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  • What is the Biblical Perspective on Childlessness?.
  • Sarah's Daughters, Fertility & Fruitfulness From a Biblical Perspective.

But that is just one position in a multi-voiced Bible. Pope Francis is here, bearing a message of mercy and forgiveness for all. But even for a man as compassionate and understanding as Francis, there are some vulnerable groups who not only slip through his net of mercy—they are actually targets of his criticism. Beyond the obvious—faceless corporations, greed, capitalistic exploitation, and so on—there is another group that Francis thinks is selfish: childless couples.

He regularly uses sterility as a pejorative metaphor and fruitfulness as the primary image for that which flourishes. In so doing, he appears unaware of how this language alienates those without children and empowers others to negatively judge them. Even the socially powerful are affected by this kind of perspective. When she ran for Chancellor of Germany, Angela Merkel faced scrutiny from German media and the broader public merely for not having children. Her choice was interpreted as a calculated career move. Some questioned whether she was a good representative of womanhood, or even of humanity in general.

The history of disparaging childless women is lengthy and winding, incorporating antipathy toward feminism as well as the ample mythology of witchcraft. But a lot of the language of fruitfulness, certainly that employed by Pope Francis, has biblical roots. But this is not the only message about infertility that we can find in the Bible.

In our book, Reconceiving Infertility , we argue that the Bible contains a variety of different messages on childlessness. Though it is frequently negative, it is also sometimes neutral, and occasionally even positive. Contemporary English Version The Scriptures say about her, "You have never had children, but now you can be glad. You have never given birth, but now you can shout. Once you had no children, but now you will have more children than a woman who has been married for a long time.

Shout and cry with joy, you who never felt the pains of childbirth! For the woman who was deserted will have more children than the woman whose husband never left her. Burst into song and shout, you who are not in labor, for the children of the desolate are many, more numerous than those of the woman who has a husband.

International Standard Version For it is written, "Rejoice, you childless woman, who cannot give birth to any children! Break into song and shout, you who feel no pains of childbirth! For the children of the deserted woman are more numerous than the children of the woman who has a husband. Break forth and shout, you that do not travail. For more are the children of the desolate than of her who has a husband. Break into shouting, those who feel no pains of childbirth!

Healing Prayers for Infertility

Because the deserted woman will have more children than the woman who has a husband. King James Bible For it is written, Rejoice, you barren that bear not; break forth and cry, you that travail not: for the desolate has many more children than she who has a husband. Conflict of Opinion. Creation and Cosmogony in the Bible. Cynics and Cynicism.

20+ Encouraging Bible Verses about Infertility - Powerful Scripture

Death and Mourning. Door and Doorpost.

Euphemism and Dysphemism. Extraordinary Remedies. Gemilut Hasadim. Genetic Ancestry, Jewish. Head, Covering of the. Hebrew Language. Hevrah, Havurah.

If I should have a daughter ... - Sarah Kay

Inclination, Good and Evil. Ingathering of the Exiles. Jewish Calendar.

Bible Theasaurus

Jewish Ethics. Jewish Languages. Kiddush Ha-Hayyim. Lamed Vav Zaddikim. Limitation of Actions.

Marriage, Prohibited. Neshamah Yeterah. Obligations, Law of.

Reconceiving Infertility

Ordeal of Jealousy. Priestly Blessing. Public Authority. Rebuke and Reproof. Remnant of Israel. Reward and Punishment. The Seven Noahide Laws.