What Not to Say to the Childless Wife

what not to sayOn Sunday, I was speaking with a close friend who battled cancer last year. We talked about the things that people say, not meaning any harm, that can sometimes bring about tears instead of comfort. I shared with her things that people have said to me concerning having children. As I have gotten older, I have come to understand things that may prevent women from having children, as well as just just learning basic tact. I no longer ask women if they are pregnant even if they look every bit that way. We never know what is going on. We never know if that woman has been infertile and has tried with her husband for years & years to conceive, but her womb has not yielded the fruit. We don’t know if there is a condition that needs to be addressed before the woman conceives. What if they have been pregnant but have had miscarriage after miscarriage? We need to be sensitive to women when it comes to the issue of pregnancy. We don’t know what pain may reside in their hearts concerning having children. Let’s not be the possible salt to a possible wound. While I know the intention of many is pure curiosity and even concern, sometimes it is best for us to be silent. The Lord is in control of the womb and we must keep that at  the forefront of our hearts & minds.

These are all questions I have received at some point. As a bit of background, my husband and I have been married a year and a half and I am 33.

  1. Why aren’t you pregnant yet?
  2. Do you want children?
  3. How long have y’all been married again?
  4. How old are you? … Well you know that you’re not getting any younger! The clock is ticking!
  5. When I was your age, I already had __ children!
  6. When did you guys get married? Oh? Wow, well ____ got married a year after you, and they have one on the way already! Y’all need to catch up!
  7. If you need some encouragement in that department, let me know!
  8. I read that when you’re in your 30s, the risk for babies with health problems is higher.
  9. 33 is too old for me to have kids!

I often read lists like this and gasp that people would say the things they say, so let me state that I write this with no malice. My desire is to inform and encourage us to think hard before we speak. Again, we never know what that person is dealing with. I joked with my friend on Sunday and said that Job’s friends did so well with him. It was when they opened their mouths that it all went downhill. Let’s remember…

A word fitly spoken is like apples of gold in a setting of silver. Proverbs 25:11 ESV

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