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- Birth Control from My Understanding of Scripture

Last Updated: 7/4/2012

I've been asked multiple times to share my opinion on birth control.   I'm sharing my opinion from my understanding of both Scripture and the character of God.  As this is my opinion, my viewpoint, readers may take it or leave it.  If you don't believe in Scripture then it probably won't make any sense to you. I welcome respectful questions and comments, but personal attacks will be deleted.  If you do not believe in Scripture then it probably won't make any sense to you.  My opinion is NOT meant to be a condemnation on any particular individual and I do not personally judge my friends or acquaintances that don't live by this same understanding.  I have enough to do with judging my own actions.  THAT in and of itself is a full-time job.  I don't always make right choices and I don't always do everything I believe to be right.  I don't come at this from a "holier-than-thou" or "I alone am privy to truth" attitude.  This is my understanding of Scripture through my own personal journey of both right and wrong choices.  I've made a few of the former and many of the latter. 

The question:  Is birth control OKAY with God, and if yes, what kind what type? 

I think that is the WRONG question.  I think that American society, especially Christians, view children in a wrong light.  They are viewed as property and as a hardship.    It is thought that we should only have children if we can "afford" them or "have the time and space" with which to raise them.  We are a selfish people.  We want to do what we want, when we want, how we want.  We don't want to be uncomfortable.  We are filled with fear.  We put our trust in our bank account.  We see enough space as a separate bedroom and maybe even a bathroom for each child.  We think we have to supply a fully-paid college education for each child and if we can't afford THAT, then we can't afford to have them.  We think they NEED to go to private colleges, private high schools, private grade schools, even private preschool.  We think we NEED 2-income families to supply our needs and need daycare for our children in order to "give them everything they need".  We as women, want to own/use our own body.  Society has given us a picture of what we should look like in order to be attractive to our partners and it doesn't include stretch marks.  We don't WANT to alter our diet for the sake of our child, we want to eat whatever we want, drink whatever we want and take whatever medications we want, and we don't want to have to consider someone else in the mix.  We want toys and we want vacations.  We are mixed up in our priorities.  Too many children infringes on our lifestyle desires and on our ability to feed ourselves with TIME to ourselves and GOODS to ourselves.

I ask that instead of questioning what type of birth control is okay, you consider THIS question:  Who owns your body?

I suggest your body belongs to God. He created you, He knit you together, and He purchased you with His blood on the cross.  Because He owns me, He should have first say in how I use and care for my body.  Because He loves me -  I know He is trustworthy.28 Week Fetus

Psalm 139: 13-16  "For Thou didst form my inward parts;  Thou didst weave me in my mother's womb.  I will give thanks to Thee, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made;  Wonderful are Thy works, and my soul knows it very well.  My frame was not hidden from Thee, when I was made in secret, and skillfully wrought in the depths of the earth.  Thine eyes have seen my unformed substance;  And in Thy book they were all written, the days that were ordained for me, when as yet there was not one of them."

Duet 10:14  "Behold, to the Lord your God belong heaven and the highest heavens, the earth and all that is in it."

Job 33:6  "Behold, I belong to God like you;  I too have been formed out of the clay."

I Cor 3:23  "you belong to Christ; and Christ belongs to God."

I Cor 6:20  "For you have been bought with a price:  therefore glorify God in your body."

I Cor 7:23 "You were bought with a price; do not becomes slaves of men." 

Gal 5:24-25 "Now those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires.  If we live by the Spirit, let us also walk by the Spirit."

2 Peter 2:1  "But false prophets also arose among the people, just as there will also be false teachers among you, who will secretly introduce destructive heresies, even denying the master WHO BOUGHT THEM, bringing swift destruction upon themselves."

Romans 8:1-25 (For living according to the Spirit and not according to the flesh.)

Yes, BUT.....we already can't make ends meet, how can we afford another child, wouldn't that be irresponsible?

Your wealth is not dependent upon your income, your job or your projected earning capacity.

Even if you are a millionaire today, that doesn't mean you will STILL be wealthy tomorrow.  Natural disaster can hit the millionaire in the self-same way as it can the poor man.  God can breathe on your wealth and it will be gone.  Any number of things can and do happen to affect our wealth every day.  Things wear out and need replaced.  Inflation happens. Cars break down.  Illness comes.  Accidents happen.  Unemployment strikes.  Robbery happens.  Natural disasters strike in the form of storms, fires, tornados, hurricanes.  Death may sneak up and put an end to your life early. 

In the SAME way, God could bless you beyond anything you now know or could ever imagine with wealth at any time.  He can do it through increased earning potential, through inheritance, through making things last longer than possible, through unexpected gifting from His people.  You do not know, nor will you ever know what tomorrow may bring, whether it be overwhelming calamity or great blessing.  Since you don't know that, you can't base your life choices on what you possess, or what you THINK you MAY possess in the future.  Plan for the best, but prepare for the worst and while you are living TRUST HIM with what He brings into your life.  He will provide.  Look at what He did for the Israelites in the desert.  40 years of wandering and their clothing did not wear out, He gave them food for each day and led them by cloud and by fire.  They had nothing, no belongings, no jobs, no income and yet they continued having children and their children eventually made THEIR way to the promised land and received the blessing of God.  Exodus 13-20

George MuellerGeorge Mueller was a missionary that ran an orphanage in England in the 1800's where he cared for over 10,000 orphans in his lifetime.  There are many documented events of him having prayed and God responding by miraculously meeting the orphans' every need.

Following is one of my favorite stories taken from here:  "The children are dressed and ready for school. But there is no food for them to eat," the housemother of the orphanage informed George Mueller. George asked her to take the 300 children into the dining room and have them sit at the tables. He thanked God for the food and waited. George knew God would provide food for the children as he always did. Within minutes, a baker knocked on the door. "Mr. Mueller," he said, "last night I could not sleep. Somehow I knew that you would need bread this morning. I got up and baked three batches for you. I will bring it in."

Soon, there was another knock at the door. It was the milkman. His cart had broken down in front of the orphanage. The milk would spoil by the time the wheel was fixed. He asked George if he could use some free milk. George smiled as the milkman brought in ten large cans of milk. It was just enough for the 300 thirsty children.

We began to trust the Lord with our family planning after the birth of our 2nd child and actually while I was already expecting our 3rd.  With each child we added to our family, my husband would receive an increase in income.  The Lord seemed to always be blessing us in relation to our trust in Him.  In 1995 our 7th child, a son, was stillborn at 37 weeks.  Eleven months later we had another daughter.  When she was just a few weeks old, our oldest daughter was diagnosed with JRA.  At that time my husband lost his job due to company downsizing.  It was close to Christmas time.  So we had 7 living children, a daughter with a serious disease that at that time still had many unknowns to us and we were still deeply grieving the loss of our son.  I had no income at all.   It was a time of great stretching and faith building.  He was unemployed for a little over 3 months.  The Lord met our needs and heaped even more financial blessing on us.  We made more money during that time and over the next year than we ever had up to that point when my husband was working.  People would give us money unexpectedly.  Someone in particular, still unknown to us, sent us a $100 gift certificate to Meijer's Grocery Store monthly for well over a year, every month faithfully.  My Ladies Bible Study group gifted us with several HUNDRED dollars at Christmas.  I still remember opening that card and all the hundreds falling in my lap.  I was speechless and frankly still am when I recall their generosity.  Nobody could afford it, but every one of them had to have given past the point of hurting.  People would shake my husband's hand at church and he would come away with a $50 bill.  Someone left a cake with money in our car.  Someone drove by and left money in our mailbox.  We had a friend give us a car close to this timeframe.  Our belongings always lasted LONG and people always brought us bags & bags of clothing.  We were both stretched in faith and can honestly say it was one of the times in life that we felt closer to the Lord than any time before, and any time since.  We felt His presence daily and many times moment by moment.  There were times when the blessing was almost too great to bear.  We grow in relation to the trials we face.  Even now, my husband just lost his job again due to downsizing/cost cutting and we are facing the same situation.  This time I do have a small income and we are looking forward to seeing how the Lord will supply our needs.  There is much less fear and anticipation to what He will teach us.  I can't say I'm happy about it, but I do completely trust Him.  I don't see the ending, but I know the One who does.  He is trustworthy.

More info about George Mueller here.

Doesn't God want me to be happy?

It's not about me.  As much as I really, REALLY want it to be, it's just not about me.  Sometimes the Lord has plans for me that include hardship.  It may be for my training/strengthening, or it may be for someone else in my life that is observing me.  I believe that God wants us to experience His joy which He provides when we are in right standing with Him.  Life is a series of valleys and mountaintops.  Sometimes there are more valleys and sometimes there are more mountaintops.  Life is just not fair either, so don't expect it to be.  Some people have more of the valleys, and others more of the mountaintops.  We cannot understand that because we cannot SEE everything.  We are limited by time and space and God is not.  He knows the beginning from the end and will work out His purposes using us if we allow it, and if we don't....then He'll just find someone else that will.  We cannot thwart His plans/His purposes.  Personally, I want to be used willingly to further His kingdom.  I WANT to be a good witness as to what He can/will do and that His promises are true and real.  I WANT to experience His joy and His peace.  It all boils down to trusting Him with every single aspect of our lives, including family planning/spacing.  Why would you want to pick and choose what to trust Him with?  Do you REALLY think that you know better than HIM what is best for you?  Really?  Do YOU know the end from the beginning and where you will be in 5 yrs, or 10, or 30?   We view children as a curse instead of a blessing.

Proverbs 16:2  "All the ways of a man are clean in his own sight, but the LORD weighs the motives."

Isaiah 5:20-21  "Woe to those who call evil good, and good evil;  Who substitute darkness for light and light for darkness;  Who substitute bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter!  Woe to those who are wise in their own eyes, and clever in their own sight!"

Shouldn't we use what we know works, ie: medical knowledge, I mean God made someone discover/create BC right?

Short answer, NO!  Much like in the Old Testament where the people wanted to work their way to God and built the Tower of Babel, it is the same type of concept: People using what they know/learn/discover to work out what they want, whether it is the way to God, or the way to "happiness".  (Genesis 10-11) You cannot leave God out and then think you are pleasing Him.  Western medicine is not godly.  It does not always cooperate with God's design.  Pharmacia means sorcery or "drugs, poison, philter, charm, spell, enchantment"  and there are many Scriptural references to sorcery and what God thinks of it.  Synthetic medicines do not match the receptor sites for which they are designed.  They can at best only try to mimic what they are designed to supply.  Sometimes they jam things up instead and create more trouble.  This is why Pitocin cannot induce a labor/birth exactly the same as one that is naturally initiated with oxytocin.  Pitocin is a very poor substitute.  It doesn't allow the body to create its own endorphins so there are no naturally occurring pain relievers while at the same time you have dramatically enhanced contractions in terms of strength, length and frequency. (It always comes back to birth as my daughter likes to say.)

God gave us doctors, didn't He?

Did God give us car mechanics?  Did He give us computer programmers?  I don't really understand why people make this claim.  God designed our bodies in a miraculous way.  It is basically self-sustaining.  If you properly care for it, it will last until He calls you home.  There are certain things we need to do in order to care for it properly which include good nutrition, exercise, adequate sleep, healthy living habits, and avoiding things that are damaging/toxic.  In addition to having a right relationship with God by maintaining a clear conscience, we are also to maintain good emotional health which requires keeping relationships current and functional.  Anger, bitterness, guilt are all damaging to the body.  You cannot expect to do things that are damaging to the body and then just "take a pill or two" and make it all better.  If you overeat or eat unhealthy foods you will get fat and you will get sick.  That is the way it works.  If you have an injury, you clean it and properly care for it and then the body heals itself.  God designed it that way.  Self-sustaining with the right care.  Our food is to be our medicine and our medicine is to be our food.  There isn't a lot in Scripture about the role of the Physician.  In the old testament the priests were also the physicians.  You were to go show yourself to the priest with your infirmities, lay hands on you, and have him pray for you anointing you with oil.  The oils in Scripture were medicinal.  We've lost this practice in our churches today.  They may place oil on you and pray, but they don't use medicinal oils and most don't address your issues to see if the root is possibly spiritual or emotional.  The Bible clearly says that doctors are for the SICK, not the WELL so there certainly is no basis for "well-care" with a physician.  Vaccination goes against Divine design of the body.   It is a great idea to consult a nutritionist for "well-care" and/or chiropractor and/or a pastor/counselor/life coach if you are having spiritual/emotional issues FIRST before you see a physician.

God was unhappy with Asa for listening to the doctors and not coming to Himself first.  Why IS it that we first turn to a doctor with any health-related incident?  I'm not saying that there is no use for medicine EVER.  Western medicine is fantastic for emergency care and for accident recovery.  My daughter-in-love had her life saved after a car accident by surgery and immediate medical care.  I just think that most times we bypass God and don't even consult Him and go straight to the doctor.  We treat them as authorities over us, instead of the paid consultant that they really are.  You do not have to obey their "orders".  The only ones that must obey doctor's orders are doctor's kids and nurses.

Medicine is many times not effective and many times incredibly harmful.  Pharmacy companies are not trustworthy.  Consider the woman with the issue of blood in the New Testament:  Mark 5:25-26  "And a woman who had had a hemorrhage for twelve years, and had endured much at the hands of many physicians, and had spent all that she had and was not helped at all, but rather had grown worse, after hearing about Jesus, came up in the crowd behind Him, and touched His cloak."  Prescription painkillers took over as the 2nd leading cause of death beating car crashes in 2012.  Wonder what the LEADING cause of death is in the US?  Hospital infection.  Estimates of the death toll is nearing 100,000 lives a year—more than that of car crashes, breast cancer, or AIDS.

2 Chronicles 16:12  "And in the thirty-ninth year of his reign Asa became diseased in his feet.  His disease was severe, yet even in his disease he did not seek the LORD, but the physicians."

 Antidepressants cause suicide.  Yet they are prescribed for just about every reason imaginable or no reason at all.

What if the doctors say I'll die if I have another baby?

Doctors deal with probability and statistics, God deals with individuals and nations.  Perhaps the Lord wants to show Himself strong in your weakness.  Perhaps He wants to perform a miracle for you or for the benefit of someone else in your life.  Perhaps He wants to use an impossibility to strengthen your faith and bless you in the process.  Or perhaps that is just the way you are meant to die.  What if it IS your time?  The Bible says your days are numbered before you are even born.  If that is the way He has planned for you to die, and you refuse to allow it, do you really think He won't take you in another way?  Perhaps a much more painful way?  And then there is NO BLESSING in the process.  Do you REALLY believe you can thwart His plans?  If you TRULY believe that your body could not possibly handle a pregnancy (or that of your wife) at this time, then you would be much more in line with scripture to deny yourself physical relations until you did have the faith to trust Him with it.

What if I already have my hands full/think I'm going crazy with the children I already have?

Where there's a will, there's a way.  There's more than one way to accomplish things.  Susanna WesleySuzanna Wesley the youngest of 25 children had 19 children of her own.  It is said that in order to have her quiet time with the Lord she would throw a blanket over her head in the middle of the room for privacy.  More information on Susanna Wesley found here.  Sometimes we need an attitude adjustment, sometimes we do need help.  There's nothing wrong with seeking help when needed.  It gives other people the blessing of being the one able to help.  People with one or two children are living on the edge just as much as those of us with many children.  Perhaps you need some adjustments to your schedule/outside activities.  Find ways to reduce your stress. 

There was a time when we had mostly young children that I was feeling out of control with having to meet the needs of the little ones.  I couldn't keep up with them in every direction in addition to being pregnant and unable to move around much.  Little ones needed help with getting meals and one little one in diapers and another little one needed help with the toilet.  After much anguish and looking at our hamster I thought....."I AM that hamster....I am stuck in a wheel of needs with nobody to help me and nothing to help me.....I MUST get help myself."  Most of my friends had busy schedules as well and my husband was working a lot of hours.  One friend encouraged me to look around my home for ways to reduce my stress.  A few strategically placed baby gates and some re-arranging of belongings and I had a remarkable reduction in hourly/daily stress.  Sometimes our needs force us to initiate creativity.

What if we have a child with a disability, it wouldn't be fair to bring more children into this chaos?

Here is where it gets sticky with some people.  Some people refuse to say that God created their child with a disability, believing instead it is more preferable to say He allowed it.  Or perhaps He just set the world in motion and stepped back and now it is just a matter of chance/happenstance/biology.  You can SAY anything or BELIEVE anything you want to, but that doesn't make it so.  Scripture is very clear that God has a Hand in every life.  He created life itself with Adam and Eve and He controls it now.  He is responsible for the beginning and He is responsible for the end of life.  We cannot do anything to absolutely control either one.

Psalm 139: 13-16  "For Thou didst form my inward parts;  Thou didst weave me in my mother's womb.  I will give thanks to Thee, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made;  Wonderful are Thy works, and my soul knows it very well.  My frame was not hidden from Thee, when I was made in secret, and skillfully wrought in the depths of the earth.  Thine eyes have seen my unformed substance;  And in Thy book they were all written, the days that were ordained for me, when as yet there was not one of them."8 week Fetus

Colossians 1:16-17  "For by Him all things were created, both in the heavens and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities - all things have been created by Him and for Him.  And He is before all things, and In Him all things hold together."

Romans 9:19-21  "You will say to me then, "Why does He still find fault?  For who resists His will?"  On the contrary, who are you, O man, who answers back to God?  The thing molded will not say to the molder, "Why did you make me like this,"  will it?  Or does not the potter have a right over the clay, to make from the same lump one vessel for honorable use, and another for common use?"

Isaiah 45:9  "Woe to the one who quarrels with his Maker - An earthenware vessel among the vessels of earth!  Will the clay say to the potter, "What are you doing?"  Or the thing you are making say, He has no hands'?"

Isaiah 64:8  "But now, O LORD, Thou art our Father.  We are the clay and Thou our potter;  And all of us are the work of Thy hand."

What if I want more children/want to let God plan our family but my partner doesn't agree?

You cannot force another person to either believe the way that you do, or to behave the way that you do.  The best you can do is to express your beliefs/opinions and refuse to compromise your principles.  There is a right way and a wrong way to respond if a partner is not in agreement.  If open communication does not win over your partner, then you can take time to pray and ask God to change their heart.  Give Him time.  Look at what Esther did to win the favor of the King.  She prayed and fasted and gave God time.   You can do everything you can to answer any particular concerns your partner may have about having more children.  You should always be loving and respectful but always speak the truth in love.  Perhaps he/she just does not have all of the information available such as the destructiveness of the different forms/methods of BC.  Perhaps you are not managing the children you already HAVE well.  Even if your partner is not ready for more children, that does not mean that you must submit to a harmful form of birth control.  You must obey God rather than man.  You cannot control what your partner does, but you must control what you do.  If he feels strongly about having no more children and employs a birth control method on his/her body you are not held responsible for that.   Your body is the temple of God and you must maintain it in the manner that the Lord directs YOU.  You must always speak the truth in love, but you must obey Him with what He asks you to do.  You also must remember that just because you are NOT using birth control does not mean that you WILL necessarily conceive a child.  Equally true is the fact that just because you conceive a child, it doesn't mean that baby will live through the whole pregnancy and be born into your family.  Nobody is guaranteed any particular length of life.  We are only promised that as long as God has a plan for us, we are indestructible.  He knows your needs and your limitations.  He will not give you anything more that you can handle, and He does work everything together for your good.

Psalm 41: 1-3  "How blessed is he who considers the helpless;  The LORD will deliver him in  day of trouble.  The LORD will protect him, and keep him alive,  And he shall be called blessed upon the earth,  And do not give him over to the desire of his enemies.  The LORD will sustain him upon his sickbed;  In his illness, Thou dost restore him to health." 

Romans 8:26-28  "And in the same way the Spirit also helps our weakness; for we do not know how to pray as we should, but the Spirit Himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words;  and He who searches the hearts knows what the mind of the Spirit is, because He intercedes for the saints according to the will of God.  And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose." 

Esther Chapters 4-8

But what about the BC?  What is WRONG with it?

Hormonal methods are damaging to the body.  They cause many other health-related issues ranging from mood swings and irritability, feeling outright crazy, hot flashes, bloating, weight gain, blood clots, all the way to breast cancer, so yes, death.  That is what we KNOW they do.  As always, when it comes to the body, I believe that we don't know more than we DO know.  Some things will ALWAYS be a mystery until we are brought home to His Kingdom.  They also don't always work as they are designed to by preventing ovulation.  Sometimes, instead, they just make the uterine lining hostile to the fertilized egg and unable to allow it to implant, thereby causing a chemical abortion.  Most times the physicians won't tell you this, but it is clearly there on the package inserts.  It is also quite obvious in the fact that it doesn't always work and sometimes a baby is still conceived even WITH having followed the prescriptive directions perfectly.  How could that happen without breakthrough ovulation?  Using barrier methods still involve putting chemicals onto/into your body and are even less effective than hormonal methods.  We do not know what the long-term effect of using these chemicals will be.  They are absorbed into the body/bloodstream.  Permanent sterilization through surgery has its own set of risks, from the risks of anesthesia to endometrial issues/hormonal problems for a woman who has a tubal, and autoimmune issues and sexual difficulties for a man from vasectomy.

Women don't KNOW how birth control works.

Well, if God really wants me to have another child HE can just bypass my birth control system anyway.

Yes, He certainly can.  And sometimes He does.  But usually He won't.  He doesn't usually force blessings onto us.  Usually He will allow you to say no to His plans for your life.  It will just mean that you will lose any blessing you could have received in the process.  You will damage your ongoing relationship with Him in that there will not be perfect communion.  You will be holding back.  Remember the story of the Lord coming into your life/home and going straight to the closet that you refuse to give Him?  He wants us to give Him EVERY single aspect of our lives, to live in a manner that displays complete utter abandon to Him.  He wants us to be a people that blesses others with generosity and love in our actions, our gifts to them equally in time, service and in finances, in our words and in our attitudes.  Can you REALLY say you can do that while holding back any area of your life?

What if I just don't have the faith to live this lifestyle?

Whatever is not of faith, is of sin, the Bible says.  I believe that God blesses the direction we are going rather than expecting us to be perfectly sinless.  I can promise you that if you are living a life that is NOT according to your belief system, you will NEVER be happy.  You will NEVER have open communion with the Lord because YOU will have walls of guilt/reservation holding you back.  It is not because HE will not commune with you, but because YOU will  not live and walk according to your conscience.

According to one source, less than 10% of Christians have ever read the entire Bible.  Is it any surprise that most of us don't know or believe the Scriptures with those kind of statistics?  The church as a whole is NOT Biblically literate.  If you don't believe Him enough, perhaps you could spend more time getting to know Him better and communicating back and forth with Him through Scripture reading and prayer?

 There you have it, my opinion on BC from how I understand both the Scriptures and the character of God.  What say YOU?


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