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Inferdolatry Part 2
How does the good desire for a child turn into an idol? On pp. 86-87 of Instruments in the Redeemer's Hands, Paul Tripp narrates the progression of idolatry. What starts as a desire becomes a demand, then a perceived need, which leads to expectation and disappointment. When my desire for children becomes a demand, I start insisting that God ought to give me a baby when and how I want one. "Demand is the closing of my fists over a desire. Even though I may be unaware that I have done it, I have left my proper position of submission to God. I have decided that I must have what I have set my heart on and nothing can stand in the way. I am no longer comforted by God's desire for me; I am threatened by it, because God's will potentially stands in the way of my demand" (p. 86). Then, the demand for children according to my plan becomes, in my mind, a need. I start to believe that I need children to be happy, to be satisfied, to have any joy. So I set up expectations: if children are what I need to have a good life, God will give them to me, right? If I can just get God to agree with me about how important this is, he'll make sure our family grows according to my plans. These are the false expectations produced by my demand. Then, when God doesn't accept my dictation, when his accomplishment of his perfect purposes doesn't match up with my idea of what I need, I am disappointed with him. He has not in fact disappointed or tempted me, but when the Lord of all doesn't bow down in worship to my idol of a baby, I wrongly accuse him of being unloving, unfair, unkind, and generally against me. I stop believing his character and his promises. In essence, I become just like the people described in Romans 1:22-23. "Claiming to be wise, they became fools, and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images resembling mortal man and birds and animals and reptiles." God offers me the glory of Christ and of sharing with him in his sufferings, and I think I would rather have a baby instead. No wonder I end up so miserable in the face of my struggles with infertility!