Contraceptives or Faith?

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Dulos

Inactive User
I'd like some input on what you think about family planning. Does using contraceptives or taking measures that keep a wife from getting pregnant have a place in the Christian home? Or should a Christian husband and wife totally allow God to plan their family? I'm not advocating either view at this point, but I would like to see if there are any Biblical arguments for either position. Also, what are your views on extenuating circumstances like health problems for the mother.

Andy
 

Contra_Mundum

Pilgrim, Alien, Stranger
Staff member
If you're going to plan, responsibly or otherwise, ...

... you're better off using nature's own methods. Chemicals and hormones that whack-out the female reproductive system may produce effects that cannot be reversed, and could spell the end of hope for later pregnancies.

Remember, the Pill People don't give a rip about possible long-term effects of their product on women taking it, not to mention that it works primarily by preventing, [i:7194056ff1]not fertilization,[/i:7194056ff1] but uterine implantation (post-conception), raising serious ethical questions about its use by Christians.

Frankly, the issues involved in this subject really demand so much more than impersonal pontification (such as this). Family situations are as varied as the individuals making them up. A one-size-fits-all approach to this issue is bound to fail. Short answer is--when it comes to making decisions about family planning you need a lot of sanctified wisdom and godly counsel. This is a pastoral matter.
:wr50:
 

Puritan Sailor

Puritan Board Doctor
I agree with Bruce. I would also add, that any abortive methods of BC should be immediately ruled out, which rulesout about 90% of them, including BC pills and patches. We would all agree abortion is wrong I hope. As to the other non-abortive methods, I'll leave you to judge with your own conscience. We had an extensive thread on this a while back. You should try a search. There was alot of valuable info on it.
I think this is the one but there are a few others too.
http://www.puritanboard.com/forum/viewthread.php?tid=22
 

staythecourse

Puritan Board Junior
Providential

I am a worrier (a sin in and of itself) and though not even married yet I think "One boy, I can handle one. More than that I run the risk of being a terrible father and not being able to discipline correctly and control my child. More than that I would be spread too thin and all hades would break loose."

So I've been praying to God even last night before this post that its faithless to think that way and uptight and fearful and I should want a quiver full even if it means I'm so poor that I can't afford the internet. I SHOULD being willing to accept a quiver full and expect to be able to handle it and even enjoy it with the Lord's. Those posts on that other thread were great and showed me how some people just don't worry and trust God and keep it simple when it comes to how many children God allows and the great blessing they have to be parents. I can only imagine but would whoop out loud if I had 14 kids and made ends meet in a loving home! Praise God at the thought!

Thanks for posting that thread, a very good one for me to read. It shows great faith and love some people have. ANother reason I like PB.
 

Dulos

Inactive User
Partick,

Thanks for the link to the previous thread, it was very good for me to read. My wife and I are only 25 years old and the Lord has already blessed us with three beautiful children (two girls: 3 1/2 and 1 years old, and a boy who is about two weeks old). We want to have many more children, but my wife has very difficult pregnancies, usually ending up requiring her to go on bedrest. Since the last two were so close together our doctor recommended that we wait about two years to have another child. We have been struggling with the issues of her health and her ability to take care of three young children if she gets sick again. I agree with Pastor Way's position on letting God plan your family since He ultimately knows your needs and limits, but I admit that it is very hard at this point to not take control of the situation. Thanks again for you inputs and the link; we will be praying very hard about this subject.

And Bryan,

I'm glad that the Lord blessed you with the thread. I recommend looking at the link Patrick gave.

Andy
 

Scot

Puritan Board Sophomore
[quote:d7161e2d69]
Chemicals and hormones that whack-out the female reproductive system may produce effects that cannot be reversed, and could spell the end of hope for later pregnancies.

Remember, the Pill People don't give a rip about possible long-term effects of their product on women taking it, not to mention that it works primarily by preventing, not fertilization, but uterine implantation (post-conception), raising serious ethical questions about its use by Christians.
[/quote:d7161e2d69]

:amen: :amen: & :amen:
 

dkicklig

Puritan Board Freshman
How about permanent birth control (ie. getting fixed)? Infertility is not a problem with us, we just look at each other cross-eyed and we get pregnant. I'm happy with 3 and am really feeling like my quiver is full. I want to be a wise steward, and to Scott's point sometimes folks put themselves in a real bind through haphazard family planning.

[Edited on 7-2-2004 by dkicklig]
 

Scott Bushey

Puritanboard Commissioner
I know someone who has 9 kids and all he does is work to provide for them. He's never there to rear them; they are left with the wife. By the time he gets home, they are already asleep.

I know someone else who is on welfare because they have so many children.

Does this bring God glory?
 

Scot

Puritan Board Sophomore
God has commanded us to be fruitful and multiply. That command has never been rescinded (unless I've missed it somewhere in scripture). God also tells us that children are a blessing. Why would someone want to refuse God's blessing?

Having a child takes more than just the physical union between a man and women. God must intercede. Are we going to say that God has messed up somehow by giving someone too many children?

If it's a financial burden, isn't it the churches' job to help out?
 

dado6

Puritan Board Freshman
We have six ages 11, 9, 7, 3, 2 and 5 months and we are probably going to have a few more. The increase in unit cost per child is not an exponential or even linear one. Six kids in no way cost six times more than one to raise. The need to work long hours to make ends meet has more to do with levels of consumption and marketability of skills than the number of children.

As was noted above, many contraceptive methods are actually abortions. They prevent the attachment of the fertilized egg to the uterine walls. These should never be used by the believer. Barrier and rhythm methods are about all the Christian has to work with. And of course if the mother's health would be in jeopardy than the family must take that into account.

It is difficult, if not impossible, to reconcile our choice as to how many children we want with God's sovereignty. We may want one, two or 15....is this what God wants? When we say enough, does this mean that it is God using our own inclinations to tell us He no longer desires us to have any more children, or is it our sinful, selfish nature rebelling? How can we possibly tell? In the end, the number of kids we end up with was ordained by God regardless of how we feel at any given moment. Therefore, I personally prefer not to worry too much about how many kids we will end up with. It will be what it will be. Pragmatic and emotional pre-concerns make little difference in any event, because each new baby that has come has yet to fulfill any of our dire "oh no, what are we going to do?" premonitions. They all arrive, grow and prosper with relatively little displacement in the lives of the other family members.

Of course I have many moments when I feel overwhelmed, but when I take time to stop and think about each one of my children, I never regret having the amount I now do. Indeed it is after these times of quiet reflection on God's rich blessing that my desire for more children is at it's strongest.

Even children born into poverty, abusive families, etc. are still human beings created by God in His image for His purpose. God certainly counts some number of them as His Israel. The welfare system is an abomination, but kids born to people in its clutches are not inferior or undesirable. It is important to keep in mind that whenever we deride poor folks (or anyone) for having 'too many' kids, we are speaking to an underling assumption that nonexistence for the child would be preferable to his existence in the current circumstance. We need to ask ourselves, is this a God honoring attitude?

Thanks,
Rob
 

Scott Bushey

Puritanboard Commissioner
Rob, Dan,
Do not misinterpret my playing the *****'s advocate. However, Is it God hornoring if both parents ahve to work to feed the child? Is it God honoring if the Christian family lives always in the hole? Yes, I agree. It is the churches job. Please contrast this statement to how responsible the church is in meeting this need and the reality. If 'a' the church, is not doing this faithfully, then how can 'b' the family, fulfill their end?

[Edited on 7-3-2004 by Scott Bushey]
 

pastorway

Puritan Board Senior
If it is not God honoring then to be blunt, the parent and their church is doing something wrong!

If God is sovereign, and He is, then every child born gives the parent and the church an opportunity to glorify and honor Him and minister to one another.

If there are 9 kids, and the family just cannot make ends meet then they need to be taught how to be better shoppers, etc! I know a family with 12 kids and they are all well clothed, fed, healthy, and happy. And the dad is the only parent that "works" and he is not by any means wealthy (by now the older kids can have jobs and the boys do, and they help!!) They make it just fine and are wonderful examples of what it really means to be good stewards. Too often today it is a wrong view and wrong practices of not understanding what we [i:be9b6cec65]need[/i:be9b6cec65] as opposed to what we [i:be9b6cec65]want[/i:be9b6cec65]. This lesson should be no less true for the couple who cannot have children.

And then where is the church? Where is godly counsel for finances? Where is help to meet necessities? God did not tell us to give sacrificailly to help one another in the Body EXCEPT when people have "too many kids." We have such a backwards view of children that we assume that they are a negative medical condition to be prevented instead of seeing that they really are a blessing and gift from the hand of God!

If the parents are on welfare....again the church has failed.

We have to stop and realise that having a child is completely BEYOND our [i:be9b6cec65]control[/i:be9b6cec65] unless we intentionally mutilate the body God gave us. And to say that going to that length to try and stop God is an act of faith is a big stretch.

Bottom line: There is no such thing as a child born that has not been created by God Himself. To think we can be good stewards by working to prevent God from acting is ridiculous.

Do we really think we know better than God? "Well God, I wanted to be a better steward and am wiser than You, so I am doing all I can to prevent you from creating another human being in our family.....because if You give us another child, we just wouldn't be able to honor and glorify You! So go away and leave us alone. We will let You know when and if it is in our best interest to have another child."

:think:

Phillip
 

Scott Bushey

Puritanboard Commissioner
Correct Phillip; I agree. But in reality, this is not what is occuring. These people are financially languishing because the church is not banding together in a larger financial way. The parents are left to fen for themselves and the family unit suffers. This is the reality. I have mentioned somewhere else on this board that the NT church "dropped" everything into a pile and everyone took as they needed. This is not how things are done today. So, reality demands the other. Families ARE suffering. Children ARE being neglected in regards to rearing them in the way they should go; I want a large family. I want Tina at home. As I have said previously, we can downsize. I have no problem with that. Will the church make up the difference? No! There are more immediate pressing needs. I am aware of this. For instance, a family whom is about to lose their home because the husband broke his ankle sliding into second base, needed reconstructive surgery and has not worked in 4 months because the bone is not healing. There ticket is to the note of $8,000 plus late fee's.



[Edited on 7-3-2004 by Scott Bushey]
 

dado6

Puritan Board Freshman
:amen: Phillip

There are a lot of unbiblical ideas that have utterly saturated our culture. The notions that children are burdens or that it is somehow wrong to bring children into the world if the family atmosphere does not meet certain criteria, however widely accepted they may be, are nonetheless plainly evil. We would not dare use such reasoning in defense of abortion and yet we often promote these ideas to bolster contraception in the interest of 'family planning' or 'responsible parenting'.

The church has clearly failed in many areas of family support. And not only in terms of material needs. As Phillip noted, folks often live beyond their means. Thrift is no longer thought of as an essential character trait in our culture. Easy personal credit has made delayed gratification as outmoded a concept as gas lighting. The church must work to restore the God honoring ideas of thrift, stewardship and sacrifice to its members (they ain't gonna get it on TBN, that's for sure).

As I stated in an earlier post, barrier and rhythm methods are the only means of contraception that do not overtly contradict God's Word. I would further add that rhythm methods are probably the only means that could be construed as God honoring in so far as they ostensibly involve the restraint of passions for a higher benefit. This is all pretty shaky ground however, as the real reasons for delaying or preventing the appearance of children in a family are often purely selfish when analyzed fully. I see that in my own life as the reasons my wife and I restrain our sexual expression are often things like 'I want to have a full nights sleep again' 'lets wait until the little ones are out of diapers' 'we need to build an addition first' etc. More often than not our own sense of convenience far outweighs any concern for the welfare of our child-to-be.

Thanks,
Rob

[Edited on 7-3-2004 by dado6]
 

LadyFlynt

Puritan Board Doctor
Pastor Way said it for me!

When a family needs help the church should be there to help. And one day when that family is older they will be able to help others in the church. Sometimes there are ways they can help others now, odd jobs, or skills that others need someone for. THAT is our responsibility. To take on God's blessings not to stop them and say I can't handle another blessing...think about it. Some of the world's greatest "burdens" become the greatest heroes.
 

VirginiaHuguenot

Puritanboard Librarian
Originally posted by LadyFlynt
Pastor Way said it for me!

When a family needs help the church should be there to help. And one day when that family is older they will be able to help others in the church. Sometimes there are ways they can help others now, odd jobs, or skills that others need someone for. THAT is our responsibility. To take on God's blessings not to stop them and say I can't handle another blessing...think about it. Some of the world's greatest "burdens" become the greatest heroes.
:amen:
 

luvroftheWord

Puritan Board Sophomore
The church should always help those families in need. But the idea is to be in a situation where the church doesn't HAVE to help. This is just common sense. If we intentionally live our lives in such a way that God has to give us a miracle in order for us to survive, then we are being really bad stewards. Such thinking sounds too much like the Word of Faith charismatic mumbo jumbo of our day.

And just because children are a blessing doesn't mean we should have them until our bodies give out. Marriage is a blessing, too, but we aren't required to get married.

Having said that, though, I do not have a family yet, but I do think that it is good for Christians to have as many children as they can responsibly support. For some families, this may mean only a couple of children, and for some that may mean eight or nine. I think that many of the reasons people I know have given for not having children or only having one or two kids are really lame excuses. I'd like to have at least three or four children one day, myself.

[Edited on 15-12-2004 by luvroftheWord]
 

LadyFlynt

Puritan Board Doctor
What do you say to the person who has 9 children and an ideal situation and then suddenly loses his job? Was he being a poor steward? Should he have limited himself just because life MIGHT throw trials his way? In that case he should never have married, bought a house, or invested in a vehicle. Goodness, the choices we make if we are always worried about what MIGHT happen. Does the Lord not take care of us. I'm poor as dirt with a medium size family. I'm not out to keep having more, but I don't believe in 90% of the methods of birth control...and if you reccomend separate beds...then obviously you (being unmarried) are ignorant. Maybe we should euthanize children of people who lose their jobs. Maybe we should promote abortion, since children are a difficulty. If you are always going to be scared of that responsibility then don't marry. If you consider helping other christian families a burden on you then I would feel sorry for you the day that you become crippled or old and your family consider you to be too much of a burden. If you say that well you already existed and God allowed this to happen to you then I would remind you that God also caused for your existence...just as God and God ALONE caused for those people's childrens existence. I was told I couldn't have children. I can honestly say...God's hand caused my children to exist.
I think you need to consider WHO really brings about conception. Even though human reproduction is involved...the chances of conceiving in the best of circumstances are stastically slim. It is truely God ordained. When you think about that, I think you will realize that no amount of birth control will stop a conception that God has ordained...only get rid of it. Just as no amount of coupling will conceive a child that God hasn't ordained.
I step off my soapbox now.
 

luvroftheWord

Puritan Board Sophomore
LadyFlynt,

With all due respect, go back and reread my post and show me where I said that it is unwise to have children because of the bad things that MIGHT happen. You have obviously misunderstood my post.
 

fredtgreco

Vanilla Westminsterian
Staff member
Originally posted by LadyFlynt
Maybe we should euthanize children of people who lose their jobs. Maybe we should promote abortion, since children are a difficulty.
Please refrain from such unwarranted attack language.

I think you need to consider WHO really brings about conception. Even though human reproduction is involved...the chances of conceiving in the best of circumstances are stastically slim. It is truely God ordained. When you think about that, I think you will realize that no amount of birth control will stop a conception that God has ordained...only get rid of it. Just as no amount of coupling will conceive a child that God hasn't ordained.
I step off my soapbox now.
So God is able to stop man from contraception, but powerless to stop them from "getting rid of it?" The sovereignty of God argument cuts both ways here.
 

LadyFlynt

Puritan Board Doctor
Originally posted by luvroftheWord
But the idea is to be in a situation where the church doesn't HAVE to help. This is just common sense. If we intentionally live our lives in such a way that God has to give us a miracle in order for us to survive, then we are being really bad stewards. Such thinking sounds too much like the Word of Faith charismatic mumbo jumbo of our day.

I do think that it is good for Christians to have as many children as they can responsibly support.
[Edited on 15-12-2004 by luvroftheWord]
I apologize to all for getting upset. I usually don't. But this struck a cord with me. Due to all of the unneccessary comments towards those with large families, especially when they hit rough spots.
You may start out in an "ideal" situation...but it may not always be that way. Anything can happen. And to look at a person and say that they "shouldn't have had more kids than they could support" is unrealistic given the changing economics of our society. I know families that have 2 children, make more money, and are worse off than a large family the makes less, but has learned to manage better. Either one might need help...but guess who gets looked at funny. The one with more children.
I am not Word of Faith, but I do believe that God does not give what he will not give you the ability to handle. Does that mean you will always handle it by yourself? No.
Also, we were talking about CONVICTION on this subject. One persons conviction might be to not use certain forms of BC. But for a person to say, in not so many words, that they are placing an unneccessary future burden on another is hurtful. One day you may be that burden to someone else.
I admit I took things to extremes. I was making a point of what that kind of thinking has led to in today's society. Again I apologize for getting upset.
 
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