We can't have children, but my friends are hinting that it is time. What should I do?

How can a couple who is unable to bear children respond to well-intended hints that it is time for them to be parents?

Those who cannot have children will know how devastating such a comment can be. The example of the Lord and the statements of Scripture teach us to respond to evil with blessing, not responding in kind (1Pe 3:9). This person probably meant well and was attempting to express interest, encouragement, maybe even confidence. Depending on the Lord to give help, the couple could simply express appreciation for the concern expressed and ask for the help of that person in prayer. The Lord will know how to answer the prayer in ways the person praying may not understand.

For the benefit of the well-intentioned individual who thrust a knife into the heart of this couple, many passages, if heeded, would have sealed his lips. One will do. Christians are to consider the effect of their words on others and to limit their communications to what is beneficial ("good"), strengthening ("edification"), and enabling ("ministering grace to the hearers," Eph 4: 29). None of us is perfect (James 3:2), but Christian grace will increase our sensitivity to others.

D. Oliver