in the form of our flesh, worldiness, and the lies of the enemy that are raised against the knowledge of God. Let us take these thoughts captive to Christ through His Word, through prayer, and through calling on the Spirit that lives within us! Let us ask the Spirit to open our eyes to where we are believing lies in our lives. Let us ask the Spirit to replace the lies with the truth found in God’s Word! Join me in praying to God for help to see our lives from the perspective of His Word, which is truth! Let us open His Word and fight! Let us pray for one another and encourage one another in this!


The McFarlane Family said...

Thanks for opening your heart Bina. We are in continuous prayer for you and Kristian. Your honesty is appreciated.

Wendy said...

This is beautiful, Bina. Thanks for writing it all out. What a resource for other women.

Kathleen said...

Thanks for this, Bina. It is a hard fight, but seeing you battle despair with truth, helps me to do the same.