Is sterilization visionary for any reason? Some would argue “yes”. And if we have vision for this brief life only, then I would say their argument has some merit. But if we have a vision that reaches into eternity…ah, now that changes things a bit, don’t you think? I’d love for you to read an excellent article on this topic. I’ll put the teaser here…and then you can click on the link below to read the rest.
Every time I do an Institutes study with college students at Christ the Word one of our favorite passages is the section titled “The Faith of Abraham” in which Calvin recounts the trials and sufferings by which God taught Abraham faith and weaned him from the world.
The section ends with God’s command that Abraham sacrifice his son on Mt. Moriah:
But for a son to be slaughtered by his own father’s hand surpasses every sort of calamity. In short, throughout life he was so tossed and troubled that if anyone wished to paint a picture of a calamitous life, he could find no model more appropriate than Abraham’s! (Vol. 2, Ch. 10, Sec.11)
To be the source of your own child’s death is a terrible form of suffering indeed. I was reminded of this section from the Institutes when I read recently of a Christian couple who took surgical steps to prevent further pregnancies after their number two child died of a rare genetic condition.
Despite our sympathy for parents who lose a baby, and despite a genetically-linked death appearing to arrive by the parents’ own hands, we must ask whether such a response is consistent with faith in God.
My thinking on this matter is influenced both by Scripture and by personal experience. Tim’s and my mother and father continued having children despite the death of our older siblings from genetic diseases. I suffer today from the same genetic disease (hemophilia) my oldest brother died of, and Tim and I had two additional brothers die as the result of another genetic disease (cystic fibrosis).
Our family scorecard is this: three children dead of genetic disease, two dying before adulthood, one with genetic disease (me) still living, a fourth brother dead at age five from juvenile leukemia and two normal (at least genetically) siblings also still alive. In short, the odds of our reaching adulthood weren’t good.
I remember my mother once mentioning Christian friends criticizing her for continuing to bear children. Yet I’m sure that my gratitude to my mother for giving birth a sixth time despite the prior deaths of two of my older brothers and despite the likelihood that I too would inherit a threatening genetic condition comes as no surprise to my readers. Nor am I alone in this: each of us born with genetic issues was just as happy to have received the gift of life as our siblings born without genetic disease.
Need it be said? In the eyes of those doing the dying, it is better to live and die young than never to have lived at all.
To read rest (the meat and potatoes, really) of this article, go HERE.