I’m currently in a six month eldership process at my local church. This series is taken from questions asked during the process.


How would you respond to a couple at your church that just miscarried 9 weeks into pregnancy? What scriptures would you take them to?

I don’t know exactly what I would do or say until I’m in the moment and hopefully being led by the Holy Spirit. More than likely, however, I would say very little and there’s a good chance I might not read any scripture if the moment is really fresh. I would start by simply telling them that I’m so sorry this has happened. I would let them know that I love them and I’m so sorry. I’d ask them if there’s anything I can do to help them out during this time. Since a DNC can be expensive I’d probably try to come up with some money to give them in a simple card. If it seems right I’d ask them if I could pray a simple prayer for God’s hand to carry them through this time. That’s it. I think very rarely do people want to “be taken to certain scriptures.” If I did happen to go to scripture it would probably be one of the Psalms of lamentation.

If they do start asking biblical questions then I’d try to find out what they’re thinking before going in any pre-determined direction. They could be wondering if their child is in heaven. They could be wondering if God is punishing them for living together before they were married. They could be wondering if God is a good God. The sky is the limit in a situation like this but I would hopefully be able to direct them to the loving heart of God, their security in Christ (if they are in Him), all trying to be careful not to cut short the rightful time to mourn. In situations like this I try to say less and focus most on just being there and being available over the coming days, weeks and months where thoughts and feelings can go in many directions including anger and even struggling to stay close to your spouse as you grieve differently.

I would hope to be prepared to go with them down any biblical path they would like to discuss but I think a lot of pain can be caused if I go into that conversation with any pre-arranged group of verses I want to communicate. I want to serve them and hopefully I will be sensitive to the Spirit regarding how to best love them in such a sad time.

How would you respond to the same question? Please comment below to be of help to the Body of Christ.

    25 replies to "Elder Questions: Miscarriage"

    • Mike O

      Same as you … be quiet and listen. Especially if it’s fresh, they’re not in the mood to learn theology. I probably wouldn’t answer any questions with any air of confidence at all. Just be there and be as comforting as possible.

      If they’re not Christian, now is not the time to preach.

      If they are, now is still not the time to preach. Let them vent, weep, whine, mourn, rant, rail, whatever. Let them mourn. Help them heal, don’t “make sure they understand” because they don’t. Not today anyway.

    • Tim Kimberley

      Well said Mike.

    • cherylu

      As a woman that has miscarried, I will suggest one thing that in my opinion should never be said: “You are young, you will have another baby.”

      No doubt someone saying that means well, but to the person that is grieving the loss of this baby, that comes across as a very callous and uncaring thing to say.

    • Delwyn Xavier Campbell

      Your article is a wise course to take. The Word is living and powerful, it is not a mechanistic computer program. We should allow God to lead us in sharing His Word – “If anyone speaks, let him speak as the oracles of God” (1 Pet 4:11).
      For that reason, while we should be knowledgeable in the Scriptures, I think we should not have a “playlist” of Scriptures for different occasions. That implies, in my opinion, a mechanistic and impersonal view of how God works through His Word.

    • Mike O

      @Delwyn, I like that phrase “not have a playlist.” That’s exactly right.

    • jnt

      I’ll tell you what you *don’t* say (I say this as it was said to us) – you *don’t* say, “you just need to have more faith and next time it’ll stick” – ok those weren’t the exact words, but it wasn’t far off…

      Obviously that was the extreme opposite end of the spectrum, but I think you’re spot on with how to handle it Tim – and the Holy Spirit being a part of that is also not to be underestimated!

    • Mike O

      My sister miscarried at 9 1/2 months. Her daughter was alive at 9 months – full term. For whatever reason, she “went long” and Sarah died sometime in that extra 2 weeks.

      Add to that that our family is primarily Christian and my sister is unmarried so that whole stigma was already there. She struggled with whether to put her up for adoption or keep her for 9 months. She decided to keep her.

      Then Sarah died.

      What do you do with that? Somehow, I think Christians would be really bad at handling this scenario. My family did … OK. Not great, but OK. My sister is OK now but let’s just say that wasn’t a great experience between her and our God. No one can possibly understand and any ‘preaching’ would have done irreparable damage.

    • cherylu

      I guess I should of added as jnt did in his comment that, “You are young, you will have another baby,” was something that was said to me after I miscarried. So I personally know how unfeeling that comes across.

      Jnt, I simply can not imagine how painful that comment must of been to your family at the time.

    • Melinda

      As a woman who had a miscarriage at around seven weeks, I think your course of action is excellent. In my experience, very few people are willing simply to say, “I’m so sorry for your loss. What can I do to help?” To those who had not experience a miscarriage, it seemed hard for them to acknowledge that we had lost more than a pregnancy, we had lost a child.

      Also, just as an aside, not all women choose to have a D&C; I chose not to. I’m not sure money would have been the best action for someone to take in comforting us.

    • Irene

      Melinda, good thought about the money. Thanks for the guidance there. Perhaps money should only be offered if the lady brings up bills or finances.


      What about a funeral? In the Catholic Church I think that may be the best thing the church could do corporately.

    • LauraC

      Having also suffered a miscarriage in the past, I say “I am so sorry.” I also say that I DO know what they are going through, because I do. I give them a hug. I agree with the others: Never say anything about another child. They want THAT one. I guess a funeral could be a possibility, although I wouldn’t want one unless the baby was near term. That’s just me.

    • Missy M

      You go to comfort. You don’t go with answers. The only biblical path you go down first contact after a tragic loss is one of comfort and shared bereavement. Even if someone asks why you put it off until later and tell them, if they really want more discovery through Q&A you will set an afternoon aside to meet in a week or two. Yes reassure them of God’s love but at that time, beyond that, answers aren’t inorder.

      However, if the visit is a second one or one where the why’s and what’s were explicitly asked for thn bring the truths of God which you know because you can’t bring more than that and expect to minister effectively by parroting someone.

    • Gary

      The federation of churches to which I belong addressed this issue quite a long time ago in the following way:

      “Since we are to judge of the will of God from His Word, which testifies that the children of believers are holy, not by nature, but in virtue of the covenant of grace, in which they together with the parents are comprehended, godly parents ought not to doubt the election and salvation of their children whom it pleases God to call out of this life in their infancy (Gen. 17:7; Acts 2:39; 1Cor. 7:14).”

    • cherylu


      That answer may be correct, but what does it do to comfort the parents in the pain of their loss now? Even if they are 100% convinced that baby is in the Lord’s presence, there is an inevitable grieving process that they are going to be going through.

      Speaking as a mother now and from my own experience, from the moment I knew that I was pregnant, that baby was very “real” to me. No I had not seen him/her. I hadn’t heard his heartbeat yet, and I hadn’t felt him move. But I knew a person, a blessing from the Lord that I had very much longed for, was growing moment by moment inside me. The joy of that knowledge, the anticipation of his birth and the growing child that he would be, to feel that parental love well up inside, and then to have all of that shattered by miscarriage can be an extremely gut wrenching experience.

      It can, and often does, seem like a very great loss. And the fact that those around you often seem to have no concept of that and may take your loss so lightly does not do anything at all to ease the pain.

    • Scott

      My wife and I experienced a miscarriage a couple years ago. The worst thing some people said was calling our baby a fetus. We did not lose a fetus; we lost our baby. The dehumanizing of our baby still makes my blood boil. The best thing people said was, “We love you. What can we do for you?”

    • Francis

      Technically speaking, 15-20% of pregnancies end up in miscarriage because the fetuses were never meant to survive — genetic defect, problem with implantation etc. Vast majority of this happen in the first few weeks.

      Sometimes knowing this will help. A little bit.

    • Gary

      cherylu, your grief is certainly legitimate; we were never made to part from our loved ones like this and it is one of the deepest pains any person, but especially a mother, can know. You have my sympathy, and my respect for your willingness to share your thoughts here.

      Knowing that the salvation of children of believing parents whom God calls home in (or before) infancy cannot be doubted offers a differing degree of comfort to different people, of course, but the knowledge that we, with David [2nd Samuel 12:19-23], can live in the assurance that we will once again see the child who left us too soon is a great comfort to many.

      Nevertheless, the pain of loss is very real.

    • cherylu

      Thanks Gary. And the belief that I would see that baby again was something that was very precious to me during that time.

      Sometimes there are things that make a miscarriage even more painful for folks then others I believe. For instance, if you have been wanting another child for a long time then conceive and miscarry, or if there are medical reasons that make even being able to conceive quite unlikely.

      As I was thinking more about my comment that you replied to, I think I should of added that I was in that first category.

      Probably all miscarriages aren’t equally painful, but it is certainly not ever something that should be taken lightly by family and friends.

    • Brian Hutchinson

      I would use the Sandwich method: In short Good News / Bad News / Good News-Build up. This method works for the Human psyche. Do not salve their problem just listen, but education is a must. There is risk in anything. Pregnancy has a who list of risk, but most like me, out-way the risks to have children. God gave us a drive to have children.
      1 in 4 Pregnancy’s end in a miscarriage. So you/they are not alone. Most of the time the pregnancy is lost shortly after implantation, resulting in bleeding that occurs around there expected period. The woman would never knew they miscarried. In other words miscarriage is a common event. I now this sounds cold, but stay with me;) A woman miscarriages because something went wrong in the development of the embryo.
      Our first would be pregnancy ended at 4 months. A blighted oven: a fertilized egg attaches to the uterine wall, but the embryo does not develop. In perspective: for the past 4 months we had our regular check-ups told our parents and closes friend we are going to have a baby. The last check-up the baby had no heartbeat. Went and had a sonogram done, the tech would say nothing , so we new something was up. The Doc has us come in to tell us the news. There is no baby, just a mass of cells growing. You have what is called a blighted ovum. Your wife will have to have a DNC. Here is my concerns. There is a slight chance that after the DNC there would be cells left in the uterus and they would start to grow. That would mean we would have to remove the uterus and worse case the cells would grow like cancer and you would die. I’m sure the Doc said this in a tactful way, but that is what filtered down to my small brain. So we went home and called everybody. We lay in bed holding each other sobbing uncontrollably until we each fell asleep. We went in for a baby well check and left with no baby and my wife could die in the proses. I asked God the question that always comes to surface: WHY… Why ME……

    • Brian Hutchinson

      Why US! These types of events test your faith. The fact of the matter is 1 in 4 miscarry.
      Now I will attempt to answer the Question:
      1) Listen: Do not tell them you know how they fill. YOU DON’T.
      Do say, when we had a miscarriage this is how I felt or I can’t possible know how you fell, but I am truly sorry for your loss.
      2) Here comes the Sandwich method.
      Good news: John 16:33 Paraphrase You have peace in me. In this world you will have trouble., But take heart I have overcome the world. Isaiah 55:8, “‘For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,’ declares the Lord.” Give God your wrath. Tell him you are mad, upset. Give it to him. He can handle it. He loves you so.
      3) Tell them they are not a loan, which 1 in 4 miscarry. It ok for they to grieve any way they see fit. Ask them if you could put them in touch with a couple that have had the same experience. “A trusted confidential couple strong in the faith” If you don’t have a program at your church, make one. I feel that the above ink on paper has not been beneficial, a frailer, but I am going to post it. Please go easy on me if I have offended you. This is my perspective. My wife and I still have a void in our life. To know we could have had a 13 year old. All I know is that Death for the living is hard, but death of a child is unbearable. Back to the Why: Why because we are in a fallen state. We are not in the Garden of Eden. And Man has free will and the Devil is roaming the earth like a hungry lion. I leave you with this. “Peace I leave you, My peace I give you, not as the world gives peace, for in this world you will have many troubles, take heart for I have over come this world, I am the way, I am the truth, I am the light, No one comes to the farther except through me. Every one who asks will receive, every one who seeks will find, and to him who knocks the door will open, Do not let your heart be troubled, do not be afraid, remain in my…

    • Brian Hutchinson

      and surly I am with you always to the very end of the age”.
      Cheers Brian.
      I was not trying to spam post, just needed to get it all out.

    • Brian Hutchinson

      in my love and surly I am with you always to the very end of the age”.

    • Jay Saldana

      There have been a lot of good posts and opinions. Some better than others in my own opinion. When I started doing hospital visits and retired home visits I came loaded for bear with scriptures and tracts and left many times empty hearted and forlorn. In speaking to my mentor, he counciled me that I am not the message. that my understanding of the message is not the message. The message is the message. I bring Christ, Christ beings the message. Sounds simple but it is not. To let go of your own thoughts and feelings and fears and sense of loss and be there as His Vessel. For me at least it took some real doing – and real prayer. I thought I leaned theology to better spread God’s Word. I was wrong. I learned Theology so God could use me to better spread His Word.
      From My experience we are there to absorb the pain same as Jesus on the Cross. To stand at these poor parents Calvary, unblinking in the midst of the Pain – same as our model did – and by our presence remind them that “The Christ” is here.

      Your brother,

      Jay Saldana

    • mario weeks

      my wife and I has seven children she miscarried three children and all we new was god’s word to help us get through that painful moment you see we trust in god and we believe not because something bad happen to anyone we should leave god out of our life so we could deal with the painful moment when he is our comforter no one can comfort us like god can let us not let him out of our life in time of pain for he is our comforter and this is what we need in times of pain I love you all and may the god of heaven bless all of you with lots of love amen

    • Kelly

      I found out I had miscarried last spring when I thought I was 14 weeks along. My brother had the best response. He reminded me of the story of Lazarus when Jesus wept. He said that even though Jesus knows how all this will turn out, sad is sad and Jesus weeps with us in times of sorrow.

      When times are good, praise God. And when times are bad, praise God.

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