Dating & Marriage

My husband does not want to explore IVF

My husband and I have been trying to conceive but have not been successful. We have discussed assistive treatments and did two rounds of IUI to no avail. IVF seems to be the natural next step, which is aligned with my beliefs, desires and hopes, but my husband is not comfortable with the idea. As a woman, I feel that that denies me the opportunity to be a mother and the biological clock is ticking; as a wife, I’m called to submit. What should I do?


At The Well

Li Ping says

Dear GH,

I hear your deep longing to be a mother. Perhaps this is an opportunity to wrestle with what it means to have children. I commend Dr Roland Chia’s article to your reflection: In brief, children are gifts to be received from God rather than an exercise of one’s rights, or a means of self-fulfilment. This was a hard lesson for me to learn too as I wrestled with multiple miscarriages.

Children, being the literal product of a husband’s and wife’s love, should also be borne out of unity rather than conflict. It is crucial that husband and wife express their own desires, but also hear each other out, and prayerfully come to a decision.

Submission looks different in every marriage, but it always presupposes that the husband loves his wife the way Christ does—sacrificially and like his own body. This means submitting to your husband’s decision knowing he has considered your views and needs carefully, and you have both prayerfully sought God’s guidance.

You did not mention the reasons for your husband’s discomfort with IVF. There are ethical considerations, especially the creation of surplus embryos that may be destroyed, which is problematic if we take the view that life begins at conception. There are alternatives like donating the embryos or keeping them frozen, but both have their own issues as well. If you have not done so, you may also prayerfully consider alternative routes like adoption.