Are Disabled Children A Punishment?

Q. I have a disabled child and therefore am involved with other mothers who’s children are also disabled. I was asked a question by a new christian mom for which I did not have an answer. I said I would get back to her after I spoke with you. I was asked if a mother had sinned by having an abortion would God inflict a living child of hers with a disability or death because of her sin. Your words of wisdom are appreciated. Many women feel guilty because of their children’s disabilities. They feel sometimes it is God’s punishment for their past sins. I want to have a sound biblical answer for these women who blame themselves for their child’s disabilities.

A. Here are two things to consider. First, Exodus 20:5 mentions only the sins of the fathers, and then only of those who hate Him. From my studies of the virgin birth I have concluded that mothers are exempt from this, otherwise Jesus could not have been born without a sin nature and yet He was (Hebrews 4:15, 7:26).

Second, the mothers in your group must be believers in order to be concerned about their sins. But when they became believers all the sins of their life, past present, and future were forgiven (Colossians 2:13-14). They’re viewed by God as if they had never sinned at all (2 Cor. 5:17, 21). He can’t punish them because He has already punished His Son in their place.

Disabled children are the result of a fallen creation, made so by the sin that is all pervasive, and are not the fault of their parents. The guilt they feel is a tool of the devil intended to steal their joy. James 4:7 tells us to resist the devil and he’ll flee from us.

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