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  • Kathleen Brewer

"Breaking Down the Stigma: Navigating the Emotional Journey of Infertility"

“When are you going to have a baby?” From the time a girl is in her teen years on, that is a question, women are frequently asked. Some women are excited to have a baby, and then there are some ladies who no matter what, she and her partner are unable to have a child. Did you realize that 1 in 5 women worldwide experience infertility?

Infertility is a subject that is not often discussed in the church. However, it is a very real issue and has huge emotional impacts on both the woman and as well as her partner.

Let’s look first at the impact infertility has on the couple. The National Institutes of Health( and other websites state that infertility causes feelings of anxiety, guilt, shame, and low self-esteem. There is still a stigma in our society that if you do not have children, you are made to feel like an outsider. In some countries, you are considered an outcast or shunned altogether. Some couples are not invited to some occasions because they do not have children.

Infertility impacts mental health as it causes couples to grieve the loss of not having a child and feel guilty for not being able to conceive. What does the Bible have to say about barren women? If we were to search through the Bible, we would find that God speaks to barren women in at least 3 different spots. First with Abraham’s wife, Sarah; in Genesis 16-17; then with Zechariah’s wife, Elizabeth in Luke 1 and the one I want us to look at is Hannah in I Samuel 1.

In I Samuel 1, we learn that Elkanah had 2 wives, one had children but poor Hannah wasn’t able to. His other wife would taunt Hannah for not being able to have children and make fun of her. In verse 8 Hannah is crying and downhearted but the husband doesn’t understand why. Verse 10 says “Hannah was in deep anguish, crying bitterly as she prayed to the Lord.” (NLT) In a few more verses we see Hannah had stopped eating she was deep in sorrow, discouraged and in grief.

Do you have a friend or a lady you know who is going through this grief and you don’t know how to minister to them? The following are some ideas as to how:

  1. Do not minimize what these ladies are going through. Avoid saying “You are so young?” Just ask how she is doing and LISTEN……

  2. Educate yourself on this topic, and the emotional impact that it makes on the ladies as well as the partners.

  3. Be considerate and patient. Let them cry and talk whenever they need to and pray with them that God would wrap His arms of love and peace would surround her. Wrap your arms around her and hold her tight, no judgement, no promises, no answers just show Christ’s love to her when she needs it the most.

  4. Keep these ladies involved and do not exclude them from special occasions. Let these precious ladies decide as to whether they can come or not.

  5. Ask how you can support them, whether they need someone to pray with them, cook a meal or go run errands, that they may not feel up to doing.

Sometimes we don’t talk about infertility. I certainly don’t pretend to know all the answers. However, God cares so much for this special group of ladies. Let us as ladies make a point to be God’s arms and love on earth.

My prayer is that this will be encouraging to someone. May God richly bless you as you minister to others.

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