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The Word on the Week

Control of the Womb

Governments and other power brokers have always recognised the strategic importance of the womb.    Gaining control over the reproductive process is one way to play god.   This week the Chinese law restricting married couples to one child is to end.   This concludes the largest population control experiment, designed by Chairman Mao and inflicted on his people.

It is reckoned to have prevented 400,000,000 births since first imposed in 1980.   These are the sort of figures we usually associate with the number of abortions in the US over roughly the same time period.   People power or Chairman Mao’s power produce the same outcome.

In China, where women have little say in the matter, there has been a preference for boys.   This has produced an unnatural imbalance of 30 million more males in the population.     There may have been a predisposition to this as a Chinese proverb on marital bliss says “may you be blessed with 100 sons and 1,000 grandsons”.   Daughters don’t get a mention!

The law was first relaxed in 2013 with permission to have a second child being granted to those who were themselves only children.   It was assumed that this would alter the demographic but it seems that things have not gone according to plan.

China is rapidly being urbanised with city life attracting many of childbearing age to take up careers.   This in turn has produced a disincentive to have children or perhaps, as in the west, defer starting a family till later in life.

It is a recurring theme in Scripture that the Lord has control over the fruit of the womb.   In the case of Hannah, who was barren, the Lord marked Samuel’s birth by the years of devotion of the godly Hannah in the face of provocation from her rival, Peninnah, which led to the high priest Eli blessing her and prophesying the birth of Samuel.

One of the things that encouraged the hesitant Jeremiah was the revelation that came to him in his teens confirming his calling: – “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you and before you were born I consecrated you; I appointed you a prophet to the nations” (Chapter 1 verse 5).

Again when Jesus entered the world we learn that the naming process took place before he was conceived in the womb (Luke Chapter 2 verse 21).  As so often in the Bible the person’s name equals their nature.  It gives you the clue as to what they are about.   St Matthew tells us the angel gave him the name Jesus because “he would save his people from their sins” (Chapter 1 verse 21) this was to be his job.    He did it faithfully till on the cross he uttered his last words “It is finished” (St John Chapter 19 verse 30) not “I am finished” as we might have said.    His work of salvation was completed.  Nothing is required to be added to it.  It has been accomplished.

While mankind will always be tempted to mess with wombs as it plays god with others’ lives there is forgiveness and a new start for those involved in the mess who change direction, sincerely repent and receive the love gift of the Holy Spirit who will remain in you forever.