Generation Cedar

“Why can’t birth control just be a neutral issue…your choice if you want to use it, my choice if I don’t. Why does it have to be good or bad? Or is it good or bad?”

I’ve mulled over this question before, mainly after, perhaps, someone has said something like the above to me. “It’s fine with me if you don’t practice it.” The truth, though, is IT IS NOT FINE WITH MOST PEOPLE that there are families who do not practice the prevention of children. It’s bizarre, but true. I know…I deal with it quite often, from the public, from friends, from relatives, and sadly, even the Christian community.

I’ve sat in circles where Christian men and women refer to one of these non-birth-control families as a couple who “breeds like animals”. Pardon me, but, just like the animals, God created us to reproduce too (quite often, in some cases). The animals just haven’t been manipulated yet. The air is flooded with comments that indicate something is a little “wrong” with someone who accepts the children God gives you. The stares, the bulging eyes, the “bless your hearts!” and the “don’t you know what causes that?” comments are far too many for me to conclude that it is a neutral issue.

The issue of birth control bothers me because it is precisely not a neutral issue. If birth control were a non-issue, people would not take such offense to those who have not embraced it. I don’t think I would ever even think about it (well, maybe I would, but…) if no one ever batted an eye at my choice to live “naturally” regarding the area of reproduction. If it were truly neutral, fine. But the very aversion the common public has to something God created to be right and good, tells me something is not right.

When birth control became acceptable, large families became unacceptable. When preventing children became expected, having more than two children became strange. The two are just at odds with each other…period. And if that’s so, can they both be right? I’m just asking.

I’m challenging my readers to offer their opinions, arguments or points:
Is birth control a neutral issue?…Agree or disagree, what do you think?

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19 Responses

  1. I agree with you. Small families have become so normal that people look at large families like a freak show. And even though many children in small families spend most of their time being neglected at daycare and in front of the TV, people tend to assume that well-cared-for children in large families can’t possibly be getting enough attention.

  2. I absolutely agree with you. It’s funny I was just pondering this in my own mind yesterday…I was thinking of men’s objectifying of women in society and where did that come from….the ability to have those “harmless little affairs”…and how the reason for SO MANY ills in society can be traced back to birth control.

    Then I started thinking about how Loretta Lynn could sing “Coal Miner’s Daughter” and then “The Pill.” I was wondering why growing up in a big family, even very poor, led to that line of thinking, and how she got that deceived and foolish….oh well, I could go on all day.

  3. To the Christian, nothing is or should be a neutral issue. Children of God should realize that every jot and detail in this universe is planed and maintained by God. If it is that important to Him, it must be for us, too. Trusting in God’s word as the truth, Christians should trust in following His commands.

    Birth control is a much easier thing to obey than temper control. For instance, it is easy to not take the pill or not use other devices, but it is harder to follow God’s command to always be kind and slow to anger. One is of physical action, the other is more of spirit and mind control. God’s instructions for birth control should be followed. It is a very simple thing to do!

    For the non-believer, anything goes. What can they expect? They have no solid foundation. Satan changes the rules as he leads the lost further into destruction. It is nearly impossible to reason with non-Christians using God’s wisdom. Proverbs testifies of this. They don’t want to listen. God’s wisdom to them is foolishness.


  4. Birth control is not a neutral issue nor is it one of those “gray areas” in our Christian life. On the continuum of black to white, I’d say that birth control is imbedded firmly on the dark side.

    I recently heard a likeminded man, a father of many blessings, say that he believed that if God had desired us to have two children, he would have designed womens’ bodies to produce only two eggs…one for a boy and one for a girl. Instead, God designed our bodies to produce many children, a godly offspring, a rich heritage of blessings.

    People may like to believe that the Bible is silent on birth control, but I disagree. I think there are multitudes of Scriptures and Scriptural principles that illuminate our understanding on this subject. God loves children and considers them a blessing. Why don’t we?

  5. I personally use birthcontrol. Not to control children but for medical reasons. I am no longer married and do not practice sex outside of marriage. I personally would have loved a big family but that did not happen. I was blessed with one child and I am content with that. I personally think big families are great.

  6. Let me start by saying I love your blog. I come from a family of seven children, tho we all went to church, not all of us are christians. We have alot of family quarrels because of this. However, that is another topic for another time. I am thinking and praying for God to give me knowledge on what to for my family. My DH and I have a boy and a girl. My DS whom I adore, has kept me busy so to speak and can be a handful. I am learning, from God, patience thru this. I KNOW that children are blessings and what the psalms say about them. However, one verse in the new testament (I think its 1 Cor 7 something)has been sticking to me. Paul says that the time is short and those that have wives are to be as if they have none. Now I know he isnt talking about abandoning families. Yet, I seem to find my days filled with childcare, that it is hard to get as much time as I’d like to spend with the Lord. I think about sitting on my bed reading the Bible and its just a TREAT! Well, anyways, Jesus also said that if we love mother, father, children or anyone else more than Him, then we are not worthy of Him. I am just afraid that if we did not practice the mode of BC (which is withdrawl) that I would not have as much time for my Lord. I do know that I am raising children FOR HIM. But there are people alive NOW who need Jesus too. I dont know if I make sense. Just hoping you might have some thoughts. Jennifer

  7. I think you are awesome & your website is awesome! Thanks for the encouragement! You go girl, thanks for bringing motherhood back.

  8. My response to Jennifer:

    Somehow, I missed Jennifer’s comment, so I’m glad a reader brought it to my attention.

    First of all, the verse you mentioned in Corinthians can cause a lot of confusion. I’ve heard one commentator mention that when Paul wrote that, it was in the middle of war time (???) and he simply meant for each person to stay as they are, and serve the Lord where they were during those turbulent times. I honestly haven’t studied that passage fully enough to add any more thoughts to it. I don’t see, however, that it has any implications for our decision in the issue of birth control.

    Secondly, you mentioned the words of Jesus that if we love mother and father or children more than him, we are not worthy of Him. I’ve always struggled a little bit with that hard saying, but Jesus simply meant that He was to be the first priority of our lives…period. Many in the day of Jesus faced being abandoned and rejected by their own families if they chose Christianity. Literally speaking, many people had to choose Him over their families. I think this passage may refer to that condition more than anything else.

    I think there is dangerous thinking in the concept of limiting our children in order to be a better witness to other people. God never contradicts Himself; he would not create us to bear many children,say he delighted in giving us a quiver full, but then expect us to refuse them for His work. Simply put, a mother and father, wife and husband, who live a life of devotion to Christ through obedience, is more of a testimony to the world than anything. Sometimes we get so caught up in “numbers” and more visible modes of evangelism, that we neglect the ones God has already put into place. I can’t tell you how having a large family opens up conversations with people out in public to share the gospel that I otherwise would not have had the opportunity. I honestly think having a family that “doesn’t look like the world” is a louder testimony than all the tracts I could hand out. (Which by the way, you can still hand out tracts; but the more children you have, the more tracts you can give!)

    True, finding quiet time with the Lord can be a challenge to a young mother…I do understand the demands a mother has. But I always reason that if I can find time to fix my hair, have a blog, surf the net, or anything else that I enjoy, surely I can find time to spend in the Word.

    I would suggest that it is right and good for you to “create” quiet time, even if your children are awake. It would be great training and a great testimony to them if you set aside time in your day that they know is a time you are going to spend with the Lord.

    I read of a mother in the late 1800’s who took turns with each child. She said she would bring them to her room, sit them in a chair, and announce, “Mother is going to talk to the Lord now”. Then she said she got on her knees and wept deeply as she prayed and sought the Lord on their behalf. She said those were some of the most powerful and meaningful moments in the life of her children.

    I may not have addressed your comment very well, but all in all, no matter how difficult our task may seem, or how little you feel you are “doing” for His sake, I believe when we “seek first the kingdom of God”, seeking to obey and follow His design for the family, “all these things will be added unto you”.

    Maybe more on this topic in a blog post later…

  9. Sadly, it is not a neutral issue. Most Christians have all but decided that it is a positive thing.

    That God wants us to control our bodies (messing with our hormones, exchanging natural production for a medicinal cocktail and perpetual PMS) in order to avoid children.

    It is anything but neutral. Most of the Christian community falls squarely in the camp of praising birth control in virtually any form.

  10. Birth control is God’s business; not ours (in my opinion, which is based on my reading of His Word). My guess is that 99 or so % of people who use it have not considered whether it’s God’s will and/or whether it is right, but merely they use it for one of two reasons: either because it’s what everyone else does or because of self-centered reasons (“We don’t want another child.”). I wholeheartedly believe the quote that, “People don’t have abortions because they want to murder children: they have abortions because they have no room in their heart for another child.” Well, are those who use birth control for self-centered reasons any different, in their heart and motivation, really? For more information, please read Rick and Jan Hess’s book, A Full Quiver: it answers most all of the reasons for not allowing God to plan your family. Thank you SO much for your insightful article!

  11. Kelly,
    You make a great point. It’s not a neutral issue, but on the other hand, the decision to use or not use birth control is one that the married couple have to make together, with or without the counsel of people they choose. In other words, it’s nobody’s business unless you ask for their opinion.
    Sadly, we all like to sit in our chairs and pass out judgment.
    Does the Bible imply that birth control is wrong? I don’t think so. Does it instruct us to use it? no. Does it have a lot of positive things to say about children and raising them? Yes.
    My conclusion has been that however many children we have, our job as parents is to love them and raise them in the nurture and admonition of the Lord. You don’t have to have half a dozen (or more) to stick out. Raise children that care for others, who treat others the way they would like to be treated, that love Jesus and their neighbor, and they will stick out.
    We’re in that business. We don’t think anyone should tell us whether we should have more or not.

  12. I really do see it as a neutral issue. I think, just as in many other things, God calls different people (families) to many things. I believe that God has chosen some of us to have many, many children and not use birth control. I also believe that God has chosen some of us to only have a few children, and to stop at that. People bring up that in biblical times couples didn’t discuss if they were financially able to care for more children, so we shouldn’t now, but that is a genuine consideration. My husband and I have three children, all of whom came as a large surprise for us. We are currently in a VERY difficult financial time, living with family, needing government assistance, and doing everything we can (yes, including praying about it) to get things better. There is literally no more room in our budget or in the house for another child. As it is our daughter and two sons share one small bedroom. If we were to have another child there would literally be no place for him or her to go, nor would there be enough money for things like diapers, wipes, and food. The trouble is that we seem to be the world’s most ridiculously fertile couple, so if we don’t practice some form of birth control we could likely repopulate a city, lol! We prayed and talked about this both before we got married and since then. We believe that three children is what God wants us to have, and that we are to stop having children now. I don’t think that goes against the Bible because I’ve never seen a verse in the Bible that tells us not to use birth control. I am also genuinely bothered when people make comments that imply that people use birth control because they don’t have room in their hearts for another child, or can’t love another child, or can’t raise/give attention to a child in the way God desires. This is my equivalent of how you feel about the ‘breeding like animals’ comments. Just because we have chosen not to have more children doesn’t mean we wouldn’t welcome one if God suddenly decided we should have more. We thought for a while that we were done after our second baby (and were practicing birth control to ensure that) and were taken completely by surprise when our third came along, yet we have gladly welcome this little surprise into our hearts and into our families. Just as God calls some people to homeschool, some to use private school, and some to use public school, some to go into full time ministry for the church and others to follow other career paths, I believe God chooses that some people need to refrain from using birth control and others don’t.

    1. Heather,

      Certainly you will have to stand, and no other, before the Lord for the decisions you make. I do talk about this topic (and answer objections) based on the belief that *I* am responsible for teaching what I believe is truth from God’s Word. So, my few thoughts for you to consider are these:

      It’s a dangerous thing to chalk everything up to a “calling” or non-calling. That leaves a whole lot of human wisdom, which is often in direct contradiction with God’s Word. Especially in areas where He HAS laid things out for us. Since children are a supernatural and biologically natural result of marriage, the Christian must tread lightly. We can’t be “called” to *have* children so it begs the question of how we can asses we’re being called to “not” have them. The Bible says that God is the one who opens and closes the womb. That’s the way He calls a couple where children are concerned.

      I liken it to gender; he made you as you are. Some people feel like He messed that up, and now that we can biologically alter our created bodies, they feel like that is acceptable. But you and I know that you are not born female and yet “called to be male”. It’s written in your body, just like your fertility is. Some have no babies, some have 20. But life isn’t a calling.

      (By the way, there is one instance of someone using birth control in the Bible and God killed Him because “the thing He did greatly displeased the Lord”.) Just wanted to mention that because you said it isn’t there.

      Also, I do NOT advocate that it is always wrong to prevent a child. I think there are special concerns, particularly medical ones where the body is broken, not functioning as it should, where we may carefully consider delaying/spacing children.

      But the entire issue is one of very delicate treading where a couple needs to come with fear and trepidation before they take over the supernatural gift of life.

  13. One other thought. You think you’ve been judged for having a big family, try being the family who is in really bad financial way and has children (and *gasp*, gets pregnant again). About 99% of what we hear falls into one of two categories. First, that we are a drain on society and either need to stop having more children or stop asking for a helping hand. Second (which comes from other Christians) is that we either haven’t prayed enough or just aren’t following God’s will and if we would get right with God we wouldn’t be in this situation. It’s really no fun when both sides of the line sit in judgement of you!

    1. Heather,

      May I encourage you…we’ve been exactly there! In fact, I’m a contributing author to a book that’s about to come out in Spring (Overwhelmed but Not Overcome) where I share our family’s story.

      Here’s the beautiful part…we were VERY financially strapped and in debt up to our eyeballs, no insurance and this newly held conviction. Yes, we got some serious persecution!

      But, He never forsook us, and if you don’t know the rest of our story, let me know and I’ll send it to you. I think you will be so encouraged. We are now debt free–including our house–and never DREAMED what the Lord would/could do.

      As I read Psalm 78 yesterday, I was reminded again of the importance of trusting Him through the “wilderness”. I encourage you to go read that chapter. God is begging us to trust Him in a way that seems crazy to the rest of the world. The results? Miraculous.

  14. I personally think that God gave us minds to make our own decisions. If by chance that those decisions may be wrong that is why he gave his only Begotten SON who died on the cross so his blood could wash away our sins. Everyone is a sinner, (EVEN CHRISTIANS) otherwise he would not have needed to send his son to give his blood and die for us on the cross. Yes, we tend to make mistakes over and over, sometimes repeating those mistakes again. This does not make God love us any less. My daughter asked to be on birth control, and believe me, she is the one who follows Christ as our family does not go to church, don’t get me wrong, I do believe in Christ the almighty Savior. I just do not believe in all of the religions that have come to go with it, that is why I refuse to go to church, because in most cases those churches are telling you that what they are teaching is the only way you should believe. I do not feel that the Bible in itself is in its true form since there are many scriptures that have been left out. If you take notice, your bible says “King James Version” not “Gods” version.Out daughter on the other hand goes to church as often as she can and she completely believes in Christ and is committed to him. She did not ask to be on birth control to have sex, she ask because she was having problems with her monthly cycles and also because her acne breakouts were very severe. You may think that it is vain to want to use birth control for acne, but acne can be very painful in some situations, especially for those who tend to get the acne boils. My son who has read the Bible twice through does not completely practice the Christian faith because he feels that there has been so much taken out to suit what King James felt was necessary for Christians to know taking matters into his own hands what should be allowed in the Bible. He is a very intelligent young man who not only studied the Christian faith but other faiths as well. Due to his learned knowledge from his studies he found that just one faith could not be right on its own. He has said that the Christian faith has held one belief and more followers than others but he is still in disagreement that only one faith can be completely right. I know that you will completely hate my argument as you are a completely faithful wife to the Lord. I don’t think that God condemns those that choose to practice the belief of using birth control, he gave us our own minds for a reason and those that are Christians who use birth control, I feel he would give great conviction in their hearts if he did not want them to practice the use of birth control.

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