This is article could stir up some strong feelings. It concerns whether or not a married couple should use birth control. More specifically, should a Christian married couple use birth control? But it’s one we need to address. It’s the “elephant in the room” concept where it’s difficult to ignore it being there. It needs to be acknowledged, and discussed. In a ministry that deals with marriage, it’s difficult NOT to cover the issue of birth control. It’s a necessary decision to make. You need to consider if using birth control is a viable choice for you as a married couple to use it or not.
From time-to-time we will receive emails from people (primarily women) asking whether it’s biblical to use birth control. Our answer is, “that depends.” The following is part of a response I sent out to someone asking our opinion on this:
Should a Christian Married Couple Use Birth Control?
As for your question about it being “wrong” if you use birth control, I have to say that I see nothing in the Bible that would make one think it’s biblically wrong. And I’ve looked because we’ve had many, many other inquiries about this. Birth control, as long as it doesn’t take the life of the baby (like having an abortion) is something I believe as a follower of Christ, is wise and isn’t against God’s will for us. That is, unless He individually shows us otherwise.
God created sex for many reasons. And one of them is for pleasure and intimate connectiveness with our covenant marriage partner. He wants us to enjoy having sexual relations within marriage with our spouse. This can bring us closer to each other. It’s actually a sacred act within marriage. (We have several articles on our web site in the Sexual Issues topic on this subject.)
In the book, A Celebration of Sex: A Guide to Enjoying God’s Gift of Sexual Intimacy, which is a Christian book by Dr Douglas E Rosenau, there are several pages dedicated to birth control.
Part of what he says is this:
“The Genesis passage of being fruitful and multiplying is in the context of God’s giving humankind control of the natural world. We are to be wise stewards of the children God places in our care. To choose to have one or two or five has to be a thoughtful and prayerful decision. You as a couple will have to sort through which method of birth control best fits you as you consider personal sensitivities and values.
“…It is good for all of us to remember that God values family and procreation with the planting of seed and the possibility of contraception. Thinking through birth control requires us to sort through our theology of procreation and life, and the deeper meaning of lovemaking in God’s overall sexual economy.”
God gave us a brain to think with and use. And if we don’t think that it would be a good idea to have a baby at this time (or ever) we need to pray about it. We need to see if this lines up with God’s will for our lives. We should use our God-given wisdom to use something that will prevent pregnancy, if it’s needed. Every baby that comes into this world should be seen as being a blessing. He or she should be one that we are prepared to care for and raise as the Lord would have us. If we aren’t ready to have a child or we think we might not be good parents then we need to be wise and consider using birth control.
Sometimes God Overrides Preventative Actions
If, on the other hand, you become pregnant because the birth control didn’t work, then you need to view it as God’s way of telling you that He will help you to love and care for this baby. You did your part to prevent an unwanted pregnancy. But if God over-rides your preventative actions, then this would be God’s will for you. You would then lovingly raise the child the Lord has decided to give you.
As for the type of birth control and other related questions you may have, I advise you to put “Birth Control for Christians” into your search engine of your computer. I put that term into a search engine and quite a few articles came up. They look to be very interesting and helpful to read.
Know Your Options
I believe as you read through what God inspires you to read, you will eventually know what God’s will is in this area of your life. As you read each one, pray as to what God would want YOU to do. There are many opinions as to what may be the best birth control method. But trust God to show you what would work best for your family.
Please enjoy having sexual relations with your husband. And if God leads you to, I hope you will use whatever birth control God shows you is OK. I believe you are being a wise if you pray over whether or not having more children will work for you in your marriage. The Bible says that there is a “season for everything under heaven.” I believe there is a season to be “fruitful and multiply.” But there is also a season to stop the harvest.
Further Help on Birth Control Topic
So, to help you with this question, we’re listing links to some helpful articles. You will find many different perspectives. We encourage you to prayerfully read each article:
• CONTRACEPTION AND REPRODUCTIVE TECHNOLOGIES: Are they OK?
• CAN CHRISTIANS USE BIRTH CONTROL?
• BIRTH CONTROL (A Christian Perspective)
• SILENT VOICES: BIRTH CONTROL
We have one last consideration we hope you’ll pray about concerning this issue. Please read Romans 14 and 1 Corinthians 10 in your Bible. Within these scriptural passages, the issue is raised on certain practices such as eating meat sacrificed to idols. The issue at hand was whether this was permissible for followers of Christ. From what I read, the message is that “it depends.” This is just as we said at the beginning of this article. “Everything is permissible. But not everything is beneficial. Everything is permissible —but not everything is constructive.” (1 Corinthians 10:23)
Ask God for Wisdom
It’s a matter of praying, reading and discussing together what you perceive God is telling YOU as marriage partners. And then go in the direction God leads on this matter. When you ask for wisdom, consider all the facts. Ask God for clarification for your life path together with Him. And then you will be able to make the right decision.
Please know that for all who read this, we are asking God to “fill you with the knowledge of His will through all spiritual wisdom and understanding. And we pray this in order that you may life a life worthy of the Lord and may please Him in every way: bearing fruit in every good work, growing in the knowledge of God.” (Colossians 1:9-10)
Cindy Wright of Marriage Missions International wrote this article.
If you have additional tips you can share to help others, please “Join the Discussion” by adding your comments below.
More from Marriage Missions
Filed under: Sexual Issues
5 responses to “Birth Control: Should We Use It as a Christian Married Couple?”
(USA) You say: “I see nothing in the Bible that would make one think it’s biblically wrong (and I’ve looked because we’ve had many, many other inquiries about this). Birth control, as long as it doesn’t take the life of the baby (like having an abortion).”
If you mean the “pill.” American Society of Reproductive Medicine Statement Confirms the Pill Causes Abortion. Here’s the website: http://www.epm.org/artman2/publish/prolife_birth_control_pill/ASRM_Confirms_Pill_Causes_Abortion.shtml
This is definitely the best article I’ve read on this subject. I believe that as Christians we need to stand together on the foundations and in other areas that are not as clear cut, or a matter of personal choice and prayer with God we need to exercise Christian love and understanding.
I’m engaged to be married and my fiance and I decided against any form of birth control. I’m happy with our decision. I’ve been told that we can always change our minds and I appreciate that. Most of the people I know use BC and I respect their choice. However we are not even married and we have been heavily criticized by family and friends for this decision… some of them Christians. Thankfully my immediate family understands and supports us. We try to encourage each other often on why we believe God has directed us this way. I come from a large family and I have a first hand experience with how things are possible to be provisional and blessed even if parents don’t use birth control.
But it has been very hurtful to be judged as foolish and irresponsible by Christians, just as I imagine the reverse side of being judged for using BC would be. I write this just to encourage people to support couples whatever they decide and let it remain between the couple and their God.
Thank you Erica, I hope those around you will eventually allow you and your husband-to-be to make your own decisions without polluting them with their own bent on matters. It’s one thing to express their opinion, but it’s another to criticize those who differ from their way of approaching these issues. You’ve prayed and talked together, so whatever you decide should be good enough for them. I pray the Lord leads you to find those who are like-minded (especially those with Christian values) so you can stand stronger when others criticize. May God bless you in your upcoming marriage and family life.
Thank you Cindy, it always helps to have a little encouragement. I suppose I was just surprised by some of the responses we’ve received. But all in all I still love them and me and my fiance will do what we think is best.
I salute all people interested in this topic. I am of the concerned married person and a Christian believer. My question is, control of birth as Christ believes is it not trying to control God on what the Bible says go and be fruitful? I am not trying to tell him which time is the best for as to conceive? When we say it’s not like abortion but we prevent knowingly that when allowed it will a human created in Gods image. Note that being fruitful it’s not mans will but God’s. I am saying personally because as a couple we don’t know what to do and we need help – advice.