Childless Mothers

By Bindu Adai-Mathew

FemmeFuel has devoted May as a special tribute to mothers and motherhood. Yesterday I addressed just one example of the daily storms we as mothers often have to endure. Albeit, the scenario I described yesterday—a rambunctious toddler in an airport— wasn’t anything close to a true life-defining, life-changing storm. But I often find that if we see God and His truth in the daily, seemingly “normal” yet trying events of our life, we are better equipped for the true faith-challenging storms of life that threaten to overwhelm us.

Today I want to address another “storm” that some mothers have to endure. This one is specifically to childless mothers. Childless mothers, I’ve come to realize, are everywhere. They come in all forms: The woman who is struggling with infertility. The woman who is struggling with carrying out a full-term pregnancy. The woman who has lost a child due to illness or accident. And even the woman who is single and still waiting for Mr. Right but is haunted by the deafening sounds of her biological clock ticking away as she waits. Whatever the background, the one thing that all childless mothers have in common is a deep inner soul desire to nurture a child of their own.

If you are a childless mother, you may feel like an aberration and alone in your struggle. However, I want to remind you that you are NOT alone. Childless mothers have a long history in the Bible. Sarah, Rebekah, Rachel, Hannah, the Shunammanite woman, and Elisabeth are all women who struggled with infertility at various stages in their lives. Their struggles have been well documented.

In Bible times and even not too long ago in our own culture, women’s primary purpose and role in life was to marry and reproduce children and raise them. Their identity, their self- worth, their value in society was often based on whether they could produce children…but not just any children…a male child.

Even in today’s modern society, single women and married women without children find that they often feel marginalized because they don’t have the one thing that they have absolutely no control over. Rightly so, our culture celebrates marriage and children…but what about the woman who doesn’t have one…or worse, neither. Where does that leave her?

 While marriage and children are undoubtedly blessings from God, finding your true worth in any role beyond a child of God will lead you to feel incomplete. And why is that? Because He is our true creator. We were created for HIS pleasure. For His glory. He designed us to need Him. Unfortunately, we are often too busy trying to fulfill that emptiness with other things that will never complete us.

 I know several women who looked to marriage to complete them…but we (yes, that includes me) quickly learned that real life is nothing like the movies where lines like “You complete me” lead us to hope and believe that there is someone out there who can do only what God can only do. Once the blissful haze of the “honeymoon” season is over, the warts, freckles, and character flaws emerge like the morning sun piercing the sky. 

If you are struggling with trying to have a baby, I encourage you not to deny your feelings of hopelessness, frustration, and disappointment. They are natural, so if you feel them, you should not feel guilty for them. It’s not a reflection of your lack of faith. But what I encourage you to do is work through them. Fight through the lies of worthlessness , depression, and defeat and press onto victory.

Again, I remind you that before you were a wife…before you were a mother…you were a child of God.  And as a child of God, you are made beautiful and COMPLETE.

If being a mother is your heart’s desire, do not stop believing that God is able to fulfill that dream. It may seem over…you’re too old…you’re still single…the doctors just say that your body just can’t carry a full-term pregnancy. But if God wants to open the doors of motherhood to you, no one can shut it. Can’t He who created you also enable you to bear a child?

 Psalm 113:9 “He maketh the barren woman to keep house and to be a joyful mother of children. Praise ye the LORD.”

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