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Q&A: What comfort can be given to those who experience miscarriage?

My Christian friend was two months pregnant and miscarried. This question is nagging her: “Is my baby in heaven?” What comfort can I give her?

This is one of the most challenging questions to answer for others—and even more for yourself if you have experienced the loss of a child. Pray with your friend and focus on what we know from Scripture.

Focus on what we know

What do we know about this miscarried child? We know that the child was sinful from conception (Psalm 51:5) and in need of a Savior. We know that Jesus loved the world (including that child!) so much that he died on the cross for all people (John 3:16). We also know that this miscarriage was not a mistake for God. First Samuel 2:6 says, “The LORD brings death and makes alive.” This is an important point because mothers can think that they are entirely responsible for the new life inside them and lose sight of God’s oversight of life. Perhaps we should develop a different term than miscarriage to remove that onus.

The psalmist says of God, “My times are in your hands” (Psalm 31:15). What do we know about those hands? Those hands of the risen Jesus bear the loving marks of the victory he won for the world and for that child.

Finally, many of God’s ways remain hidden (Isaiah 45:15). He tells us his ways and thoughts are higher than ours (Isaiah 55:9). That is so true! We never would have thought to give up our only son, but God did.

Be careful about saying too much

We want to be careful about saying too much after a miscarriage lest we put promises in the mouth of God that he has not explicitly made. To say we know with dogmatic certainty where the child’s soul is (in heaven or hell) would go beyond the clear information we have in Scripture.

Can we use John the Baptist leaping in the womb (Luke 1:41) for comfort? Absolutely! But we must use it for the comfort it provides, not the promise it doesn’t make. The account of John leaping shows that God kept his promise made to Zechariah (Luke 1:15), working faith inside of the womb! While it does not promise that God makes a regular practice of working faith in the womb, it does show that God can do all things! Rather than needing to know what God has not revealed, we can take just as much comfort in knowing who our God is!

What I believe vs. what I know

If you were to ask me if I think or believe the child is in heaven, I would say yes. If you were to press me to answer whether I know, I would have to leave that answer to God’s wisdom.

Even if we do not know, Christian parents can take comfort that their child heard the Word in the womb and they prayed for their child (James 5:16). God hears those prayers!

Martin Luther has these comforting thoughts to share when counseling a Christian woman who had a miscarriage:

We ought to speak differently and in a more consoling way with Christians than with pagans, even in such cases where we do not know God’s hidden judgment. . . . One must leave such situations to God and take comfort in the thought that he surely has heard our unspoken yearning and done all things better than we could have asked. (Excerpt from Martin Luther’s short letter “Comfort for Women Who Had a Miscarriage”)

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Q&A Bible study open bible 2023 Dave Scharf

The blessing of godly mothers

It’s Mother’s Day this month, and we thank God for godly (not perfect!) mothers.

Not always a happy day

For some, Mother’s Day is bittersweet. The reality is that some people do not have the greatest example of a godly mother in their lives, and still others wish they could be mothers but God has not blessed them in that way.

Read Psalm 23.

What are at least three truths from this psalm that you can share with those who find Mother’s Day to be difficult rather than joyous?

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Qualities of a godly mother

One of the greatest gifts God can give to a person is a godly mother, and one of the greatest gifts a mother can give to her children is a godly example of love.

Read Isaiah 49:15; Titus 2:4,5; and 1 Peter 3:3,4.

What qualities shown in these passages make for a godly mother?

Think of the godly mothers you know. What qualities do you most admire and want to emulate?

Godly mothers set an example

I was blessed with a godly mother who encouraged me and my siblings in the faith. She read us devotions at night, said prayers with us, and lived Jesus for us.

One powerful image is imprinted in my memory from when I was growing up. Mom always made sure I was up for my paper route. Every morning I’d walk into a dark kitchen and see my mom, hunched over the counter under a lamp with a single light bulb, reading her Bible. That example has proven for me to be eternally important. Who knows how many generations will be impacted by that example?

Read 2 Timothy 1:5; 3:14-17.

In these verses, you see the godly example Timothy had. What two life lessons did you learn from your mother?

What two lessons do you want to pass on to the next generation?

Thank God for godly mothers

Read Proverbs 31:28-31.

How can you say, “Thank you, Mom! I thank God for you!” to a godly mother (your own or someone else’s) this month?

Author: David Scharf
Volume 111, Number 05
Issue: May 2024

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