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polite way to tell someone this is not Christian - and a prayer request?

(24 Posts)
tatt Tue 08-Jul-08 06:08:23

friend is in hospital 24 weeks pregnant. Although the premature labour had stopped last night birth is expected within the week.

Her MIL - who is a born again Christian - has said explicitly to me that they (she, son and other son) do not want a "less than perfect" child and have agreed that life support will be switched off if necessary. Friend has had really severe vomiting and they have been worried throughout pregnancy that it may affect the baby.

I know they would all struggle if the boy has problems. The elder son has minor medical issues and they struggle with that.

Pray for them all please - and if there is something polite I can say help me find the right words. So far all I've managed is that we'll love him anyway.

PrettyCandles Tue 08-Jul-08 06:40:12

Oh the poor mum-to-be! What an awful situation sad. How does she feel about the possibility of a disabled child? Surely it's up to her and her dh, not her MIL and ILs. Surely every child is perfect in God's eyes?

I'm not a Christian, but how about remembering to Love Thy Neighbour As Thyself? And accepting that God brings every new soul into the world, and God decides when that soul shall leave - not us or our whims.

I wish you strength to help support your friend in this hard time.

EffiePerine Tue 08-Jul-08 06:41:40

I don't think this is anything to do with her being a Christian, more her personal views.

SqueakyPop Tue 08-Jul-08 07:07:04

People can easily spit out the wrong words when they are under stress.

Whether to keep a very early baby alive or whether to let them die gracefully is a controversial decision, and no side is necessary 'right'.

The best thing to say to the mother is that you will pray for them, and that you will be with her throughout. Don't offer your personal opinion as to what to do - it's not your baby or your life. Support her in whatever she decides. And don't get embroiled in anything the rest of the family has said.

tatt Tue 08-Jul-08 08:25:00

this isn't just a comment made under stress because they have made similar comments before, tactlessly. The MIL has been concerned throughout the pregnancy that my friend shouldn't take any drugs for the vomiting in case they damaged the baby. She really struggles with the elder boy's problems although he's bright, walked early and his medical issues are very minor.

At 25 weeks - which they may reach - the baby will have a 67% chance of being born alive and a similar chance of having no significant handicap. This isn't a 22 week baby where keeping them alive could be cruel.

The MIL isn't, IMO, a Christian at all if she can think that children have to be perfect.

If the baby is born severely handicapped then I suspect my friend would not want to unnecessarily prolong their life - and I'd support her in whatever she wanted. But I'd hate to see her pressurised to withdraw treatment from a child who could still have a good quality of life but wasn't 100% perfect. She's a bit of a perfectionist herself so is deperately unhappy and already feeling she's failed.

DutchOma Tue 08-Jul-08 08:56:23

Certainly this is an issue where prayer is very much needed. Is there any chance you could have a word with the MIL's pastor? Her attitude is entirely wrong. God is the one who decides how, where and when a child is born and the MIL should not in any way interfere with the process.
I think prayer is the key here, for all concerned.
Let us know how it goes?

tatt Tue 08-Jul-08 10:57:16

no I don't know their pastor. I did go the christening but don't remember talking to him. Don't live nearby so couldn't easily fidn out.

Haven't heard anything yet today so I'm hoping no news is good news.

tatt Wed 09-Jul-08 18:32:32

labour still stopped, thank you to anyone who has prayed for them.

MaryBS Wed 09-Jul-08 18:56:50

How about Romans 3:22-24, or even just verse 23.

22 the righteousness of God through faith in Jesus Christ for all who believe. For there is no distinction,
23 since all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God;
24 they are now justified by his grace as a gift, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus

Or yet again, from Paul: 2 Cor 12:9:

But he said to me, "My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness." Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ's power may rest on me.

tatt Sat 12-Jul-08 19:58:28

baby was born alive at 25 weeks. He is obviously very small and is in intensive care.

mufti Sat 12-Jul-08 20:02:17

oh prayers for baby
how is your friend coping?

tatt Sat 12-Jul-08 20:14:45

haven't been able to speak to her, or her husband, personally but I'm told by her family not well. She must be very tired still.

DutchOma Sat 12-Jul-08 21:59:53

Adding prayers for your friend and her baby boy.
May the Lord protect them and bless them.

wakeywoo Mon 14-Jul-08 13:27:13

"God is the one who decides how, where and when a child is born and the MIL should not in any way interfere with the process."

I'm sorry, I have to say this, I'm surprised, shocked and saddened to read that someone could think God would put a family through such pain and misery because he decided their baby should be born sad.

This thread is so sad, I sincerely hope the little one gets strong and well and that his family can have some peace xx.

MaryBS Tue 15-Jul-08 14:58:13

I'm not sure that DO meant it quite like that! To me, I took it to mean that the MIL seems to be putting her own ideas on what God intends for this child. Almost as if God would WANT the life of a "less than perfect" child to be ended, because that's what the MIL thinks should happen.

As a Christian, I think the attitude sucks, and I've already given my biblical answer to the MIL below...

Lets face it, we're all less than perfect, and MIL should take a look at herself first...

tatt Tue 15-Jul-08 19:45:08

In the end, although I liked MaryBS's suggestions, I sent the verses below because I knew that MIL would be blaming DIL. Also a comment that friend might be wondering what she could have done differently, as mothers tend to, and needed reassuring that there was nothing she could have done.

Now some of you might think those verses off but the most important part is the end of the second verse, and I know the MIL's favourite gospel is John. Anyway something seems to have produced a bit of a change in attitude, I'm glad to say smile. Possibly just because the baby is doing as well as can be expected.

John 9:1-3
1As he went along, he saw a man blind from birth. 2His disciples asked him, "Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?"

3"Neither this man nor his parents sinned," said Jesus, "but this happened so that the work of God might be displayed in his life.

DutchOma Tue 15-Jul-08 20:11:26

That's very good to hear Tatt. Beautiful verses of scripture, hope it does sway MIL's attitude.
Continued prayers for little baby and his mum

MaryBS Tue 15-Jul-08 22:08:08

I think your verse is probably more forgiving than the 2 I came up with. Good for you - I'm glad you sent something.

I hope and pray that all will be well with the little one.

stickybun Fri 18-Jul-08 00:03:06

I'm not very good with chapter and verse but did have a disabled Dad. Firmly believe that we're all here for a reason. I know I learnt more as a child about humanity and compassion from having a disabled father than some people learn in a lifetime (no tribute to me - all down to someone else coping with adversity whilst retaining a sense of purpose and humour). Hope there is no difficulty to cope with; but if there is,that a little innocent baby can show some big grown-ups the way to go. Love and best wishes to you all tatt. Know that it can be so.

ReallyTired Thu 24-Jul-08 23:08:03

I think that the decision of whether to turn a baby's life support machine off is a difficult one to make. Its unreasonable to say that its unchristian not to consider switching a life support machine off in certain cases.

If you look at the case of Charlotte Wyatt where the prognosis is very poor and the quality of life of the little girl is limited. Was it the right thing to keep her alive artifically or should nature have taken its course? Admitally according to the latest blog she is learning to walk, but is still in care. Its hard to assess someone else's quality of life.

In someways using a life support machine is playing God. However God did give us brains to use in such situations.

I hope that the little baby gets strong and the parents are never faced with such a decision.

ilovemydog Thu 24-Jul-08 23:18:23

Personally, I don't know any Christians who would want a 'less than perfect' baby.

Do they think that Jesus would reject a less than physically able child?

Not the Old or New Testament I studied, although am not a Christian myself.

Is there any news?

madmouse Sat 26-Jul-08 21:58:44

I am a born again Christian the wife of a minister. We have a 'less than perfect child', born with brain damage, although that is not much in evidence at the moment.

I pray, everyday, that God wil continue to do miracles and restore my son to health. I also pray that His will be done. But in the meantime my son is perfect to me and made in God's image.

No, God does not want children (or parents) to suffer. BUt we live in an imperfect world where things go wrong.

You will not here me say that my son went through the whol neonatal panic and possible future problems for a reason, but we do not know the mind of God, and His ideals of healing are not ours, he sees a far bigger picture.

i pray for the child and the whole family involved.

allgonebellyup Sun 27-Jul-08 19:02:59

God doesnt want anyone to be born disabled.

This is because God doesnt actually exist.

Just my opinion.

ilovemydog Mon 28-Jul-08 20:36:30

Not sure I got this right - with all the double negatives!

What I meant was that most Christians I know, wouldn't say anything of the sort! It offends me that they would utter not wanting anything less than a 'perfect child' and let's face it - they meant a physically able child.

To me, this is not a Christian viewpoint...

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