December 4, 2016, was like going home for me at Christ Methodist Church, a relationship that has spanned over forty years. Good enough, the man, who brought the invitation to me forty years ago, the first time I ministered there, was in Church that morning. After appreciating the leadership for inviting me, I went straight to the topic: Infertility in Marriage. I told them that God’s plan is that His children should be fruitful, multiply and replenish the earth and that none of His children will be barren or cast the young ones. The only barren woman till death was Michel, the daughter of King Saul, married to David.
Causes:1. I gave two examples of what I considered ‘Human Problems’. Uncle Chukwueke, when I was growing up in the village, would plead with God to bless his marriage with children any time a baby was born. ’So God will throw down babies for you from the sky,’ his wife would deride behind him because he would never sleep with her on the same bed and yet, he wanted children! Though they might be fertile, they never had any child. In another related case, a lady complained to me that her husband, during her ovulation period, would face the wall when they went to bed at night, and if she touched him, he would shout, ‘Is it by force’. His defence was that she was not respecting him.
I made a deal with her, promising to buy her a pair of shoes if she would do three things for me. I told her to apologise to him, not really because she did anything wrong, but for peace to prevail. Second, I told her to initiate prayers with him, which they were no more doing together, even when Uncle fasted for thirty days, and ended with another four days of dry fasting. Rebuking him, I told him that he was merely on hunger strike because God could not have honoured a fast with bitterness. Third, I told her to initiate sex with him. She felt that he would think she was a prostitute if she did that. I gave her 1Cor. 7:3-5, where the Bible spells out boldly that a spouse’s body belongs to the partner. She complied and the needed child was born, a boy, who finished his NYSC two years ago!
2. Elongated fallopian tube: The hibiscus flower does not produce seedsEffect: When babies are not coming forth, the usual joy and peace, by which the family has been noted for, may fly away through the window. Some people believe that they cannot continue in marriage without children, forgetting their marriage vow – ‘Until death does us part’. Some people in the US have interpreted that selfishly to mean, not the death of a spouse, but of the love that brought them together, thus hiding under it to divorce their spouses. Infertility may lead to accusations and counter-accusations, of which the mother-in-law is often the victim, if her face is black and she initially opposed the marriage. She, and no other person, must be the witch that has been eating her daughter-in-law’s babies in the womb! It may also lead to finger-pointing between the bride’s family and groom’s family, as to who is responsible for the infertility. The wife is often presumed the cause, especially if her husband’s siblings are bearing children.
It may lead to divorce, against their marriage vow, ‘What God has joined together, let no man put asunder’. It may lead to unfaithfulness. A lady like that committed adultery and she was pregnant. She confessed it to her husband, who insisted on abortion but she refused. When she came to me, I reprimanded her for her unfaithfulness, counseled her and prayed with her for God’s forgiveness. I called her husband and pleaded with him to forgive her and accept the pregnancy. He insisted on its termination. I countered that, reminding him that it would be a heinous sin before God and the agony of going to hell. I spent much time with him on the phone and unknown to him, I was praying that God would convict him. ‘What do you want me to do,’ he asked soberly, ‘since it will be disgraceful to accept a strange pregnancy and three people have been told?’ I told him that it did not matter whether one million people had heard about it or not, rather than being a murderer. The good news is that the baby was born and is in the secondary school now!
Infertility may lead to polygamy. In one case, Uncle married another wife, when his wife was not bearing children. The first wife was forced to leave. The new wife could not also bear children. The first wife, curiously became pregnant in her father’s house from another man. Uncle brought her back immediately to his house. Infertility may lead to backsliding. A lady looking for a baby can be a victim of charlatans and thus compromise her faith by visiting one native doctor or the other. A lady confessed that there was no place she did not go to look for babies. Some of them had been promised babies if the ‘Prophet’ bathed or slept with them. A few months ago, it was reported in the newspapers of such women, who were raped by their medical doctors.
Some people, to anger women in need of children, will ask them deliberately, ‘How about my children?’ Imagine what Hannah would have done after listening to Peninnah’s reprimand for sending any of her [Peninnah’s] children to buy her [Hannah] recharge card: ‘Do I blame you. It is only a woman, who has given birth to children that will understand labour pain. Yes, only such mothers will appreciate the danger of sending Funmi to buy you recharge card at this late hour of the night, when kidnappers are everywhere’.
For further comment, Please contact: Osondu Anyalechi: 0802 3002-471; [email protected]