"Rejoice, O barren one who does not bear; Break forth and cry aloud, you who are not in labor!" (Galatians 4:27)
Human fertility is a great blessing and a deep mystery that is an icon of a higher reality: God’s conceiving a new family by Holy Baptism. Without an understanding of this joyful reality, the barren are left without hope.
Just as hopelessness can override motherly instincts, leading to abortion, so also the hopelessness of the barren can lead to desperate measures.
The technology of in vitro fertilization and/or surrogacy may seem an enticing remedy. But conception outside of the womb and marriage bed separates what God has joined together, resulting in a host of ethical problems. (See: In Vitro Fertilization: Moral or Immoral? at LCMS’s Life Library.)
Still, the pain of barrenness is deep and real. Can we say anything more than no? Does God speak a yes to these grieving people?
Yes. God remembers the barren in such a way that holds marriage, life and family in sanctity. Katie Schuermann, a Lutheran pastor's wife, has converted her own sorrow into the joy of helping others. She has created a website called: He Remembers the Barren; and has authored a book by the same name.