Mollie Wilson O'ReillyJune 30, 2011 - 8:38am2 comments
“Do you know whether you’re having a boy or a girl?” I’ve been answering that question a lot lately. This time I was at a wedding, chatting with an elderly relation of the bride.
“No,” I said, as I always do. “My husband and I want to be surprised.” The woman nodded approvingly. “I think that’s how God intended it to be,” she said. “I guess we feel that way too,” I answered cheerily. She repeated, more intensely this time, “I really do think that’s what God wants.”
I didn’t want to let the lady down, but—committed as I am to the discernment of God’s will—I can’t honestly say that I view our decision not to know the sex of the baby I’m carrying as a moral one. Agreeing that God doesn’t want us to know this particular fact seems to require believing that God is opposed to the imaging techniques that make it possible to find out. We’ve taken full advantage of that technology in the past few months: first, to find out exactly how old the baby was; later, to check on the development of its major organs and to look for possible defects (and breathe a sigh of relief when none were detected). I can’t come up with a reason that all of that would be morally OK, but a peek at the sexual organs in the process would violate God’s plan. Still, when the technician who performed my twenty-week sonogram asked, “Do you want to know?” we told her no, we didn’t, and she cued us to avert our eyes from the screen at the appropriate time.