The Link Between Birth Control & Abortion: Is the Church Really Pro-Life?

 

Added note since first publishing:

We must take responsibility for our part in the culture of death in which we now live, or be hypocrites, as we ponder the atrocity that is Planned Parenthood. We didn’t just wake up in a place where killing babies was an option better than having them. When birth control became accepted, it became expected. We essentially said we wanted to not have babies when we didn’t want babies, but we still want to take part in the act of how they are made. And with us being all in control now, an “unplanned pregnancy” became a tragedy.

Worse, we projected that expectation onto everyone else. “Don’t have babies too soon after marriage” (they will hinder you)…”Don’t have babies too close together” (they will inconvenience you)…”Don’t have too many babies” (they will cost you), and by our narrow allowance, babies–people, immortal human life, simultaneously, were devalued.

When the stigma is strong enough, the criticism loud enough, and the value of one’s own comfort exceeds the value of a new life, abortion is the second and obvious line of birth control. We can do our part, as Christians, esteeming and valuing every life, by echoing God’s Word, instead of the culture’s voice.

People get really squirmy when the topic of birth control comes up and I can attest, having studied and written on the subject for almost 7 years, there are few hotter button topics.

I’ve been begged to leave the subject alone, reminded that it’s “an issue solely between husband, wife and God.” And it is. But the ripple effect goes far beyond that, and it’s that effect I’m so concerned about, among Christians, which is why I keep tackling the topic.

Some beg for the lives of the innocent at their local abortion mill. And some beg with words, agonizing during the night, rushing to find a keyboard.

I have believed, and will continue to unless I’m convinced otherwise, that there is a short walk between the birth control mindset and abortion.

Hear what I said: “the birth control mindset.” This is a very important distinction. I am not saying, nor have I ever said, it is a sin to prevent or space children, upon careful prayer and discernment, within the proper understanding of life. It’s not a discussion about specific circumstances, or sick mamas or hard pregnancies.

The “birth control mindset” is one that treats new life too lightly, fails to give proper authority to the Creator, assumes absolute control over fertility and consequently establishes (either consciously or not) that the idea of “normal” family size is two or three children.

The birth control mindset inadvertently becomes hostile to the practice of forgoing birth control. And herein lies a great problem.

To the church I say: we cannot be staunch pro-life advocates only where abortion is concerned. It is hypocritical to fight for the life of the unborn, but insult the life of the born (and the mother who gave him life), where we deem his birth order to be too high. That is as good as saying, “you should have aborted those last three.”

You might say, “no, she should have prevented the last three.”

Which could be said to every mother walking into an abortion clinic. But her birth control simply failed. Yet we still clamor for that child’s life, and rejoice to see it spared. And we should. Just as we should celebrate every life, especially the life of a believer, receiving into his family the very heritage of the Lord.

Here are my reasons for believing there’s a strong connection between birth control and abortion:

  • The contraceptive mentality fosters the notion of unwanted children.

“The connection between contraception and abortion is primarily this:  Contraception facilitates the kind of relationships and even the kind of attitudes and moral character that are likely to lead to abortion.  The contraceptive mentality treats sexual intercourse as though it had little connection with babies; it thinks of babies as an “accident” of intercourse, as an unwelcome intrusion into a sexual relationship, as a burden.  The sexual revolution has no fondness – nor room for – the connection between sexual intercourse and babies…” –Professor Janet Smith,”The Connection Between Contraception and Abortion

  • Abortion is simply the back-up method for failed contraception.

Planned Parenthood vs. Casey:

“…the recent Supreme Court decision that confirmed Roe v. Wade, stated, “in some critical respects abortion is of the same character as the decision to use contraception… for two decades of economic and social developments, people have organized intimate relationships and made choices that define their views of themselves and their places in society, in reliance on the availability of abortion in the event that contraception should fail.” (emphasis mine)

Janet Smith again writes:

“To support the argument that more responsible use of contraceptives would reduce the number of abortions, some note that most abortions are performed for “contraceptive purposes.” That is, few abortions are had because a woman has been a victim of rape or incest or because a pregnancy would endanger her life, or because she expects to have a handicapped or deformed newborn. Rather, most abortions are had because men and women who do not want a baby are having sexual intercourse and facing pregnancies they did not plan for and do not want. Because their contraceptive failed, or because they failed to use a contraceptive,they then resort to abortion as a backup. Many believe that if we could convince men and women to use contraceptives responsibly we would reduce the number of unwanted pregnancies and thus the number of abortions. Thirty years ago this position might have had some plausibility, but not now. We have lived for about thirty years with a culture permeated with contraceptive use and abortion; no longer can we think that greater access to contraception will reduce the number of abortions. Rather, wherever contraception is more readily available the number of unwanted pregnancies and the number of abortions increases greatly.”

  • Birth control increases the number of abortions.

Judith Bury, coordinator of Doctors for a Woman’s Choice on Abortion said:

“There is overwhelming evidence that … the provision of contraception leads to an increase in the abortion rate.”

  • Artificial birth control can actually cause abortions.

Dr. Walter Larimore, who for decades prescribed the pill, tried to disprove the claim that the pill is abortifacient, only to find 94 scientific studies proving that “postfertilization effects are operative to prevent clinically recognized pregnancy.” He published his findings in the scientific journal of the American Medical Association, and from then on stopped prescribing the pill.

Why it matters so much

Christians must think carefully and discern wisely about reproduction and fertility. To simply adopt the culture’s practices of such an important, world-changing activity, without due attention to God’s directives, is not only unwise, but potentially destructive.

Where God said:

  • Be fruitful and multiply…
  • what I have created is good…
  • It is I who have made you…
  • I knew you before you were formed in the womb…
  • I want to give you a heritage…
  • a gift…
  • your children will help you fight the enemy
  • the fruitfulness of your marriage is to reflect the church
  • I desire godly children from your union (Malachi 2:15)

Margaret Sanger, Planned Parenthood & Pro-Choice Advocates said:

  • “The marriage bed is the most degenerating influence in the social order.”
  • “The most merciful thing that a large family does to one of its infant members is to kill it.”
  • “Women of the working class, especially wage workers, should not have more than two children at most.”
  • “A baby is a baby when the mother says it is.”
  • “I never wavered for a moment in the belief that I was carrying a human life inside of me. I believe that’s what a fetus is: a human life. And that doesn’t make me one iota less solidly pro-choice.” *
  • “a fetus can be a human life without having the same rights as the woman in whose body it resides. She’s the boss. Her life and what is right for her circumstances and her health should automatically trump the rights of the non-autonomous entity (read: “child”) inside of her. Always.” *

(So What if Abortion Ends a Life, Mary Elizabeth Williams)

Before we can hope to see abortion eradicated and life embraced as sacred–sacred enough to protect, preserve and defend at all costs, all life must become so.

If the birth control mindset causes us to measure the value of a child’s life by the number of children born before him, we do not share the mind of God, and deserve the consequences of sharing the mind of a culture who defends death.

We cannot mock what God has created and called good, while simultaneously claiming to be pro-life. As long as we do, we needn’t wonder why abortion is such a vile blight on our society.

 

81 Responses to “The Link Between Birth Control & Abortion: Is the Church Really Pro-Life?”

  1. Dana says:

    Wow! I’ve been vocal pro-lifer for decades, and have spoken against birth control that forces the uterine lining to shed vs those that stop ovulation when I was younger. It had never crossed my mind that either one, or any other type of contraception, would cause more abortions! Thanks for opening my eyes to this logical concept.

  2. Laura(yet another) says:

    Thought provoking post. I’d also like to point out, however, that among the unsaved and hence, unregenerate, what other viewpoint can we expect? I understand that in history, many pagan societies were rampant with the mentality of abortion and birth control. Societies like the Greeks or Romans were also sex-obsessed, and I’m sure had their own evil ways of dealing with the pregnancies that occurred as a result of all that irresponsible behavior. Because mankind is inherently evil and wicked, his (or her) first reaction in life is self-preservation, self-fulfillment, self-seeking, in EVERYTHING, and that includes the area of sexual expression. Without God’s standard providing the guidelines of a loving, committed marriage bed to contain sexual urges/desires, it becomes a commodity and something to be gained for oneself, and through that mentality, you end up with the hook-up culture. Attached to the hook-up culture is the mindset that whatever inhibits, prevents, or gets in the way of my preferences, my desires, my will, my convenience, my pleasure, should be eradicated…. Even if it means killing another innocent human being. But as I said before, this mentality is what we should expect among the unsaved, whose hearts have not been penetrated by the Gospel. The sad part is, as we float away from the founders intent in our government, and the general populace becomes more and more anti-God, the more our society AND government become sympathetic to a depraved society where self-control is thought of as prudish, and self-sacrifice is thought of as foolish. This is simply another area of public thought that has degenerated to an anti-God standard, just like many other areas of life (welfare, social justice, debt cycle etc). It’s another issue that needs to be changed by the acceptance of the Gospel by individuals. Because it is only through the work of the Holy Spirit that people will understand what it means to put others first, to trust the Scriptures etc. So, on one hand, I certainly think that civil society has a responsibility to protect those who can’t protect themselves, expecting something else from depraved humanity is rather blind, isn’t it? Also, if you look at the most Godless societies in our world (India and China for instance), you see horrific examples of the abortion industry and other aspects of Godless society (like human sex trafficking) thriving, as mankind allows its basest instincts and urges to control its collective behavior. Just thoughts. Don’t get me wrong, I’m totally prolife! We too avoid the birth control mindset (and are on baby #5), to which we came after a few years of using non-abortifacient birth control, but felt that we were still trying to “play God”. So I totally understand the mindset, but sometimes it does seem like in our convictions, we are trying to squeeze orange juice out of a banana (ie Christian principle and behavior out of dead/depraved people), and wonder why we keep getting banana mush on our hands…

  3. A friend liked to this article on my FB page because I was positing this just this morning: contraception and abortion share the same foundation. Both deny God’s Word and say, “No – every baby is NOT a blessing. A child right now would not be a blessing but more like a curse to be avoided.” I’m not putting killing human beings on par with preventing their conception – but I am saying that the heart behind both is the same.

  4. Amy says:

    I wish I was an eloquent writer but it is not my gift. This is an issue I have struggled with for 16 years and finally have some sense of peace over…
    I have taken different types of birth control over the years and also have used different ‘natural’ methods. I have 2 girls that were totally planned and 3 boys that were all conceived while on some type of birth control. I have also had 2 miscarriages while not taking any birth control(over 2 years). I have come to the conclusion that those whom God wanted here are here.
    Yes, God did say be fruitful and multiply, but that number is not the same for everyone…I have 5 from teen to toddlers. I would like to be done having children. This doesn’t make me pro-choice! Simple because I still have a martial relationship with my husband I could still have another child. We would still view that child as a blessing and raise them, to the best of our abilities, to Love the Lord your God with all your heart soul and mind.
    To me, this entire issue is a heart issue. I think it is something that each couple needs to work out between them and GOD, to work out in their own faith.
    I don’t think for the church to be pro-Life everyone must have 15 children or be of the quiver full mindset. Everyone’s quiver is different.
    I have felt soo much guilt over the past 16 years, I just don’t want other moms out there to feel like this is over one more issue that she can not measure up in because she is the earth mother of the year. Unless we are committing a sin, I don’t think God intends for our walk to be laden with guilt.

    • Amy,

      “I don’t think for the church to be pro-Life everyone must have 15 children or be of the quiver full mindset.”

      Is that what you really felt the post said? If so, I’m a much worse communicator than I thought.

      • Lori says:

        Kelly, I agree w/ Amy’s comment. And actually, when you quote Janet Smith saying “The connection between contraception and abortion is primarily this: Contraception facilitates the kind of relationships and even the kind of attitudes and moral character that are likely to lead to abortion…” you are making a connetion far stronger than just “let’s all prayerfully take our childbearing to the Lord, for children are a blessing.”

        Then you follow up in the comments section to Farm School Marm:
        “but I am saying that the heart behind both (putting killing human beings on par with preventing their conception) is the same” (above, 3:20 PM) with your comment “Yes, it is.”

        So actually, perhaps you are broadcasting 2 different messages: one of guilt, vs. one of joy and prayer.

        • Lori,

          OK, I see what you’re saying. And as I think about it, (“What am I really trying to say?”) I realize that the issue of birth control, abortion and God’s sovereignty is so inextricably linked that it’s difficult to talk about.

          When I agree that “the mindset behind abortion and bc are the same”, I am silently referring to the definition of “bc mindset” to which I referred in the post.

          So though I didn’t say it, and I see where that’s a problem, the whole post and my comments are always referring to “the mindset” not every single case of the use of bc. Does that make sense?

          Because there is both. There is “the mindset” that takes life lightly and treats it as if we are the sole authority. That mindset is the prevalent one and the dangerous one.

          The other, couples who value all life and prayerfully, carefully approach the subject, is quite different.

          So my hope was that I made it clear to which I was referring. Obviously, I didn’t.

          • Lori says:

            Kelly, I thank you for your response,yet despite what you say in the post, and what you tell me here, you still have “Yes, it is” written to School Farm Marm. You publicly affirm “that the heart behind both (putting killing human beings on par with preventing their conception) is the same.” So you’re still preaching not 1, but 2 messages to anyone who’s paying more than cursory attention. 🙁

            • I added the word “often” and that, perhaps, better represents my thoughts. Often the same reasons women give for wanting an abortion are the same they give for using birth control (in that “mindset”). And that’s where the slippery slope is, and why when we are so accustom to preventing children it makes them more disposable. Abortion is often a back-up method for failed birth control. Given that fact, the link (i.e. common reasons, the “heart”, etc.) can not be denied. It’s true, as you have pointed out, that to say it’s always the same is wrong. And of course, I didn’t mean that.

        • Amy says:

          Thank you Lori, for saying what I could not.

          • Kristi says:

            If the birth control pill has the ability to abort a baby, then Christians should naturally stay away from it. If they are concerned about having too many children then they need to use condoms or diaphrams (spelling). There are other options out there besides using the pill.
            On the flip side, as Christians, each couple needs to read the scriptures and understand God’s heart about children. To me it’s such a discusting debate…the birth control pill has many other side effects as well. So anyone who is using it should get off of it if they are able to for shear health reasons.
            One thing that is extreamly important to remember is that God’s ways are higher than ours, and his plans often times do not match our own. I once read a commentary on the verse about women being saved through childbearing. The commentary was that we are not “Saved, salvation speaking” but saved from worldliness. That through having children they keep us on our knees, close to Jesus, our bodies are being used for giving life and nourishing life. I personally know for me that once I get my body back after having had a baby and done nursing, I’m all of a sudden much more into my looks than before. My mindset changes. It does become more worldly if I’m not careful. But then another blessed baby is once again on it’s way and my focus is once again put back in the right place of focusing on family not myself.
            How many Christian couples plan their family size because of their personal interests? I would never have expected to be a mother of many, especially after not being able to conceive after I got off of the pill. For 3 years I was unable to conceive then we were blessed with our first baby. My husband told me to get off of the pill on our first anniversary realizing the destructive effects it had not only on my body but the potential it had on an unborn baby. We were a very active couple, climbing mountains, motorcycle riding, hiking, playing indoor sports, going on trips, doing all kinds of things. But my heart was so longing for a baby. All of the worldly pleasures we had didn’t compare to what we are now experiencing. And now all of the things we long to do we long to do with our children as they come of age, or as each one is born, looking forward to sharing what we experienced before them, with them and sharing life with them. Isn’t that what it’s all about? Didn’t God initially create us to have a relationship with us? If we aren’t looking at children as an opportunity to have a relationship with another child but see them as something we can plan or not, then we are missing the point. They aren’t an addition to the family the way an animal is. They are blessings, gifts, joys, (pains in the rear! 🙂 lol) sharpening tools, and the more we have the sharper they make us, and the closer to the Lord we become, and the more life we get to share in, and the more siblings they have to share in relationship to, and they are so excited for this next baby, knowing it’s another purposed gift from God! I wish I had more sisters and brothers to grow up with, it would have been awesome, now that I see how my kids love eachother.
            Anyway, I think people need to search deeply and be honest with themselves of why they would use the pill. For many I think it’s the unknown, it’s cultural pressures, the fact that they would be living on the fringe if they had too many, or what people would think of them, or the list goes on and on. If we are true believers, then what’s the problem? I mean really? 🙂 Fear is an awful thing that can wrap itself up in a very pretty worldly package. Unfortunately it reminds me too much of the Pharisees who outwardly looked like they were doing the right, Godly, thing, yet inwardly they were dead men’s bones, missing the whole point of what it means to be a follower of God.

    • Laura(yet another) says:

      Amy, this is an area in which I have endured much confusion as well… For example, in my last pregnancy, I developed a blood clot, and had to be on self-injected blood thinners for 6 months. This was a hard thing and made me really struggle with the idea of having more children. I vascillated back and forth about it. and as far as I was concerned, the pill wasn’t an option (or other chemical BC) or any others… it was either going to be we kept the womb open OR I had surgery, to permanently close the womb… There was fear there. Fear that I would get another blood clot with another baby and die, leaving my family without me. There was fear of putting up with complications in pregnancy with 4 or 5 children at home and me needing hospitalization… and on and on what if… And there is the financial aspect of it. We are not all Duggars who have a reality show and a 7000 square foot house… We live on one income of under $30K/year… it is hard to manage sometimes, as the family grows (currently we are wondering about where to put #5 in our van!). So, I had many conversations and sleepless nights, and often felt like I was a faithless heathen if the thought of endless childbearing depressed me and weighed me down (trying to manage 12 children on our tiny income!) along with all the personal sacrifice of it of decades of sleepless nights etc. Sometimes the quiverful mindset sounds like some sort of “pie in the sky” faith, and ignores the grim realities of what bearing children costs us. I hear your frustration! But I think the point Kelly is trying to make here, is a general mindset towards children, and aligning ourselves with God concerning them, realizing that they are given as a gift and a blessing. However, also think that God can work out His sovereign will in each of our lives. If our faith and trust is not as peaceful as others, and we end up having a tubal ligation out of fear, that doesn’t mean we aren’t saved or that somehow God’s will will be thwarted… Each person has an easier time with certain aspects of trust. Some can trust easier for financial provision, some can trust easier for children, some can trust easier in the midst of a storm like cancer or a tornado… and so on… also, leaving our childbearing capacity in the hands of God doesn’t mean that everyone will have 15 children, OR that having 15 children makes you more godly… It is being will to view children according to the Scriptures and to believe that grace to manage what God gives will be given as needed… I’m sure Michelle Duggar didn’t have the faith to manage 19 children on child #2… As each child came, grace to deal and manage came with it…Being willing to have the number of children God gives, whether it be many or few.. Not frantically having as many children as we can, just to prove our “faith”…

      • BlessedWife says:

        Laura,

        I know you posted a few years ago but I thought I’d post a reply to your comment. With the birth of our first child, a C-section, I developed a pulmonary embolism. I had 3 blood clots in my right lung which mean they had already traveled through my left lung, through my heart and into my right lung. I was in the hospital for over a week. They were amazed I was alive. Months later my husband and I prayed about whether or not to have more children and believe me there was many tears and a great deal of fear. But I waited on Him and He whispered “do you trust me? My plans are to prosper you and not to harm you.” We trusted Him and got pregnant again with another boy (I asked for a boy). I was placed on blood thinners for the entire pregnancy with the end result being a C-section at 38 weeks. A healthy baby boy and a very healthy mama. We got pregnant with our 3rd (a girl). Once again I took a blood thinner injection daily until 6 weeks after the C-section of our daughter.
        My story is one that I am able to share to encourage others in their faith in Him Who loves us so passionately.
        Amazing enough it has continued into a deeper understanding of Gods divine plan for family. My husband got a vasectomy after our 3rd child. We did not recognize that God was putting up multiple road blocks to stop us from placing fertility in “our” hands vs. His perfect hands. After much prayer my husband got a reversal done (with Dr. Wilson in OK)2 1/2 years later. He brought so much revelation to us re His divine plans for His people and the families that He give. The word “me”, “mine” etc was never in His revelation since we had already given ourselves to Him to do what He desired in and through us.
        So now as a 40 year old woman, with PCOS and a previous pulmonary embolism, I wait for what God has promised….more children and His promise that He desires to bless those who follow Him and keep His commandments.
        Life is good when it is His Spirit living and working powerfully through us to achieve all that the Father has for us to do BUT once we take it into our own hands we give up that power and end up relying on our own strength. He is so, so good.

    • Lindy says:

      Certainly you don’t have to have 15 children to be pro-life. She is just saying to leave it up to God. You said you didn’t feel like having more children…but what if God wanted you to have another child. Can you look at the face of any of your children and say you wish they were not here? Of course not! Well, maybe God wanted you to have one more, and even though you didn’t want another, once they were here, you wouldn’t be able to imagine your life without them!

      The point is, if God wants you to have 15, are you willing? For those who can’t have children, can you accept that if God wants to give you a child (like Sarah), He can do so?

      It’s about trusting God more than our feelings.

      Also, the author didn’t bring it to subject, but these are not the main reasons why I do not use birth control. They cause abortions. You can watch this video here. While all of science agrees with how birth control works, there are differing opinions on when life begins. For me, life begins at conception as the Bible says, but that is contrary to what birth control is.

      You can view the video here:
      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lhZOBqdlE5M

      You can also read my testimony as to how I came from wanting NO children to having as many as God would bless me with. I hope it’s an encouragement and not to make other mothers feel bad…my goal is to encourage women in the ways of the Lord. Just because we have all missed the mark in areas of our life, is no reason not to talk about it and encourage others from making our mistakes.

      http://conservativechristianmom.blogspot.com/2013/10/my-testimony.html

  5. 6 arrows says:

    I completely agree that the heart behind the birth control mindset is the same as that behind the abortion mindset. “I don’t want…” I don’t want a 4th or 5th child, or a 3rd, or a 2nd, pick your number. I don’t want one now…maybe later. Etc. “I. don’t. want.”

    We in the church need more reminders that God looks at the heart. We can self-righteously declare “I would never have an abortion”, and even if we don’t, where is our heart regarding children? God is looking at it. Do we in the church care as long as we’re not engaging in the outward evil that is abortion? “I don’t want another child” versus “I don’t want this child”. The conclusion of the matter may be different based on whether the child is already conceived or not (ie, a baby might not die in the process), but the starting point in the birth control mindset and the abortion mindset is the same. That should be a concern in the church, but unfortunately, it seems to be a blind spot.

    We have the blessed opportunity to raise up warriors for the cause of Christ. (We could learn something from the Muslims, and others who don’t have the truth, who are more diligent to raise up many warriors for their causes than we are for the One True God.) Instead, we too often adopt the birth control mindset and use worldly reasoning to limit the blessings the Lord may be pleased to give us.

    It seems we have a very narrow view of our purpose here — living with an earthly mindset rather than an eternal one, thinking our thoughts rather than God’s thoughts, making plans about what to do, rather than checking our motivation for why we do it.

    So it’s back to looking at the heart. Which I wish the church would focus on more. But I’m repeating myself now.

    Very good and important post.

    • Dorathy says:

      And in regards to your post.. what about me and my husband. we want a 8th, 9th 10th child. the lord blessed me with 7 children. he took 3 of them home to him before I got to hold them almost lost a 4th in the process of losing one of them. How much is my body expected to go though? how about my health? what about my family? are we expected to just let one baby after another go home to god and just keep having more babies and keep feeling that pain. should my children keep feeling the pain of a brother or a sister in heaven. abortion. what do you define as abortion. my hospital does not see pregnant women until they are 12 weeks. at that time i found out i was not 12 weeks but over a month further along and my baby has passed away 2 months before hand. my body wouldn’t give the baby peace. my body held onto it. For my own health we had to take medication (I wanted what would be closest to what my body would naturally do) in all definition i had what is written down as a medical abortion. Should i have not gotten the medical help for my own health to make sure my children had a mom in the end? it is still considered abortion. my 7th child has to be induced a month early due to failure to thrive. she was dying inside of me. how much more does my family have to bare. what about naturally family planning? you are still trying to keep control of if/ when you get pregnant. fully handing over the will to god would not be natural family planning either. you are still controlling the situation of when you have children. after all. you have to have sex at the right time in order to get pregnant. there has only been one Mary. so to me.. that is still the person being in control and not handing over the will to god. i am on birth control. because we have decided that our family has been though enough emotion and to enjoy the blessings the lord has given us. i only have 2 hands and a special needs child as well. I’m sure the lord will find no fault in me for putting those blessing the front of choice. as he did in trust them into my care. he trusted me with this amazing and special little girl who needs special and understanding care as well. how much less special and understanding care can i give her if i keep having children. how much care and time is taken from more and more and more children if i keep having them because honestly my hands are so full they are over flowing. one of me.. 10 children and one that takes a lot of extra care. I’m blessed beyond words. but i know i need to care for that in which has been given to me first before my own need and want to have more. it’s selfish of me to put more children ahead of the ones i have.

      • Dorathy,

        I think you are wrestling with something outside of my post here. Honestly, most of your comments confuse me. I think you need to read my post again.

        • Dorathy says:

          what I have read in your post and I could be wrong as this is the internet and you don’t get the fullness of what someone is meaning just in a written word (as we all know 2 people can read a chapter in the bible and get something different from it) but, from what i read. yours saying that we need to leave getting pregnant or not getting pregnant up to the lord and trust in him on our family size. that you can’t fight just against abortion but against preventing pregnancy with birth control as well. honestly (if that is the point you are making) as it seems a lot hear also think that is the point you are making looking at their posts of either confusing, struggling with a choice, have struggled with it or in support of your post. trust in god on my family size. well it’s not that i don’t trust god. i do. which is why i have never questioned him on my children he took home to be with him. but, if i trusted in him on my family size I’m pretty sure i would have at least 3 kids to a bed room if not more in my 4 bedroom house. i could not even believe a person could be as fertile as I am haha! reading though your post over and over and over again. i still do not understand the point of the birth control mindset being like abortion. maybe i have it all confused and wrong. please explain further and i will gladly listen as you have many references in your post from some many different points of views as well as your own between all of those that it’s really difficult to wrap the mind around all the information and references as well as your point. if i do have it wrong. I apologizes and thank you for your time to simple up what exactly you are meaning.

          • Dorathy,

            First, you are not, from what I’m hearing, of the “birth control mindset” I’ve described in the post. That’s why I was careful to say that I’m not trying to make a black and white statement about spacing/preventing children. There are hard things, unique circumstances and health problems. A couple has to weigh those things before the Lord.

            The mindset I’m addressing is defined in the post. It’s one our culture often has where life is hardly deemed natural and miraculous, but more of a commodity, and fully expected to be severely restricted. It’s the mindset that is contrary to what we find in Scripture about children. It’s one that causes us to look upon children born after 2 or 3 as a curse, even to the point of insulting those children and their parents. This is common. And it’s wrong. That’s the link I’m trying to make. The birth control mindset simply took the focus off of the Creator and made us think we have ultimate authority over life. So when a person has several children, now it’s “their fault” instead of recognizing the One who gives life and calls it “good.”

            And your question about having what I think you’re describing as a D & C? That is certainly not an abortion. When a baby dies, and your body doesn’t miscarry the body, a surgical procedure is necessary. You should in know way feel bad about that.

            I am praying you will find peace and strength as you mother your precious children and grieve the loss of those gone to Heaven.

      • 6 arrows says:

        Hi Dorathy,

        I have read your posts (I see three so far), and I want you to know I really feel for you, especially with some of the things you’ve mentioned that have personally touched my own life: autism and miscarriages.

        I want to commit to a time of prayer on your behalf before I answer your response to my above post. I’ll get back to you tomorrow, Lord willing.

        Blessings to you tonight, Dorathy.

      • 6 arrows says:

        Dorathy,

        I’m not able to answer all the questions you asked of me in your reply, nor can I address all the issues you brought up in your comments on this page, but there are a few things I’d like to say to clarify my stance and to reassure you regarding some of the things you’ve mentioned.

        I agree with Kelly in her 10:02 a.m. post to you today. I don’t believe you are of the “birth control mindset.” You demonstrate a heart that seeks the Lord regarding your specific circumstances, recognizing the blessing that children are. You’re not making childbearing decisions based on selfish human reasoning, from what I gather.

        Also, when you needed medical help bringing forth the baby whose body was not being released from yours after his/her death, you were not having an abortion in the sense that is being discussed here — the sense where a mother decides to end her baby’s life. Your baby’s life had already ended and his/her soul was safely in the presence of the Lord in heaven when steps were taken to release baby’s body from yours. There is no guilt in that.

        What I really want you to understand, Dorathy, is that I don’t condemn the practice of trying to delay or prevent children under carefully-considered circumstances. My husband and I have practiced birth control after we had given over our fertility to the Lord about 14 years into our marriage, and we don’t believe that that was wrong, for reasons I’ll explain…

        The times we sought to prevent children after the Lord had turned our hearts to recognize the blessing of children according to His provision and timing were due to my miscarriages and to being blessed with a child with autism.

        After each of my two miscarriages, we practiced natural family planning for a few months afterwards to allow adequate time for my physical healing and my and my family’s emotional healing.

        I understand some of the grief of which you speak, Dorathy, regarding your miscarriages (though I didn’t have the struggles you did with a baby not coming forth easily). We certainly grieve those babies we never got to hold. I still mist up sometimes, thinking about the babies I lost, even though it’s been seven and eleven years now, and even while having the joy of knowing they are in heaven with Jesus.

        Grieving is a normal human process, and I don’t believe it is wrong or shows a “birth control mindset” to prevent more children when those emotions still run deep (as they can for quite a long time sometimes, depending on the circumstances).

        The other thing I want to mention is that, though we practiced prevention for a relatively short time after each miscarriage, we did practice it for a very long time after our fifth child’s challenges (with autism) overwhelmed us (about six years ago, when he was three, and his younger sibling had just been born). Caring for our son and his little sister, not to mention homeschooling our four other children and meeting their needs, as well, presented many challenges and necessitated a lot of adjustments in our family routine for years. It was a difficult, and sometimes dark, time for us a lot of that time.

        My husband saw how difficult it was for me, especially, and lovingly decided that, for my sake (and also the sake of our children — you understand how having a special-needs child in the family affects the siblings, too), we should try to avoid having any more children under the circumstances, blessings though they all are.

        I am pleased and so grateful to God that now, by His grace, He has worked tremendous improvement in our son’s development. And family life, while still presenting challenges, as it always will, is not at all in an overwhelming season as it was before. My husband and I have recently stopped trying to prevent more children now as a result of this development. We don’t know whether God will bless us with more children (I am 51, and my fertility is waning), but we don’t look back on the last six years with regrets that we tried avoiding pregnancy. We viewed children as a blessing during that whole time, but had many things to consider in how we would apply that knowledge. Our application was different due to the circumstances, but our love for children as gifts of God did not change.

        I tell you all that, Dorathy, because, from what you’ve said, I think your heart is in the same place as ours, recognizing that children are a blessing, but understanding that sometimes other arrangements must be made when life is extremely overwhelming. Grieving, meeting special needs, dealing with military deployment; those are big challenges. Not too big for God, of course, but not a sign you’ve developed a “birth control mindset” if you are delaying or preventing pregnancy during difficult seasons such as those.

        I hope that helps. Sorry this is so long. I will pray for you and your family, Dorathy. May the Lord bless you with His peace.

  6. Alyssa says:

    I have a question regarding your position here. I feel like I’ve had discussions on this topic that have gone in circles for years.

    In saying that we are removing control from the Creator by using birth control – is God not powerful enough to make His will happen regardless of contraceptives? If it is really His plan for someone to have a child, do we not trust that he will make that happen? Mary was a virgin… I think God can (and will, if it is truly His plan) get around a little birth control.

    I’m interested to hear what you think. Thank you for the article.

    • Word Warrior says:

      Alyssa,

      I feel like that is an abuse of God’s sovereignty. If we took that logic to another topic, it would get absurd.

      “I really want to kill myself and jump off a bridge. But God is God. If He doesn’t want my life to be over, He can intervene.”

      The reality is that sure, He can. But He probably won’t. Sovereignty and free will tangle up somewhere in the middle and He allows us to reap the consequences of the choices we make.

      • SG says:

        Kelly, I’m afraid you analogy fails. God probably will not take the life of the person contemplating suicide, meaning He wants that person to live.

        • You’re going to have to help me out. I don’t get what you’re saying.

        • After reading your comment over and over I *think* you thought I was saying that the person was only contemplating suicide. My analogy was meant to imply that if a person jumped off a bridge but had the idea that “if God wants to save me He can”, he will probably get to have the conversation with God about why He didn’t very soon.

          We can’t do one thing and expect God to intervene to do the opposite. He does and can, but not very often.

    • Lindy says:

      Alyssa,
      I’m not Catholic, but have you seen this video they put out on how birth control pills work?

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lhZOBqdlE5M

      The author didn’t discuss this. Their video is true. In search of trying to justify not having children at all, while their may be disagreement on when life begins, there was no disagreement on how birth control works.

      For me, I believe the Bible in that life begins at conception, and that belief is contrary to how birth control works.

      I’m interested to hear your response in this as well. Thanks!

    • Bethany Hudson says:

      Alyssa- I know you wanted Kelly’s opinion, but I thought I’d try my hand since the bridge analogy didn’t seem to work for you. It reminds me of Jesus’ temptation by Satan in the desert during his 40 days of fasting before he entered ministry. Satan tells Jesus to do many things (not all of which are bad – bread and water, anyone?) and Christ replies with Scripture principles and the resounding attitude of “You shouldn’t test God.” And that’s Jesus!

      Now, caveat: I’m Catholic. My faith has been staunchly pro-life, including rejection of all artificial contraception, for the past 2000 years, no exceptions. That said, our stance on birth control is not primarily about God’s sovereignty in deciding the number of children we have. (In fact, for grave reasons, couples can practice NFP – I won’t go into the details of that now, since it’s a hot topic in and of itself, but you can google it for more info – thus limiting the number of children they conceive.) Sovereignty is part of it, but the main issue for us is natural law. We believe that God designed sex for marriage and conception as an integral part of sex. If we ever use any means to divorce the sex act from conception, other than to use the natural rhythms God put in a woman’s body (ie a woman who is not ovulating or who is pregnant or infertile is still free to have sex; that was God’s design not her imposing her will), then we are misusing the gift of sex in precisely the same way we would be misusing sex if we divorced it from the marriage bed. This central teaching informs nearly all of Catholic teaching on sexuality – it is the reason the RCC rejects not only the Pill and condoms but IVF, homosexual sex acts, masturbation, pornography, surrogate pregnancy, etc.

      Now, can God establish his sovereignty in spite of any of those things? Of course, He can. But the point goes back to Christ. He didn’t test the Father. If we want to be like him, we should not try to, either.

      Anyway, hope that helps. I assume you’re not Catholic, but the RCC has a very well developed and biblical perspective on this issue, and I thought it might be helpful to share it here, given the topic under discussion.

  7. Amy says:

    Thank you for writing this. As a former birth control pill user, I was baffled when I tried to become pregnant and couldn’t. I found out that the birth control pill can cause lasting hormonal imbalances that can cause infertility. I became convicted at that moment, when I realized that our society thinks it is more important for women to be able to control their family size than for them to be able to become pregnant, that what I have been taught all my life about birth control is wrong. Like abortion, its use often comes from a selfish place in our hearts.

    I also want to thank you for not being quiet on this topic. I have found it confusing and difficult to make a decision in my own marriage when few Christian women are comfortable talking with me about it. We need to stop using the cop-out “this is between you and the Lord” and start creating a culture of discipleship. If no one talks about it, we just end up defaulting to what our society tells us to do.

  8. Rachel says:

    I’m going to echo the statements of previous commenters that this is an issue of the heart. God absolutely has the power to get around birth control, but if we don’t lovingly accept the blessing He gives us and instead complain about what a curse it is because it’s inconvenient to have a child at that time, it doesn’t give Him the glory He deserves.

    When I got pregnant with my daughter, I was newly married and using birth control and it “wasn’t a good time” to have a baby. I was so bitter to have to take on motherhood on timing I didn’t choose. It took months for my heart to be softened enough to really see the joy and blessings that came from the surprise of her conception. God took His time changing our hearts, but by the time I got my period back my husband and I agreed that God knows so much better when we need the challenge and blessing of parenthood that we shouldn’t kid ourselves and try to dictate when it “should” happen.

    This month we had a chemical pregnancy and it was amazing to see the work God has done in our hearts. A year ago we would have dreaded being pregnant when money is so tight, with a 12-month-old who doesn’t sleep through the night and an uncertain future. But the few weeks that I carried that child were joyful and exciting. I remarked on the change to my husband and he said, “I never want there to be a time in our lives when getting pregnant isn’t a good thing.” Since he said that I’ve been thinking about the blessing of children a lot and the thing that comes most clearly to me is that no matter how you have your children they will be a blessing, but when we gladly accept all the blessings and challenges of parenthood on God’s schedule we end up with something far more wonderful than we can ever imagine.

    Ultimately, I really believe that when we give God control of our fertility, the idea that we get credit for our blessings disappears. The fact that children are a gift from God becomes so obvious. And aren’t surprise gifts so much better than the ones we buy ourselves?

    That’s my heart on the matter. I hope it helped.

  9. Lindy says:

    http://conservativechristianmom.blogspot.com/2013/10/my-testimony.html

    Check out my testimony as to why I (someone who didn’t want children), stopped using birth control. You can’t say life begins at conception and say birth control is okay. Birth Control destroys a fertilized egg…if you think that fertilized egg is a life, you’re doing something to kill that baby. It’s time to look at it objectively….not doing what we want…we need to save life! I don’t want the blood of those babies on my hands!

  10. Lindy says:

    If God gave us any other blessing in life….a million dollars, our dream job, a new car, etc. We’d not think twice about receiving that blessing. But God says children are a blessing…why are we willing to accept what the world considers as blessings and not what God considers as blessings?

    I think it shows our mindset is concerned with the world and not of God.

  11. SG says:

    Do we ever really know what someone’s mindset is?

    • 6 arrows says:

      Matthew 12:34b “…for out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaketh.”

      • SG says:

        Exactly, 6 arrows. I have never heard anyone say the things described in Kelly’s post. I don’t think we should just assume we know what someone’s mindset is, as Kelly seems to be doing (no offense).Instead we should listen to their words.

        • 6 arrows says:

          SG,

          I’m not exactly sure which words of Kelly’s you are referring to, but I think there are a lot of spoken words out there that clearly exhibit a person’s birth control mindset. Words like, “You’re pregnant again? Are you crazy? What were you thinking?”

          Sometimes the words are more subtle. For example, a relatively young preacher that visited our church one time said he and his wife had been blessed with four children, and expressed (from the pulpit, mind you), with delight, “And there will be NO MORE!” As if, “Whew, glad we quit with that having children stuff!”

          The irony of that was that in that same sermon where he said the above, he preached on bringing the gospel to unreached people groups. And he was glad that he wouldn’t have any more children that could have been warriors in God’s army that could reach more of those unreached people of whom he spoke!

          I don’t think I need to say more.

          • Sarah D says:

            I know just what you’re saying, 6 arrows. We have a little girl after 2 boys and received many “You finally got your girl” comments, mostly from church people. I don’t think they realize that in saying that they are unwittingly saying, “Your second son was a mistake.” Anyway, that’s what I hear and it makes me bristle. Also, after a couple new babies were born at church and I was holding them, I had a person tell me “Now, don’t get any ideas!” (We are expecting another child now!) Of course it was in jest, but Christian people just don’t realize that they are joining the “birth control mindset”, which was the point of Kelly’s post (if I’m wrong, Kelly, correct me! =) ).
            I must admit, that I was not thrilled when I became pregnant with my second child. My first was only 10 mo at the time and *I* wanted my children spaced 24 mo! (In a way, this would be falling into the “birth control mindset” i.e. thinking I am in control of birth, even though we don’t believe in or use birth control.) After he was born, I still had a hard time with being attached to him because I, erroneously, thought I was shortchanging my first child (they are best friends). Now, my attachment to my 2nd child is very strong. Perhaps it is from feelings of guilt over not being thrilled with him at first. But, he is my child and I love him dearly. Maybe that is one of the reasons I “bristle” with the comment I mentioned above. He is not a mistake, but perfectly planned by God. I can’t imagine *not* having him, or my other children. I’m so thankful to have God in control! I just mess things up. 😉

            • 6 arrows says:

              I hear you, Sarah. My first two were a boy and a girl (“perfect” family, right?). When I got pregnant with my third, two people, a friend and a relative, asked me if my pregnancy was a mistake.

              I, myself, had a birth control mindset, too, for the first 14 years of our marriage. Those babies were going to come right when I wanted them, in my thinking.

              The day my firstborn turned one month old, I got my period back! Never expected that. About four weeks later, when I was figuring another period would be starting, nothing happened. Days went by…nothing. A week, two weeks…still nothing. I was horrified, and just cried and cried, thinking “I can’t be pregnant!” I had had a very difficult birth with my son and wasn’t completely healed. The thought of being pregnant so soon after having a baby was so difficult, I couldn’t even get myself to take a pregnancy test. I didn’t want to know.

              I kept watching for other signs of pregnancy, though, and none came. Apparently, it’s not unheard of for a woman to have a sterile (non-ovulatory) period fairly soon after childbirth, then not have any more periods for a long time — months, or even a year or more. And that is what happened to me. That one period was the only one I had until after my son’s first birthday.

              Sad state of affairs where my mind was at in those days (there are other examples of my self-centeredness regarding the blessing of children, which I won’t go into), even though I had always loved children and was thrilled about the thought of having my own one day. I just wanted them according to my terms.

              I’m so thankful how God blessed me with friends who came to understand the blessing of receiving children in God’s will and timing, and who shared their faith in Him with me. My husband and I would not have had our fourth, fifth, or sixth child had He not turned our hearts through the testimony of our friends. Like you, I can’t imagine my life without any of our six. They all are such blessings!

            • Damaris says:

              Try getting pregnant again when your first is 3 months:) now that was a surprise I wasn’t sure was even possible! Lol

  12. 6 arrows says:

    Wow, that Salon article… Pretty desperate, aren’t they, trying to come up with just the right name to describe themselves. Like doing semantic gymnastics is going to erase the reality, the horror of abortion.

    Hard to do gymnastics with your head buried in the sand…

    • Yes, excruciating. At least, though, they’re being honest about some things. At least we’re getting past the “is it a life or not” discussion and now they’re admitting that “yes, I just want to kill my baby.”

  13. Amy says:

    You often hear pro-choice rhetoric that basically says that what a pregnant woman carries is “just tissue and cells,” or “just a potential life,” or something to that effect. However, most of the people who employ these arguments usually emphasize the fact that deciding to have an abortion is a hard decision for a woman to make. My question is – why is it hard? If I found myself pregnant and for whatever reason did not want to be, and I claimed that I believe the baby is not a baby, then it seems that abortion would not be a hard decision, no harder than deciding to have my wisdom teeth taken out.

    No, I think by conceding the point that it is a hard “decision” to make, pro-choicers are unknowingly affirming that all people, regardless of their religious or political or philosophical beliefs, know that a pregnant woman is pregnant with a living child.

  14. I blogged about this on my blog, War on the Fetus. I just had my 11th child at age 44. When people ask I say, no I don’t use God-control. Or, yes I am pro-God’s choice. Glad to know I am not alone.

  15. shannon says:

    Thanks for being a voice about this Kelly! I am 31 weeks pregnant and at the point I feel horrible every day. I look at the children I already have and KNOW they are a blessing, but I’m tired. Birth control is similar to abortion-it’s all about control. Saying “here Lord, I’m giving this area to you” is sacrifice and even many Christians don’t understand the meaning of that anymore.

  16. Kaylee says:

    Wow. Thank you for posting this. It may have been for me.

  17. Nicole says:

    I have often heard the comment lately (even from our church pulpit), that “a full quiver may be 10 for you, but a full quiver is 2 or 3 for me”. I don’t think that we can idly let that comment pass by though.

    Have you ever actually shopped for bows and arrows? With lots of boys in our home, I have seen many a quiver. However, despite my best searching, I have never seen a “real” quiver (not a toy quiver, not a decorative display quiver, but an actual working quiver) that had less than 4 arrows.

    The reason for this is evident. A quiver was used to hold one’s arrows when one was in battle, or hunting. If I am in battle, I sure hope that I have more than 2 bullets to protect myself! I even hope that I have more than 2 bullets when hunting for that big game animal. When we look at the item that God used to create the analogy of the blessing of children, and consider how the people at the time would have understood that analogy, the comment from our pulpit doesn’t make sense.

    Everyone at the time would have known the value of a large and full quiver. To suggest that people at the time would have considered a “full quiver” to contain only 2 or 3 arrows is simply ludicrous. While God does not bless everyone with children, His analogy defines the blessing as many children, not simply 2 or 3.

    I too have struggled with faith in God. I have been fearful of the future, and fearful of putting my fertility into the hands of a God that I can not see or control. I was the ultimate control freak! I planned my first three children’s births out (to the month) to best arrange family birthday parties. Yikes! But I have found that He is faithful. And He is able to manage the future far better than I ever could have planned.

    I hear Amy’s (above) and others’ fears: finances, home space, van space, health problems, sleepless nights. I understand. But isn’t our God bigger than all of that?

    Yes I may have a small house, and a small income, and a small car, etc., but can’t God fix all of that? Can’t He meet my needs? And you know, I’ve found that He doesn’t first give me a huge paycheck, and huge conversion van, and then expect me to fill it up with 15 children. Instead, He gives me my daily bread. It is hard, and sometimes the stretching hurts. But Amy, Laura, trust me please, when I say that He always comes through. There are nights of setting the table, only trusting that He will deliver the meal. He always does. Abundantly!

    It seems that we are focusing on our worries, instead of aligning our hearts with what God calls a blessing. Certainly a challenge, and one I have been through! But lets not side-step these weighty issues by simply claiming this is between me, my spouse and God. The Christian life is one of discipleship, not of isolation.

    Proverbs 18:1- He who isolates himself seeks his own desire, he quarrels against all sound wisdom.”

    • 6 arrows says:

      Loved reading your post, Nicole 😉

    • (another) Laura says:

      Where does this quivering idea come from? If it actually in the Bible?

    • Sarah D says:

      I know just what you are saying, Nicole! When we had our 3rd child, we were living in an apartment. When I asked, the landlord said that technically only 4 people can live in a 2 bedroom apartment (2 people per bedroom), but the baby wouldn’t count until 1yo. 4 months after she was born, God provided a 3 bedroom house for us to rent at the same cost as our apartment. No, we didn’t go looking for a house. It was literally dropped in our laps. The house belongs to a couple from church and one day they just stopped by and asked if we’d like to move to their rental house!
      Now, we’re hoping God has something in mind for another vehicle for us. =) We’re expecting again and only have an older Ford Taurus. Thankfully, it can hold 3 carseats well, but 4 is impossible. =) I had been praying for a minivan and a house with our 3rd child, but thought the minivan was more important. God thought the house was more important! (I’m so thankful to have a washer and dryer now; the laundry mat wasn’t my favorite place to go.)
      I’ve rambled enough. It’s true: God will give you what you need when you need it. He may not be early, but He’s never late either. =)

  18. Dorathy says:

    As much as i am a christian and fallow the lord the best i can (we all struggle) i can not help but feel the way you state your words that you find my being on birth control the same as abortion. ( you do not speak for me or anyone else on their feelings of why they are on birth control) i have given god my womb. He blessed me with 7 children. 3 of them he took home to him before i was ever even able to hold them, name them or see them. i do not know his reasons i do not need to. he took 3 of them home for him to care for. one very early on, one was my son’s twin and the other in my second trimester. but he left 4 of them for me to care for. on top of his blessing of my children he gave me another blessing. my autistic daughter. raising a child is not always easy, raising one with special needs is all the more difficult. as well as takes a lot of time. I have 3 other children who need that time too. I always wanted a very large family. both my husband and i are from larger families as well. but it was with a sad heart we decided it was best for our children to not spread ourselves out to the point we feel that we are not being able to give them the fullness of our time and energy to all of them. The lord will proved but he can not provide me with more time. My husband is also in the Navy. He is gone more then he is home sadly. would you expect me to raise 10 children on my own. How much time would i be able to give to them all. my children are all individuals, not a pack of sheep. i like to have some individual time with them each when ever i can as well as our time together as a family. you compare birth control to abortion. i had to have a medically induced “abortion” via medication because in my second trimester they found out my baby died 2 months before hand and my body was not letting it go as it should. Do you have any clue how hard it is to go though that. I cried for weeks. didn’t get out of bed. you should not speak for all. when you say that birth control is like abortion and that a child conceived on birth control is an unwanted child. You do not know people’s hearts or what is in them and they feel. But the lord does.

    • She is not “speaking for all” on birth control. She is speaking for science. Both Christian and non Christians agree on how birth control works. The question is not in the science. The question is in when life begins. All scientists will tell you that birth control kills the fertilized egg…it’s no big deal to them since they do not believe that fertilized egg is a life. However, for Christians who follow the Word of God, we believe life begins at conception, so for us, it is a big deal. She’s not telling you how you should feel…she’s not speaking for you. She’s simply stating scientific fact and using the Word of God to back up her stance. Your comment should not be directed back toward her. She is simply reiterating what the Word of God says. If you believe God’s Word, then this should not be an issue. However, the problem, like most of us (including myself, who used to be on the birth control pill…we were simply uneducated. As much as I didn’t want children…and I mean I really did not want them at all…I couldn’t argue with scientific facts and what the Word of God had to say.

      I understand all of the fear you seem to have. I had all of the same thoughts…”surely God doesn’t want us to use our common sense…if we all had 20 kids, this world would be crazy overpopulated.” But I was assuming what God would think or have me do as opposed to looking to what He inspired in His Word we should do.

      It’s simple…we either listen to His Word which is CLEAR on this issue, or we justify our desires. Having lots of children will change your lifestyle, how much money you have, your social life, and more. But God blesses those who honor His Word. If you’d like to read my story, feel free to do so!
      http://conservativechristianmom.blogspot.com/2014/01/why-i-went-from-wanting-zero-babies-to.html

  19. Hannah says:

    Several years ago, my brother and I met a young lady from Germany while volunteering with a family in Israel. This family was going through a stressful time and the German lady explained to me that she thought it was because they did not practice birth control but kept having child after child (they had seven, age 14 and under). I explained to her that my parents had done the same thing in not limiting their blessings and that we had seven children in our family too. This particular Israeli family was dealing with some serious spiritual issues and it was that, not their seven children, that was causing stress in their home.

    So as I explained why we believed in not practicing birth control (or like my father says, birth prevention), it was a very surprising concept for this German lady and she finally said to me, “But if I know when I am fertile and can get pregnant, do I not also have the right to choose not to get pregnant?” In other words, if we know what we ought to do during a certain time period so that we can get pregnant, can we not use that same knowledge to control that we do not get pregnant?

    It was an interesting concept and one that I had not considered but it did not take me long to reach a conclusion and my answer to her was, “If we do not have the ability to make a pregnancy happen, then do we have the right to prevent it from happening?” How many couples try so hard to get pregnant, doing all the right things at all the right times … and they don’t get a baby? It doesn’t matter whether or not you know when you are fertile – you can’t make conception happen. Only the Heavenly Father can do that. So then – do we have the right to make it not happen?

    http://www.radicalfemininity.com,

    • Hannah,

      It is an important point that is too often missed: no one can choose to have babies, only not to have them. It begs careful thought. The main problem with the whole issue is that birth control being used as a regular means of preventing children has caused us to forget the life is from God. We think we’re the ones in control, but we can only be in control of one end of it.

      • Sarah D says:

        Wow, Hannah. I second your opinion. And Kelly- “no one can choose to have babies,…” Absolutely. We were hoping to get pregnant again, so did everything “right” when I was fertile. It didn’t happen that month. Or the next. When we realized (we’re constantly learning what it means to let God have control!) that it ultimately didn’t matter how hard we tried but was up to God, He then blessed us. I’m not saying “If you just let go, God will give another child.” God isn’t a snack machine. =) Just that we are still learning that God is in control of *everything*, whether we realize it or not.

        • Hannah says:

          I guess I’m a little sensitive about this topic because I was conceived on my parent’s honeymoon and if they had followed the advice of nearly everyone, Christians and non-Christians alike, I wouldn’t be here! I’m so thankful for their willingness to receive as many blessings as the heavenly Father wanted to to give them.

  20. […] morning, my wife posted the article “The Connection Between Birth Control & Abortion: Is the Church Really Pro-Life?” on Facebook with the comment: Food for Thought. I read it and decided it was good enough, […]

  21. Amy says:

    Commenter, Amy #4: a full quiver for you may be 5 children. A full quiver for me may be 10…..the amount in your quiver is up to God. No one who gives their fertility over to the Lord believes that every family should have “x” number of children in order to have a full quiver. If God blesses you with 2, 5, 10 or none – your quiver is full according to God.

    I don’t understand why people think that a person who has given the Lord full control over their lives believes every family should have umpteen children. Please don’t stereotype others or yourself. Be thankful for the children the Lord has provided to you to care for and be blessed in that – even if it is “only” 5.

    • Nicole says:

      But the problem with that, is that God does not give every person, EVERY blessing. There are many blessings that God distributes to His beloved, but He does not necessarily give every single blessing out there to every single person out there. So to say that I have a “full quiver of children blessings” because I have 1 or 2 children, is akin to someone saying that God has blessed them with a HUGE home when they live in a 100 square foot apartment. Yes the 1-2 children are a blessing, and yes the apartment is a blessing, but we can’t really compare that to a “full quiver” of children kind of blessing. Does that make sense?

      Nor am I saying that one blessing is superior to another type of blessing. I have a friend who was open to having as many children as God decided. They had one. They are so blessed by their son, and they recognize that God has blessed them abundantly in other ways. However they wouldn’t say that they have a “full quiver” of arrows. They would simply say that they allowed God to determine that blessing, as with all others. They are thankful for their one son, and are no less holy! I have 5 children to date, but do not consider myself holier. I am just blessed in a different way. I also wouldn’t claim that God has blessed me in every way that He has blessed them. God can be in control of blessings, and I shouldn’t get the right or power to decide what I get.

      It seems almost a bit arrogant to claim that we have received EVERY blessing that God offers.

      If we instead allow Him to bless us in whichever way HE decides, then we know that HE will determine what is best for us and our children. If it would be “bad” for me or my children to welcome another little one into our home, then isn’t God powerful enough to prevent that? Am I so wise to think that I know more than God? I may be tempted to think that my tiny brain can comprehend what is best, but “The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked; who can know it?” Jeremiah 17:9

      • Amy says:

        Nicole, respectfully disagree with you. Like your friend, I have one child, one long awaited, much loved child. I consider my quiver full because God has not given me any other children. That does not mean that I don’t desire any more children, but God has not blessed me in that way. An interesting thing that my husband told me about the full quiver thing, as I have struggled with that part of scripture is that the arrows in the quiver, no matter how many there were, needed to be very well made. That tells me that it’s important to train our children well, and that’s where our focus should lie.

        I will also say that as a parent of an only, it can be very difficult in Christian circles to not feel “less than”. I have been very blessed by God in many other ways, but most of them are not considered polite to bring into everyday conversation. And at times, my blessings of a modestly large house and a bit of disposable income, etc., are not seen by others as blessings. Rather they are seen as selfishness (must be that’s why she only has one child) or even as an indicator of being less spiritual. I realize that you are not saying this, but I have most definitely felt those attitudes from Christians, almost as if I should feel guilty for my blessings!

        I think we can agree that we do not get to choose the ways in which God blesses us, and He wants us to be thankful for what He entrusts to us.

        • Amy,

          That must be very hurtful. I want you to know that part of the belief we have in God’s sovereignty about life is that sometimes it goes the other way and He doesn’t bless with children, or with just one. I can’t pretend to know how that feels, but I hope you can find peace with that, despite what others say. Yes, for you, your quiver is full and I think Nicole would agree with that. Like you said, God has given you other blessings and I’m glad you can see that.

          • Amy says:

            Thank you, Kelly, I appreciate your words, and you are right that we need to accept God’s sovereignty on both sides of the coin. The focus just lies heavily on the side I’m not on! Regardless, I am mostly at peace, and I believe that God knows best. This is an interesting discussion, and I think you are right that most people don’t consider leaving their fertility in God’s hands. Most people would be surprised to find out that my husband and I did!

  22. SAmantha says:

    Even if you can’t afford to feed your children, you should not use birth control. God will provide.

  23. Julia says:

    Thank you for the article Kelly, it is encouraging! My husband and I came to the same conviction about 2 years ago after studying the issue for 2 years. We have 4 children and I am only 28, sometimes I do feel fearful about how many children we may have and the challenges that we may face. The reality is though that I may NEVER conceive again; we have known of families that seemed very fertile, but then all of the sudden it was gone. I appreciate your blog and your faithfulness to the Lord greatly, I am so often encouraged to keep going in my role as wife and mother, by the things you post. It is also very encouraging to know that there are other people that share our convictions, because we don’t personally have any friends or acquaintances that do. So thank you again for continuing to write about the “hot button” topics!

  24. I love the title of this post. I too wish the church were really more pro-life and embracing the blessing of children and not just anti-abortion. I recently wrote a similar blog post at the link below:

    http://www.righttome.com/2013/10/26/pro-choice-vs-pro-life-where-do-you-draw-the-line/

  25. […] The Link Between Birth Control & Abortion: Is the Church Really Pro-Life? from Generation Cedar (discusses how the birth control mindset leads to smaller families) […]

  26. John says:

    I came across this older post while doing some research. I was saddened to see so many groping for the truth wondering if the “church” was pro-life, not realizing of course that there is only one Church founded by Christ on Peter and the Apostles (Mt. 16:18, 18:18) and She is most definitely “pro-life” and has never wavered, even though many others who claim the sacred name of Christ abandoned this position long ago. Please, recognize the true Church. Deep down, you all know who She is. In case no one has ever invited you to follow Christ in his one, holy, catholic and apostolic Church, please consider yourselves cordially invited. Accept no substitues because, actually, there are none.

  27. Amy P. says:

    I very much appreciated your article. I am a mother of six and expecting twins in Nov. I honestly don’t have tons of time to put together all I have to say. I absolutely believe in proper stewardship of parenting and child spacing. It is a very personal decision between spouses and God. It requires much prayer and discernment. I DO also firmly believe using any device/pill/etc. to prevent pregnancy is immoral and a sin. I’m not exactly sure why this is the only part of the birth control picture you do not agree with. I’m sure you’ve heard all the arguments for this before, especially if you’ve read much by Janet Smith. Any act of intercourse that is purposefully sterilized changes the meaning of the whole act. It isn’t giving your whole self to your spouse. It says, I give you everything but I hold back my fertility from you. It also removes God from the equation by removing the procreative part of the act. NFP allows every act to follow the principles of what God created sex to be. Periodic abstinence is a time of fasting and prayer for the spouses if you feel it is a time in your marriage to postpone having a child. Choosing to abstain for a time of prayer and coming back together when your time of fertility has passed is definitely not the same as sterilizing the act. NFP isn’t always easy to practice, I’ve experienced that myself. Nothing that is worthwhile and Holy is going to be easy but can transform you in amazing ways to be more Christlike. Also, it’s always interesting to note that ALL contraception was condemned by every Christian faith until the 1930’s. If it wasn’t morally acceptable then, why now? Did God change His mind or have we been duped by the culture and insist on something that is easy and convenient? I believe it is the latter. Thanks for speaking up on a very hard territory!

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