Thursday, July 14, 2011

When to stop being fruitful and multiplying?

In the 9th chapter of Genesis, God tells Noah and his sons to be fruitful and multiply. Great!  Sounds like a lot of fun, but God didn’t say when to stop being so fruitful.

There is an ancient Arab proverb that says, Trust in God, but tie up your camel.  I was once told by someone who I considered very reliable that this saying was from the Quran/Koran.  If it is in the Quran I can’t find it in there, so for those of you out there who have heard me say that is was, I apologize for not doing my own research. (this should be a lesson to everyone who simply passes on information as truth, without first doing the research themselves….it is way too easy to pass along internet and political half truths and lies…most of us are smarter than that, however we still get caught up in the ease of believing what we read and hear, especially when it supports our own agendas…but this is not what this blog is about.) 

Yesterday, (with trust in God), I tied my camel…well not exactly my camel.  Let’s just say that I have decided that it was time to stop being fruitful, or at least to stop multiplying.  Okay if that is too cryptic for you, yesterday I had a vasectomy.  Some of you might be thinking, “NO…don’t talk about vasectomies!”…but I’m going to anyway.

I really don’t want that late in life SURPRISE baby.  There are some folks out there who simply go on blind faith in saying if someone has a baby then it was the will of God.  If this was the case then we would have to say that it is God’s will for babies to be born in Africa with HIV or those in the United States who are born addicted to drugs.  These things are NOT God’s will.  God’s will is wrapped up in the two great commandments: Love God with all you have and love those around you with the same love that Christ has for you.   

Trust in God, but tie up your camel.  God gave us free will to love and trust God as well as using the gift of free will to make reasonable and educated decisions.  I fully understand that my decision to bungee jump off a perfectly good bridge was not the most reasonable thing I have ever done so let’s ignore that for a moment.

I have spoken to many men over the years about the dreaded vasectomy.  It is interesting the responses I have gotten.  If the topic comes up in a crowd of men, the response is usually something that is negative.  When I have talked with people in private the response if split, some who have embraced it without any real reservations, others who faced it with real fear, and others whose fear kept them from doing it.

There are those who were born with the inability to produce a child and others who have lost the ability due to injury.  Are they less of a man, or less whole?  Are those guys, like myself, who choose to lose the ability to be fruitful and multiply less of a man?  My off the cuff answer is… men are just as manly with or without the ability to deliver sperm; but there is really more to it.

In today’s society things are not as they once were.  We are no longer shackled by the bonds of stereotypical gender roles.  We can no longer with integrity say what men are supposed to do, nor can we say things like, that’s women’s work.  This is unrealistic, unfair and outdated.  With each passing year our societies understanding of gender roles becomes more and more in line with the Gospels.  “In Christ there is no male or female,…”  Live in Christ and be who you are, not who someone else expects you to be.
When you live in Christ you are trusting in God, but don’t forget to tie up your camel. Living into who you are takes time to figure out and the best way to do this is within a community who understands and lives into the love, honesty, and openness of the Gospels.

So, I trusted in God and tied up my camel.  After much prayer and discussion with my wife the decision was unanimous… and 25 hours later there are still no regrets. 

[As for you men who are fearful of having a vasectomy, it was nothing.  I compare the most painful part (the numbing shot) to what it feels like to have a hair pulled out of your scrotum.  After that it is like having been kicked in the jewels…ice packs and Tylenol…Oh, and sympathy.  You get a lot of sympathy which makes up for a little swelling.  If you want to know more details about the procedure, leave a comment or contact me and I’ll get back with you.]

1 comment:

  1. Heal quickly, Kirk!

    My husband, who knows himself well enough to know that he wouldn't be a good parent, had a vasectomy before we met, but then was scared to tell me because he knew most women want kids and he was afraid I'd break up with him. However, I know myself well enough to know that I wouldn't be a good parent, either, so it all worked out!

    Great post, and you're brave to talk about it.