Episode 151

The Blessing and The Curse | ACW151


November 22nd, 2021

33 mins 56 secs

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About this Episode

What is the morality of embryo adoption? How do you overcome sexual sin in a dating relationship? Why does God permit the blessing of chidren to come from sinful acts?

Ask Christopher West is a weekly podcast in which Theology of the Body Institute President Christopher West and his beloved wife Wendy share their humor and wisdom, answering questions about marriage, relationships, life, and the Catholic faith, all in light of John Paul II’s beautiful teachings on the Theology of the Body.

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Patron Question:
Hi Christopher! Thank you so much for the work you do. As a young, Protestant, mother-of-two, I've learned so much from the resources you provide. It has deepened my faith as I have come to a better understanding of how I, as a Christian, am to live both body and soul together. My husband and I are looking for clarity in how to approach embryo adoption. We've noticed in our circles a trend in which a wife will feel passionately about embryo adoption and desire to help the babies that have been frozen as the result of IVF, but their husbands are not on board. Such has been our own case. My initial thought was that embryo adoption can be a way to alleviate the suffering that IVF has caused and since it is an adoption, the baby placed in the womb already belongs to the adoptive parents. My husband views this similarly to surrogacy since it separates pregnancy from the sexual act. It seems that the discomfort he and other men share is the idea that their wife would be pregnant with someone else's child. We have tried more than once to find succinct justification for embryo adoption that doesn't simplify it to an "ends justifies the means" argument, but have found nothing. It just grieves me to think that there might not be a solution for these babies that are in such a state of helplessness and abandonment. How can we think through this biblically?

Question 2:
Thank you for the light you have shared through your work – I’ve been fundamentally changed by your work. I am having a lot of trouble practicing chastity with my boyfriend. Both of us keep repeating sexual sins and confessing and doing it over and over again. We know the gravity of what we are doing and we debrief every time to try and work harder and do better as we discern our possible marriage to one another. I am asking for practical advice on how to really avoid non-marital sex and how to renew in hope after confession. I am always moved and healed by God’s forgiveness but I feel a sense of despair and hopelessness in our continued failure to respect each other’s bodies. I would also like to know if you have any advice for those struggling to persevere in prayer in moments of temptation, and any advice for how to continue practicing chastity in a relationship after failing so many times.

Qestion 3:
I know that the sins we commit come with consequences. Almost every sin I can think of has a negative consequence, but when it comes to fornication (well, obviously sometimes the consequences can be negative in terms of AIDS and other STDs) but sometimes God’s will is to give the couple who engaged in fornication a child, which I believe is always a blessing no matter the circumstances in which the child was conceived. Why do you think God would intend this, to bless people with children while all other sins have negative consequences? I can’t think of any other sin that has the possibility of giving us a blessing.

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Christopher and Wendy hope their advice is helpful to you, but they are not licensed counseling professionals. If you are dealing with serious issues, please consult our list of trusted professionals.

Featuring music by Mike Mangione.