Married Without Children

As our pregnancy tests kept coming up negative, the joy of sex faded, turning it into a mere quest for procreation. Would we ever find that passion again?

The sex life of an infertile couple sometimes seems as if it's a matter of public interest. At least that was our experience.

Sonja and I had been married for five years and had no children, an immediate red flag to nosy people we met at church.

"Don't you know that children are a gift from God?" one man asked.

For those years Sonja and I had asked God every day to bless us with a child. We were aware of their value.

"You'd better get started!" some would say. This would launch us into a conversation about how we'd been "trying" and how we hadn't yet conceived. "At least you're having fun trying, right?" was a comment that usually came with a coy wink.

Wrong. We were not having fun "trying." When you're infertile, making love takes on the not-so-romantic air of an assembly line production, where the baby factory yields nothing month after month, year after year. Trying to get pregnant isn't fun when you're stringing together 72 months of forced sex and failed tries at conception.

Sadly, millions of couples suffer from infertility. According to a study by the Center for Disease Control, there were 2.1 million infertile married couples in the United States, and another 6.1 million women with "impaired ability to have children." Infertility is usually defined as the inability to conceive after one year of unprotected sexual intercourse.

Often, infertility deals a deathblow to a marriage, as a couple deals with years of disappointment and turns against each another. But it doesn't have to be that way. Through a recognition of God's sovereignty, an emphasis on prayer and making the marriage—not conception—the number one priority, infertility can draw a couple closer instead of destroying them.

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