If you are a parent in this day and age, one of the biggest questions you must answer is whether or not you will vaccinate your children. This question can get extremely complicated and controversial to discuss. I’ll give you a heads up right now: this is not a fact-driven analysis of the why you should or should not vaccinate. This is my response as a wife and a mother to the godly leading of my husband. This is my response as a weak human being to the God of the universe and the authority He has placed in my home. My husband is my earthly authority for as long as I live. I have so much to learn about how God created men to lead, and this lesson was not learned without resistance and pride on my part. I am praying I have learned this one for good, though.
Troy has challenged me with his seemingly blind faith in the Lord since we were dating. Both of us have strengths, but faith in the Lord is one of his and not necessarily mine. My tendency to want to know what everyone else has to say first, rather than ask the Lord what He has to say and discover the truth in God’s Word has gotten me into trouble before. I like to think of myself as smart and well informed (ha). When approaching the difficult issue of vaccinations, I wanted to come to it with my eyes open. I wanted to know the facts, and I learned a few. Most of what I read did not sway me NOT to vaccinate my child. It was enough to scare me, though. Analyzing the data from scientific trials is also NOT my strong point. Understand that I am not saying it is wrong to be well informed. There is, however, something wrong with gaining knowledge and having no godly wisdom to prioritize that knowledge. Some of what I read was emotional; coming from hurting parents. I hurt with these hurting parents. My emotions became involved, and so, when I approached my husband with concerns, he responded as a man of faith.
Not as a man who believes in immunizing your children dogmatically.
Not as a man who needed to prove his manliness and exert his authority over me.
Not as a man full of fear.
He responded as a man of faith. When I asked him to pray about how we were to answer this question, he did. I prepared myself for his answer, that I must follow his lead. When he said that he felt peace about vaccinating our child, I had prepared a great response, and I acted it out perfectly. I was compliant and gentle in appearance, but in my heart I reserved some bitterness.
If anything goes wrong, it’s HIS fault.
This ugly thought festered in my mind. I was appalled that I could think it. Hidden in that thought is ill will for my husband, child, and future children. Hidden in that thought is whether I trust man’s opinion above what God has commanded me to do as Troy’s wife. That thought could grow and the temptation to doubt could become the sin of unbelief. It could result in death if I allow it. Death in our spousal relationship, and more importantly: death in my relationship with God.
So, I had to draw the line. God desires obedience, not sacrifice; He would rather you listen to His voice before you make the mistake and have to pay for it (1 Samuel 15:22). He says you can’t even please Him without faith in Him; that He rewards those who seek Him (Hebrews 11:6). So, I sought God. He answered my prayer to create a clean heart in me, and renew a right spirit within me (David’s prayer in Psalm 51). I asked for him to put a burning coal to my lips, and to forgive me of speaking words of doubt (Isaiah 6:7). These are two prayers I pray quite often, as my heart and my mouth are my biggest downfalls. James 3:4 refers to the tongue as akin to the rudder in a ship. The rudder is a small thing, but it directs where the entire bulk of the ship will go. If I can’t speak peaceful words back to my husband, then I might as well just stay quiet!
On this issue, and on any other, God is not asking me to put my full trust in Troy and his knowledge and wisdom. Rather, He is asking me to trust Him. He is telling me that when He placed Troy as a head (Ephesians 5:23) in this family, He knew what He was doing. Do I trust that God is at work in my husband? Do I trust that Holy Spirit leads my husband? Do I trust that God has given Troy the faith needed to see those Spirit-led decisions through?
Yes. Yes. And finally, yes.
I will trust in the Lord with all my heart, and not lean on my own understanding (Proverbs 3:5).