Loving Your Friend Through Infertility

Infertility is painful for countless reasons. One reason women struggle is when they feel isolated from or misunderstood by their loved ones.

I know this struggle all too well. Now that I’m in my early 30’s, I’m the only woman in my circle of friends who does not have children. I respect and admire their commitment to their families, for that is a good, godly calling! However, the natural result tends to leave me, a childless woman, feeling removed or not properly cared for.

How, then, should you love your friend suffering through infertility? There isn’t one ideal approach, and every woman is different but here’s what I’ve learned. By leaning into Christ, you can love and serve her well through these three Gospel-centered ways:

1. Mourn with her.

You may feel that approaching the subject infertility is uncomfortable. And as a mother, you may even feel guilty for having children or being pregnant around your friend. It may feel easier to avoid or dance around the subject. But one of the best ways you can minister to your friend is by mourning with her, even if you cannot relate. Consider Romans 12:15, which calls us to “rejoice with those who rejoice, weep with those who weep.” As you remain slow to speak and quick to listen, by bearing her burdens, you fulfill the law of Christ.[1]

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Mourning together not only unifies us as sisters in Christ, it is also a living example to those around us. Consider Jesus’ response when his dear friend Lazarus died: He wept.[2]  To the onlookers observing his grief, they responded to one another: “See how he loved him!”[3] Jesus’ tears and mourning were a direct display of his character and heart. Rather than retreating to grieve alone, his public grieving moved those around him and drew them to him. Be a display of Christ in your mourning.

2. Remind her of her identity in Christ.

All too often, we leave our identities in Christ at the side as we wrestle through our suffering. Though it is imperative to never minimize your friend’s pain, remind her of how Jesus sees her. Soothe her heart by reminding her that she is forgiven, loved, redeemed, saved, freed, secured—to name a few.

Remind your loved one that it is Christ who unites, not our circumstances. Though our day-to-day lives may look different, we equally need Jesus as the source of identity. It is our common bond as redeemed sisters in Christ that should take precedence in a friendship, not “mom” vs. “non-mom.” Be unified in your eternal bond in Christ.

3. Speak truth, not fluff.

There was a season of my infertility journey where I only wanted to hear a promise that I’d be a mother one day. I desired to hear that my suffering would end quickly. But that wasn’t necessarily truth; it was fluff, optimism, and wishful thinking (all of which are not sinful in and of themselves).

Children are not guaranteed to us, no matter how faithful we are. Withholding children is not punishment, but we must remember that the Lord’s sovereignty always wins—and it’s hard to not have an answer to this suffering. Call upon the Lord to help you be discerning in your conversations with your friend. Speak the truth in love to her; challenge her in her unbelief, fear, and doubts.[4] Point her to the sure promises found in Christ: forgiveness, redemption, salvation, and a pain-free eternity in glory with her Savior King.

As you commit to speaking in love and tenderness to your friend, don’t forget to draw her eyes to suffering well in a fallen world. Remind her that sin’s destructive power has polluted every element of our lives. Call to mind what Satan’s goal is for her life: to distract, deceive, devour, and draw her away from Jesus.[5] Let the understanding of sin and Satan’s schemes—and the victory that Jesus has over him—drive you to rage against his influence together.[6]

There is unending grace for you and your friend as you navigate this trial together. Be committed, be bound, be unshakable. Your friendship can be used to bring glory to the King and draw others to him! Hold fast to Proverbs 17:17: “A friend loves at all times, and a [sister] is born for a time of adversity.”

[1] James 1:19, Gal. 6:2

[2] John 11:35

[3] John 11:36

[4] Eph. 4:15

[5] John 8:44, I Peter 5:8-9

[6] Heb. 2:14


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Meredith Hodge is the founder of It's Positive!, a blog with the mission of bringing gospel-centered encouragement to those struggling with infertility. She is a freelance writer with a passion for ministry, coffee, and nature. She lives in the Chicago suburbs with her husband Matt. Follow Meredith on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.