One of the most difficult, thorny and painful experiences in life is to be without a child, especially if one really loves children and wish to have them around. Even among believers, Childlessness doesn’t come without pain.
Childlessness is the state of being without a child of your own.
Several factors contribute in making one childless, which can either be natural, man-made or as a result of some health complications. Whatever the cause may be, childlessness comes with harrowing experiences, pain that touches the bone ,dehumanization, physical and psychological torture and so many others unpleasant situations that you may not even wish for your enemy.
In most African societies, like Nigeria, where so much attention is attached to children, not having any can subject one to a state of insanity. As a woman, you are treated like an outcast, insulted on daily bases and may be forcefully thrown out of marriage. Men in that condition are made objects of caricature and often not respected at village gatherings.
Even in death, childless couples are not at peace. Some cultures mandate that their copses pass through certain traditional rites to cleanse them of curses.
But in all of these, it is not the end of life and one can still live a happy and fulfilled life in the face of childlessness; thus the thrust of this writing, “Hope amidst childlessness”.
Hope is the state of being optimistic, expectant and positive about something you desire or wish to have. When confronted with childlessness, hope comes in two folds, either to accept the situation or look for solutions to the problem. Both work perfectly and have helped childless people remain hopeful, which is necessary to live a happy and fulfilled life.
The following are sources of hope when faced with childlessness;
1.You came alone in this world and will go alone. The thought about this should be a huge source of relief, consolation and hope. God didn’t bring you to this world with anyone; likewise you will die alone. Have you seen where people are buried with their children? Children or no children, ends in this world and nothing of this world is worth dying for. Look unto God for help and stop preoccupying your mind with thoughts childlessness.
2. You are not alone. The thought that you are not the only childless person can go along way in helping you to accept the situation in good faith and move on. So many in the world today do not have children of their own. It was so even in the time of your ancestors and will continue in the world to come, if Christ did not come.
3. Go for medical screening to know the cause of your problem. After involving in unprotected sexual intercourse with your partner for a full year without achieving pregnancy, it is advisable to find out the cause. As a husband ,it could be that your sperm quality is reduced ,which may be due to hereditary factors and diseases, or even environmental and lifestyle reasons.
In the case of women, it could be as a result of hormonal imbalance, infection, fibroid, blocked fallopian tube, etc. Sometimes , it could be that the couples have been meeting themselves at the wrong times.
For instance, I have come across a situation whereby the woman’s fertile days fell during her mensural period and for years they couldn’t conceive because they didn’t meet when she was seeing her period.
With medical screening , most of these conditions will be detected and treated.Even if they are not treated, at least you are rest assured about the cause of the problem. That offers relief.
4. Accept that it is God that gives children. Children are divine gift and favour from God. If probably it were to be through wealth or physical strength, so many especially the poor ones might not have children. But its not so. God gives children as it pleases him. So, accept the will of God.
5. Avoid the regrets. You may have involved in things that contributed to your childlessness; it could be unsafe abortion or any other. When you think about that, also remember that they were people that aborted countless number of times, yet have more number of children that they wished.
Stop that regret. Just ask God for forgiveness ,repent sincerely and move on. God will surely see you through.
6. Count other blessings. Perhaps they are other great things that you have achieved-wealth, education, etc. It may also be that God gave you some special talents, like good voice. Find a way of deriving fulfilment in the blessings and use them to serve God and humanity. You will be happy doing so.
7. Think about wayward children ,that are a source of pain to their parents. Look around, a lot of people are mad, some are addicts while others are way wards, beating up their parents and causing them heartbreaks. These are children that people prayed for. While pitying parents of such children and even praying and assisting them, their condition can be a source of relief. What if you had children and they turned out so?
8. Study the scripture regularly. Studying the Bible can offer you unimaginable strength and hope. The Bible is the best book so far; the stories are quite comforting, assuring and fulfilling. As you study the Bible regularly, you will not only find hope and happiness, but also encounter God personally for everlasting peace of mind.
9. Care for other people’s children. Many people have derived hope and fulfilment from caring for and assisting other people’s children. It mustn’t be your own children before you offer care.
I have seen and read about cases whereby childless couples were called dad and mum by other people’s children, who even went as far as caring for them at old age and giving them befitting burial, just because they treated those children well as their own. If you have the means, don’t hessitate to care for other people’s children.
10. Champion courses for the good of children. In associations that you belong, religious organisation, school, office, etc, always ensure that you are interested in the wellbeing of children. God who sees the heart will surely reward you. Also, people will know that you have a good heart and would not use your childless situation against you.
11. You have an option to become a father/mother.
That you are childless now does not mean that you will remain childless forever. There are several avenues ,both medically and otherwise to become a father or mother. It may be through adoption or assisted conception like IVF, Surrogacy, etc. Actress Ini Edo has just become a mother through surrogacy, in which her egg was fertilized and inserted in the womb of another woman that carried the pregnancy on her behalf. All these are easily accessible once you decide and have the resource.
12. Develop positive view about adoption. When you adopt a child, you have the legal right as the child’s permanent parent or parents. It is not compulsory that you must give birth to your own children. When you have tried your best as a human and conception is not achieved, simply find a way to adopt.
Notable people all over the world have adopted children. Even some that had their own children, went ahead to adopt more, because of their love for children. Nollywood Veteran, Patience Ozokwo adopted more than two to add to her biological children. So adoption is very healthy and acceptable.
Don’t wait for so long before considering adoption. After about five years of marriage without children, It is advisable to go and adopt. That adopted child will sustain the peace and love between you and your spouse during the period of waiting for your biological children. If you eventually have any child/children biologically, it will be an addition. If not, you thank God that you already had one through adoption.
Some people who waited for so long before considering adoption, regretted at last. They ended up adopting when they had grown old and were unable to train the children. So do it early so that the adopted children will grow as your marriage ages.
13. Trust in God. When all hope is lost, trust in God and hold him by his word. He said, none shall be barren in the land; have faith in God’s word and use it as your prayer point.
Miracles still happen even in our time. There are instances whereby some women conceive in their 50s, 60s and 70s. Tap into that grace.
When you wait,make efforts to live a life of righteousness, purity and holiness, so that your prayers and supplications will be acceptable to God.
Just don’t be anxious; takes things easy. Be happy even in that situation. If it pleases God, he will give you your own children; but in every situation give thanks to his holy name.