Hey, Wait! We Haven’t Talked About Birth Control!

Let’s get that ball rolling, shall we?

Expressing even the mildest opinion on the internet opens one up to the possibility of being misunderstood–or worse, understood quite well, even when attempting to obfuscate. I get emails from readers and drive-by web surfers asking my opinion of weighty issues a lot more often than I should think I deserve. I’m just a third-rate mommy blogger. Why are you asking me? I assume it’s because I have a lovely blog header and matching buttons (from this wonderful web design gal) and it makes me look more professional than I can ever hope to be. Whatever the reason, I never write anything without trying to anticipate how it’s going to affect readers, because it’s obvious that people are taking my words to heart.

Questions I get range from “When are you going to die, you filthy breeder, because I’d really like the chance to spit on your grave while it’s still fresh?” to “Do you think I should stop using birth control?” The trolls don’t keep me up at night (they never demonstrate enough intelligence to make me think they even understand why they’re angry at me), but the questions from real people with real lives who could suffer real consequences from putting too much stock in my words certainly do. With the warning that any credibility the reader gives me is at her own risk, I often answer these emails with my opinions on what people should consider when making these decisions. The one thing I haven’t done, to date, is tell anyone that birth control is a sin.

Long ago (in blog years), I mentioned that I think birth control is one of the biggest tragedies ever to befall humanity. I’m not alone in that belief. The man who, along with two others, invented the birth control pill isn’t exactly proud of his accomplishment, either. Between that and the fact that I’ve arranged so many pixels in the shape of pro-child, and pro-large-family thoughts, it should be obvious that I do think there is something wrong with birth control, even though I’ve never addressed the subject directly.

Now, maybe that something wrong is wrong in the sense that corn syrup is what’s wrong with the American diet. Or maybe that something wrong is a great moral failing that needs to be corrected. Maybe it’s somewhere in between, in the no-man’s-land where it’s impossible to please anyone. I’ve never said (yet) one way or the other. Since I’m not Catholic, I don’t have the luxury of pointing to the Pope and saying “There! He made me think it!” I wish I did, because it would be a lot easier to say that my religion says it’s a sin and call it a day. No noodling required!

Lacking that easy out, I’m left with only two resources, one fallible, and one infallible. The Bible is the only place one can go to find out what is and isn’t a sin, and it is completely correct. My brain, on the other hand, fails me at least hourly—and that’s only the times I notice it. I can, and do, consult other, better thinkers than myself (yes, including Catholic ones), but–compared to God, at least–they’re as dumb as I am, so they’re not much help.

So what do I think of birth control? Well, I’m not going to tell you today, because one blog post isn’t going to be enough space, and you probably don’t care that much anyway. I will answer the question, though, since it is so often asked of me.

First I want to lay out this teaser and open up the comments to your opinions. Not that I’m likely to be swayed by them, at this point, but lay ‘em on me. Just know that any comment you leave me could end up pulled into a subsequent post (respectfully, I promise), so go anonymous if you’re thin-skinned or don’t really believe in the strength of your position.

Ready? (Read the comment policy.) Set? (Really think about what you’re about to say.) Go! (Leave a comment.)

Comments on this entry are closed.

  • Whitney
    Twitter: luckystars54
    February 29, 2012, 3:43 pm

    I used birth control for many years, it did not bode well with my body, maybe because our bodies are not meant to have those hormones (or whatever is in the newest stuff). In my opinion, God didn’t create the pill or any of the other things, humans did to profit. Period end of story. I also don’t believe there is much of a difference between the morning after pill and birth control (thanks to Dr. Ron Paul). To each their own, but I no longer believe in using it in my life.

  • Mary Jo February 29, 2012, 3:45 pm

    =) Oh, Cindy, you always make me smile!!! I doubt that anything I post here will keep you up at night, but I will be praying that God gives you much grace and wisdom as you tackle this nasty subject.

    Oh, and thanks for the heads-up about the coolio buttons and blog headers. Maybe that explains why no one takes me seriously…

    • Cindy February 29, 2012, 4:04 pm

      I can certainly use your prayers. Grace and wisdom are two things in short supply around here most days. :-)

  • Ani
    Twitter: anilacy
    February 29, 2012, 3:46 pm

    I absolutely abhors hormonal birth control (though for non-religious reasons) but what about natural family planning (charting, etc)? Do the biblical reasons against birth control extend to ALL means of limiting pregnancyy/birth?

    • Cindy February 29, 2012, 4:03 pm

      That’s a good question! And one of the many reasons I need (at minimum) 23 posts to hash it all out. Fertility and family planning is a huge subject!

    • Stephanie @ The Brunette Foodie March 1, 2012, 9:25 am

      I’m Catholic, and while I know Cindy and some of her readers aren’t, the Catholic Church teaches that NFP/charting is acceptable. There is a Bible reference in our Catechism, but I’m too lazy to walk across the room and look it up ;) The reason being that you are still showing you are open to life – there is no artificial barrier preventing pregnancy.

      That said, the Catholic Church also teaches NFP should only be used when the married couple cannot reasonably have a child at that time. It doesn’t define what that is though, because every family and couple are so different. So, for example, if you use NFP because you have a 10 month old and can’t emotionally or physically handle another one right now that is okay. It is also totally fine to use it if you are financially strapped or maybe your spouse is leaving for deployment, etc. Really there is a lot of room for self-reflection there.

      Cindy, great post. I’m also very anti-birth control. Aside from the fact a lot of it acts as an abortificient, it really can cause havoc on a woman’s body and health.

  • Karen February 29, 2012, 3:53 pm

    Well….since you asked :) I am so very thankful that over 15 years ago, my Husband and I were convicted against using it! We had four children, two boys and two girls…the perfect family according to many and way over populated according to others :P AND THEN…..I started reading..yes, reading everything I could about a full quiver….um five is it? well okay maybe we need to have one more…and then we would have the “full quiver” We said okay we will not use birth control for the next one….and we waited, and prayed and waited and researched and said oh our hearts aren’t right…we need to say we won’t use it…EVER :O gasp! and then we waited again, and yes five and half years later the Lord blessed us! And oh did we rejoice and then we questioned and trusted and had another two years later and another and then five year after that another…yes at ages 45 &48 we gave birth to our last…and do we still wait hoping and asking…yes, because when you turn it over to the Lord HE blesses YOU! Would I change it ever or do it differently?! No…never! I am so thankful that we said yes and we are so thankful for four more boys that have filled our lives. We are blessed beyond words! Would I tell others not to use birth control…..never, would I let them know how much we have been blessed YES! We are all given wisdom, ask for it and then pray…pray and trust! What a gift God does to your heart…when you TRUST

    • Cindy February 29, 2012, 4:06 pm

      What a sweet testimony! I think you probably know where I’m going. My goodness, it would be easy to just say “Yeah, what Karen said.” and talk about something less controversial for a while. ;-)

  • Terri Edwards February 29, 2012, 4:18 pm

    Yay! I love to see people boldly proclaim the truths of God’s Word! It is so wonderful to meet folks online that God has shown their sins too, and caused them to repent and forgiven them! We were once faithful believers of 2 is enough for us. Well, you know, we had all the excuses- I had severe migraines, and it surely wasn’t right to continue to take migraine medications while pregnant, and the migraines didn’t exactly give me a choice. Then there was the income issue, we just couldn’t afford more children, you know! I had to work to pay for my migraine meds, they were so expensive!! Skip down the road 2 years, and God called my husband and I to repentance and salvation. WoW!! God swept us off of our feet with MAJOR heart changes!! (Praise Him, He is sooo wonderful, isn’t he?!) The first thing God did was use His Holy Spirit to give us a desire to know HIS stance on birth control. Oh, it was such a struggle, to repent of this sin! Our sin was not just being greedy, or not loving children, but it was the sin of not trusting Him fully, also. We wanted so much to trust in our own wisdom, which God warns us about repeatedly. But, you see, we had no idea what plans God had for us for the future. My migraines got worse (I know now that it was from stress from fighting God(on other things as well!) We finally obeyed the Holy Spirit, and gave our womb to the Lord, not trusting Him was not an option. My husband then was led by the Holy Spirit to insist that I had no business not being at home, raising our children. So, like the great wife I was, I insisted on continuing to work, because we had bills that had to be paid. :) (More migraines, more often!!) The Lord continued to work on our hearts, and gave us a great desire to have another baby, but He did not give us a baby right then. I was having migraines 3-4 times a week at this point, and was taking meds to prevent them, for a week. I was trying my best to research if it was safe to be taking these things, but I had a major lack of brain function while on them, and the Lord allowed me to see that by taking away the feeling in my fingers and feet, and making me so sleepy that I could barely function. I stopped taking the meds, and the Holy Spirit urged me that me not honoring my husband’s wishes, and God’s wishes for me to be at home raising our children was the cause of my migraines. After about 2 days of deep discussion with God and my husband, I went into work and gave my notice. Wouldn’t you know that was what God wanted me to do all along!? My migraines dramatically decreased from that point, form 3-4 a week, to 1 a month!! (I had nutrition issues to deal with as well, but more on that in a minute) I continued to work, for 4 more weeks, until I had trained my replacement. The day I went in to pick up my last paycheck was the morning we found out that God had blessed us with another child- do the math, He knit together a child in our womb the same week I gave my notice at work (just realized this!) ;)
    Now, about those nutrition issues I had that caused the rest of my migrianes– Fast forward 11 months. We had a beautiful newborn son! At his 2 month checkup, he had a routine vaccination. 2 weeks later he had a severe reaction from the toxins in it. The doctors were NO help in getting to the bottom of it. We were stuck, on our own to figure out how to heal him without causing more damage. So, my new job became researching about vaccines, and weeping eczema, and gut imbalances. God used this child to teach me sooo many things about how He designed the human body, and how drugs and poisons in the foods we were eating not only made our sons issues worse, but ALSO continued to give me migraines! This child was truly a blessing of our new relationship with Christ! Had we continued to ignore God, and live in sin, not trusting HIS plans for our lives, I’m 100% certain, I’d still be miserable with migraines. So for folks out there who say that the numbers won’t add up financially for more children- I can promise you that they never will. They won’t because God is the one controlling the numbers. We have just had our 5th blessing added to our family, and EVERY time God blesses us with another child, He also provides for this child to be taken care of, in unexpected ways, every time. God holds the plans in His hands, and we cannot possibly know what He has in store for us!

    • Cindy February 29, 2012, 4:37 pm

      Congratulations on #5! My midwife once asked me if I ever planned to stop. I told her “I can’t imagine saying ‘No, God, I don’t think these blessings are the ones I want. I think I’ll take over now.’ Of course, I do plan to stop. My body can’t keep this up forever!

  • Stef Layton February 29, 2012, 4:21 pm

    sigh, I was an early birth control user in high school because of my horribly heavy menstrual cycle. (as in skip 3 months on 42 days). I was anemic, having accidents, and horribly uncomfortable. Crazy cycle lead to endometriosis that went untreated for 4 years (because 15 years ago they weren’t real sure about that).

    needless to say – after accepting Christ and not trusting God with our family size – I went back on the pill after my second son. During a family vacation I forgot to unpack my pills and 2 weeks later got pregnant. Sadly, my daughter’s heart did not develop (because the pill was still in my system) and she died at 16 weeks gestation. So – ask me 4 years ago I would have said I didn’t care – ask me today and I’ll cry you a river how much I hate “the pill” and how much I hate not trusting God for our family size.

    • kelli- AdventurezInChildRearing
      Twitter: AdventurzNchild
      March 4, 2012, 11:23 am

      hugs to you Stef Layton, thank you for sharing your pain – it is an obvious and clear picture to any who have doubts as to what CAN happen. So sorry you went through this pain. So sad that people don’t understand what the pill is really doing inside their bodies.

  • Chris C February 29, 2012, 4:40 pm

    I’m here for the first time via mostly lurking @smockity frocks, and I’m interested and will be reading more. One thing I would like to throw in here is that I would also go straight to source for an answer – nothing like asking God… I believe he convicted me to trust him in His plan for my life – entirely – but if someone is really not sure, that’s where I would point them. Looking forward to reading more :)

  • Jennifer February 29, 2012, 4:45 pm

    I have a strong dislike for birth control. I can only speak for myself from personal experience, but it quite possibly has been the worst thing for me. EVER. I have never used it, however, to control pregnancy. Go figure, huh? Not long after puberty hit I was on the depo shot to “regulate” me. I was on it for years, and then when I got married and wanted to have babies it was a nightmare!! It took my husband and I two years to conceive our son (he is now 6). I now have PCOS and Endometriosis, and have been on numerous pills and treatments since then to control all the symptoms. There is a strong chance I may never have another, and it just breaks my heart. I always wanted to have children, and I am so blessed with my son. But we would love to have more. I just have a strong feeling that some of the early treatments led me to this place. I pray everyday for healing to get off these pills but after a few weeks the pain is so intense that I can’t get out of bed so back on I go. I would love to hear your opinion, and some of the others. If anyone has been in the place I am I would love to hear what helped you get through!

    • Bri February 29, 2012, 5:04 pm

      I haven’t had to be on lots of treatments, but have been diagnosed with PCOS (mine must be pretty mild). However, I can totally understand the heartbreak of realizing you might not have more children. I cried for weeks when my husband told me he wanted to wait before trying for more children (we have 2 that are 13 months apart…and I call my miracle babies). I feel like trying to not get pregnant is like saying we don’t want kids since it took so much for us to get pregnant the first time.

      • Jennifer February 29, 2012, 6:24 pm

        I think most of my trouble is the Endo :( My doc has started talking about a hysterectomy and I am only 27 years old! I totally understand how you feel, and even now I struggle listening to others talk about abortion, birth control, family planning…it all gets to be too much! I will pray for you, PCOS is not fun at all. And thank you so much for your comments :)

        • Chris C March 1, 2012, 5:21 am

          Jennifer, I had PCOS and because I did not want to take a hormonal ‘pill’ I used something called Metformin instead – the big benefit was that it helped me to concieve, as well as deal with many of the issues of PCOS (apart from the increased hair). It is very difficult to deal with PCOS and so many times it feels like you are in a vicious cycle – unable to escape. I do understand – I was told straight out that I just would not be able to have children (1 year and 3 days before I gave birth to my first girl on Christmas Day) but I had a long walk through a valley before I got my miracle. I understand the despair. If you haven’t before – do take a look at the research concerning Metformin… with much love <3

        • Clara February 1, 2013, 1:40 pm

          You don’t need a hysterectomy to treat Endometriosis. I have/had stage 4 Endometriosis and I had surgery to remove it all. I am still trying to get pregnant, but God willing, we will soon. We are working on improving hormone levels and diet.

          Please check into NaPro Technology (Natural Procreative Technology). It is a holistic women’s healthcare: it seeks to treat the causes of infertility, not just the symptoms. NaPro doctors use special surgical techniques to help women with Endo and PCOS. Taking pills never treats Endometriosis-the only way to treat it is to physically remove the endometriosis through surgery.

          http://www.naprotechnology.com/

          • Cindy February 1, 2013, 1:44 pm

            Very interesting. Thank you! I hope you find yourself puking and craving strange foods very soon!

    • Emily Lynn Nelson January 17, 2013, 3:00 pm

      Oh, please, please don’t use the pill or have a hysterectomy for your miserable cycle! The reason that menstration can be so painful for some of us is because our bodies are missing vital nutrients that it needs to “reboot” us during our period. PLEASE look into natural solutions as soon as you are able. I spent almost 8 years on Depo, not realizing the damage I was doing to my young body. The toxins that build up in your system are damaging, and without cleansing your body, you cannot support life. Also, chiropractic work is extremely good for women trying to conceive. Your body needs to be able to use minute muscle contractions to ovulate and having a straight back and loose muscles allows for optimal ovulation. For natural cycle balancing issues, check out the information on The Bulk Herb Store:
      I’m currently taking the HB/T & C Formula combination from Mountain Meadow Herbs and having great success. God bless you all, ladies. I pray God grants you wisdom as you research ways to care for the vessel He has given you.

  • Nicky February 29, 2012, 4:47 pm

    We stopped using it many moon ago because we discovered that hormonal birth control can cause “abortions”. Through God’s process we stopped using birth control all together. Believe me. As I enter my 40’s this,because of all the scary things that “THEY” talk about,is not as exciting as it was when I was in my 20’s.But here’s what I figure,if God did not intend for me to continue having children he would have me go into menopause. So,I have to trust his plan.End of story.

    • Erin March 5, 2012, 2:18 pm

      That’s exactly how I feel. At 38, I’m pregnant with our sixth child. Suddenly, because of my “advanced maternal age” paranoia has set in. It’s early enough that I haven’t yet gone to doc. I had complications with #5 (at age 36) and the OB was annoyed that I hadn’t had genetic testing done early in pregnancy. Not to abort, but b/c down syndrome babies often have heart problems and our rural hospital doesn’t want to handle that. Sadly what “they” say can get in my mind and drown out what God says causing stabs of fear in my heart.

  • Gail @ The Imperfect Housewife February 29, 2012, 4:48 pm

    First, you are a brave woman! ;) I admire you for that. Second, I used birth control our first year of marriage. It did not settle well with me at all, in any way, even though it was the lowest dose possible. As soon as we had our first child (My 1 year anniversary gift was to go off b.c.) I decided I would never go back! We have 5 wonderful blessings, and should the Good Lord choose to bless us, I will gladly accept. I am not a planner, at all, and so after our first we have done nothing to prevent us from conceiving a child. Honestly, My youngest is almost 8 months old and this is the longest I’ve gone without being pregnant. It’s weird. ;) I can’t wait to read more!

  • Steph @ MomKaboodle
    Twitter: momkaboodle
    February 29, 2012, 4:51 pm

    I’m assuming that this extends to all preventative methods….including condoms?
    Here’s the thing. Cindy, I love your writing. I lurk here frequently, though I don’t always comment. (I’m not as good at articulating my thoughts as you are!)
    I’ve read your stance on large families, but I still think that not everyone is made to have them. On my dreamy days, I think it would be wonderful to have a passel of children. But I have 2, and I feel overwhelmed, under-equipped, and totally swamped. And I kinda’ suck at this mommy thing.
    My hubby (who is not a believer) is DONE. No more kids, period. (though I still tease him about a late-in-life baby….and if that’s God’s will…well, I’m all for it).
    But as of this moment in time, God has not changed my heart or his in favor of having more kids. So yes, we choose to take preventative measures (that don’t include adding extra hormones).
    Just my 2 cents….

  • Stephanie February 29, 2012, 4:55 pm

    I am very interested in what you write. I have often wondered what is right and really have just decided to follow my husband’s lead (we wont’ use anything hormonal since we believe it is abortificant).

  • Dawn Wright February 29, 2012, 4:56 pm

    He he he he he…..I just have to say. I LOVE IT!!!!!

    Since it is impossible physically for me to have children- unless by a miracle of the LORD of course!! I am unaffected myself, but I do believe that it is not good for someone’s body to make it do the opposite of what it is created!

  • Bri February 29, 2012, 4:59 pm

    My husband and I feel very convicted to not use birth control pills (for both religious and health concerns…my body REALLY disagrees with artificial hormones). One thing that I would love to hear others opinions on is within the idea of NFP ways of controlling family size.

    I have a very close friend with PCOS (I have it also) whose health REALLY suffers when she isn’t on the pill b/c it’s so hard for her to control her symptoms. I know we live in a fallen world and with that comes sickness and damage, so I understand how she feels about taking it (she isn’t right now, but has been really ill off and on for months). How do you feel about this issue and can you point me to anything in the Bible that might help her in her situation or help me to understand when the use of birth control *might* possibly be a good thing?

    My other question is regarding myself. I am almost 27 and have two wonderful little boys (13 months apart). Both were born via c-section. My odds of a VBA2C are slim (and that might be a little higher than they really are) in the area where we live. At some point I do need to think about the toll multiple surgeries will take on my body and the safety risks they might pose. I’m not terribly worried, but don’t really know what to say when family members talk to me about this. Again, I would love Biblical references or experience anyone has in this area. Thank you for tackling such a “dangerous” subject! If we are going to be pro-life, we need to live that out daily! The odds of abortions when on the pill are astronomical!

    Btw…you probably know this, but when I learned it I cried off and on for days. The “mini-pill” (progesterone only) that is often prescribed to women who are breastfeeding after birth, does NOT prevent your body from ovulating! It broke my heart b/c our second son was conceived when our first was 5 months old, two months after going off the mini-pill, and in the cycle following my 1st period after my son’s birth. It pains me to think that we could have lost him due to our use of the pill…one or two more weeks and we may not have our little firecracker around now. It was a heartbreaking thought!

    • Kimberly February 29, 2012, 5:39 pm

      When our 3rd child was about 2 months old, I went back to my doctor to check and see if some ovarian cysts had returned. I was on the “mini-pill” because the thought of having 2 babies so close together terrified me. When my doc did the sonogram he noticed that my ovaries were nice and “ripe”. When he saw the shocked look on my face, he said “Don’t worry. The pill keeps the lining of your uterus so thin that a fertilized egg would not be able to implant.”. I was devastated! To think that I could have conceived a child and been responsible for it’s inability to survive! That was not at all my intention! That night my husband and I decided that we will NEVER use birth control pills again. We will only use NFP from here on out . . . which terrifies me since I’m due to have baby #4 in a few weeks and have no idea what we’re going to do while I’m breastfeeding! I’m very interested in hearing more insight from you and the other commenters!

    • Autumn February 29, 2012, 10:17 pm

      I wanted to respond to you Bri…. because I do have experience in this area unfortunately…. :(
      I have 3 beautiful children… they were all born via C-section…. My first baby, a boy, was 10 lbs a week early…. so my next 2 c-sections were scheduled as I was told a v-bac would be unlikely. My 2nd c-section went smoothly, had a beautiful baby girl …. Then 2 years later I was pregnant with our 3rd… and talking to my doctor about how many babies she thought I could safely have… I knew there was going to be a limit since they were c-sections… she said I was in such fabulous shape and had such easy pregnancies that she saw no problem with me having at least 5!
      I was so happy…. I had never used birth control we left it to the Lord….. WELL….. during my 3rd c-section, when she made the first cut she saw that I had an EXTREME amount of scar tissue….. she couldn’t get to the uterus and had to make a vertical incision to my navel. That is where it got very interesting! My placenta was in the front, meaning she had to cut through it to get to the baby, she started yelling, they dragged my husband out of the room and paged 2 more doctors….. I hemmoraged , the baby was stuck…. My doctor, a lovely christian woman, was screaming and praying… I was scared to death and had 4 nurses pounding on me to get the baby out…. Long story short….. My baby girl was fine and healthy at 9 lbs 1 oz….. I was forced to have a tubal ligation as they said I could never carry another baby….. so at 28 yrs old I lost my ability to have another child.
      So there are definite concerns with c-sections/scar tissue and limiting pregnancies accordingly!

      • Janelle March 1, 2012, 12:20 am

        I’m so sorry for you. I know that all of these things are in the Lord’s hands, but when things like that happen so suddenly, I can imagine that it would be very difficult to deal with. Thank God that your little girl was fine and that you recovered well. C-sections are definitely a reason for limiting family size, I believe. I have a friend who has had 5. She also is in really good shape (she’s a personal trainer), but they took measures to have no more children due to the 5 c-section fact. I know women can have more children, but it’s a risk one has to weigh heavily.

  • dweej {House Unseen}
    Twitter: HouseUnseen
    February 29, 2012, 5:03 pm

    I love your heart and your writing style, Cindy! Full disclosure: I am a convert to the Catholic church, but even if the Church didn’t decry its use, I still wouldn’t use artificial birth control:

    1) The Pill is anti-woman.
    “Women should make themselves infertile using such large quantities of artificial hormones that the risk of deadly breast cancer is increased by 400% just so that men can enjoy sex fully and whenever they like without having to ‘worry’ about whether or not a baby will be conceived.” Why should I alter myself, damage my body, and risk preventable cancer just so someone else can enjoy all the pleasures of sex without the natural results- children?

    2) The widespread use of The Pill has increased the number of abortions.
    Because The Pill gives a false sense of security about its effectiveness in preventing pregnancy, the people who get pregnant while on it are almost always shocked. “What??? I had sex and made a baby???? But I was on The Pill!”. These types of unplanned pregnancies result in abortion far more frequently than a pregnancy, planned or unplanned, that is achieved when hormonal birth control isn’t in use. Not using artificial birth control forces you to learn about how your body is made, to consider what God is calling you to do in your life, practice self-control when necessary, and be open to His will whenever possible. Someone who is doing all of those things is extremely unlikely to seek an abortion.

    3) NFP is free and totally in our hands
    I am a real cheapskate. I refuse to spend money for a drug that is not 100% effective, does not prevent, detect, nor cure disease, increases the risk of cancer and has been recalled more than once in the last few weeks for “errors” in manufacture. When we take the initiative to know how our bodies work and work with our spouses to make Godly choices, we don’t have to worry about whether or not some dude at Pfizer put our pills in the right order. And we don’t have to fork over any cash, either!

    Sorry for the world’s longest comment :)

    I’m super excited about your follow-up post!

  • Lindsey February 29, 2012, 5:34 pm

    I was just bantering with my husband about this over the weekend. We have two children and, until about two years ago, I had used hormonal birth control in various forms since my late teen years. However, I began to realize that I didn’t have to feel as crazy as the pills were making me feel and I went off of it. We’ve used condoms ever since and our sex life has suffered for it.

    Well, now he wants a vasectomy, which I find more than a little extreme. So, I went in the opposite direction and said that all forms of birth control should be deemed illegal, at the very least for people who weren’t married. I didn’t *quite* mean it, as I was trying to get a rise out of him, but let’s think about it for a moment.

    Before the pill, women did not have sex quite so flippantly, so I hear. Before the pill, the divorce rate was much lower. Before the pill, there were no discussions about “when” life began.

    People say that our birth rate is too high and families should be more “responsible” in not producing too many children. HOWEVER, I say that if there wasn’t so much flippant sex flying around, then we wouldn’t have near as many societal problems as we have today. And, flippant sex is caused by the lax attitude that society has adopted ever since the pill became as popular as M&Ms.

    As for myself, we will likely continue using non-hormonal, non-intrusive birth control methods because my husband and I disagree. I would love to have as many children as God sends our way, but DH is the moneymaker and thinks it is wise for us to have only two. Yet, I continue to ask him, who is wiser than God?

    At any rate, good for you for tackling this subject in these times.

    • Tammy H. February 29, 2012, 5:39 pm

      If this were Facebook, I would click on “Like” =) Beautifully said!

      • Janelle March 1, 2012, 12:23 am

        Amen!

  • Tammy H. February 29, 2012, 5:36 pm

    The only reason I ever used birth control (administered by a shot) was because I was taught it was the thing to do when you first get married. I only had 3 total shots during a period of 9 months, but they took their toll in the form of a blood clot in my right eye. I’m so thankful that I went to the doctor right away when I started seeing gray spots moving around in my vision, as the problem was solved rather quickly, and I have my sight. That’s my 2 cents worth on why not to use hormonal birth control. It does bad things to our bodies.
    Regarding convictions – we now don’t use any birth control as we want to allow God to be in charge of every part of our lives (so much easier said than done) including how many children we have. We are doing our best to seek Him first, and trust Him to add all these things – food, clothing, and shelter – to our lives. Guess what? He has blessed us with 4 beautiful children so far, and He has faithfully provided for us even through a layoff leading to a period of 7 months of unemployment.

  • Diana February 29, 2012, 5:52 pm

    I can’t wait to read your series! I already think I agree with you!! :)

  • Tricia February 29, 2012, 5:54 pm

    I can’t wait to read more on this subject from you! I often find myself “alone” in thinking that God is the One who opens and closes the womb. I’ve heard it said that before 1930, all the Church fathers (Catholic or otherwise) condemned birth control, and now…? I find it hard pressed to find a *handful* of Christians that would say there’s anything wrong with it. My thoughts on natural family planning: I believe it says in 1 Corinthians that a husband and wife shouldn’t “put off sex” unless for prayer…? I’ve heard stories from couples trying to only have sex on certain days, and it puts a great deal of stress on their marriage. Really, even though they aren’t on the Pill, etc., their motives are still the same: we don’t want another child right now.
    And now, as I said earlier, I can’t wait to hear YOUR thoughts! :)
    PS–Couples even having TWO children now are already receiving slack from others. People have no concept of children as a *blessing* anymore.

    • Janelle February 29, 2012, 6:30 pm

      I agree with you. I go to a VERY conservative church, and even though my pastor and his wife have 5 children, they have avoided pregnancy throughout their marriage. Now don’t get me wrong, I think my pastor is wonderful, but when he gave a sermon once on doing the hard thing and trusting the Lord in every area of our lives, I couldn’t help but to think him a hypocrite…we are supposed to trust Him in EVERY area, but for some reason, this area doesn’t seem to count.

  • Janelle February 29, 2012, 6:25 pm

    I’ll briefly (well, as briefly as possibly) share my story. Just over 10 years ago, while dh and I were dating, I got pregnant. *Gasp*!!, I know, we were both Christian’s at the time, but we gave into temptation. We ended up getting married and having our baby and life was grand. We knew we wanted one more child, so we didn’t use protection, but I read “Taking Charge of Your Fertility” and started charting my cycles in order to prevent pregnancy. When baby #1 was 8 months old, we moved…and I lost my chart and I ended up pregnant. I was excited, dh was less than thrilled. We wanted another, but he wasn’t sure about this timing. Thankfully God was. We had baby #2 when #1 was 17 months old. For the first time in my life, I went on birth control. We didn’t want more children. I mean, who wants more than 2 anyway?!?! We had 2 and we had ‘em close so we could “get it over with”. I had horrible, horrible mood swings with the pill. I would cry and look at my children and think how much I was going to miss them when I ran away. Then the other level of hormones would kick in and I’d feel okay again. It was awful. I knew I was being irrational, but I didn’t feel like I could stop it. I didn’t realize that it was the pill that was making me feel this way. We finally decided to try for one more…afterall, we had 2 girls…we had to try for our boy. I went off the pill, and the first month we conceived. We felt ultra-blessed when we found out we were having a boy!!! Now our family was complete! :) #2 and #3 are 3 years, 5 months apart. I went back on the pill and again the mood swings started. I finally realized that it was the crazy hormones that were making me feel so out of control. I stopped taking them. What a difference. I decided I’d never take them again. We decided to try once more for another baby. What were we thinking!??! We tried and nothing happened. What in the world?!?! How hard is it after all? We tried again and again, NOTHING. It was at this point that we realized that we cannot just “decide” to have another child. Children are a BLESSING, not something we decide to have when it’s convenient for us. My cycles went all out of whack. I’ve always had a 28-day cycle and all of a sudden they were 5 weeks long. How in the world would we ever conceive?? We kinda gave up on trying, but I went to the doctor to have my hormone levels checked to see what was going on. I didn’t know it at the time, but I was already pregnant. When #3 was 3 years, 3 months old, I gave birth to another sweet boy. 2 girls, 2 boys. We’re done, RIGHT?!?!??!?! As I said, we now realized that we don’t choose to have children, we are BLESSED with them. And who am I to tell God, “No thanks, I don’t want your blessings.” ??? So we have stopped using any kind of birth control. Well, imagine my surprise when, even though I was EXCLUSIVELY breastfeeding my 3 month old, I got a big, fat positive!!! Oh my!!! What have I gotten myself into?? Exactly a year later (actually, they’re Irish Twins by 4 minutes), I gave birth to a beautiful, precious baby girl. Oh am I so happy we chose to leave this in the Lord’s hands!!! :) Now, I’m a bit on the overweight side and having 2 pregnancies back to back has been a bit rough on my body. We decided to “avoid” conceiving (without really trying too hard) just to give my body a break. Well, guess what?!??! I’m currently pregnant with #6–#5 and #6 should be 14 months apart. Again, I’m so happy that we’ve decided to leave this in the Lord’s hands. I cannot imagine a higher calling then that of a Mother. I love my job, with all of it’s difficulties, stresses, exhaustion and demands. It’s so much better than I ever could have planned. My heart is broken for those who fall into the lie of the enemy that children are a burden. I cannot imagine a life that is more conducive to character development than the one I have…and when I’m at the mercy of my Savior, that’s exactly where I should and want to be. So there you have it.

    • Celena February 29, 2012, 8:49 pm

      I just wanted to comment and say that I LOVE your story. :) We currently have 2 children (3 year old girl and a 6 month old boy) and are planning to have more. I’ve always felt like I wanted four… so we’ll see what happens. I was on BC when we first got married, but went off it 2 months later because I didn’t like the way I felt physically on it, and I was being convicted spiritually. We were both working, but my income was going exclusively to pay off student loans, since we both wanted me to be a SAHM we didn’t want to feel dependent on my income. EVERYONE said we needed to wait at least a year before trying for a baby, and some were a little critical when we announced we were pregnant 4 months after our wedding. I cannot even begin to imagine my life without my sweet girl. We wanted out kids close (thought it would be easier for homeschooling) but didn’t get pregnant again right away, then did NFP for a while since we were moving and stuff, and then we finally got pregnant again before she turned 2. I haven’t gotten my periods back yet, and physically I don’t feel ready for another baby yet (heck, I just started sleeping though the night and having barely enough energy to get some exercise in!) so the thought of getting pregnant again in the very near future scares me a bit… but God knows what I can handle. I will NOT turn down a wonderful blessing if He sees fit to give me another child… whether I get pregnant tomorrow or 3 years from now.

      • Janelle March 1, 2012, 12:33 am

        I didn’t feel ready either. I was NOT sleeping through the night by any stretch of the imagination and I had no idea how I was going to handle having 2 so close together. Because my first 2 were 17 months apart, I had kinda “been there, done that” before, but not THIS soon. But when i look at my son who is 3 years 5 months younger than his sister and 3 years 3 months older than his brother, I feel guilty for taking matters into my hands and preventing the Lord from blessing us. He’s our “lone ranger” because he doesn’t really fit into either group (although he’s happily lumped into the “big kids” usually since he’s almost 5). To be honest, my pregnancy was easier than I expected. The newborn phase was easier than I expected, it’s all been easier than I expected…mostly because of God’s grace, but partially because I was expecting it to be horrible! :) I’m one of those lucky ones who gets a period 8 weeks postpartum, regardless of breastfeeding. My sweet little girl had NEVER had a bottle until she was 7 months old…and she wasn’t eating food either…AND she was sleeping WITH me and nursing all night long when this baby was conceived. I’ve had to seriously consider my faith because, to be honest, I didn’t necessarily WANT to be pregnant so quickly AGAIN after having 2 so close together, but of course, I’m absolutely thrilled now (and scared too!). I have to know that God knows what He’s doing…I don’t feel capable, but I know He is. No matter what happens, if you’re giving Him the reigns, however it turns out will be perfect!

  • Sandy February 29, 2012, 6:30 pm

    Birth control for its intended purpose (in other words, not addressing b.c. when used to control cysts or whatever) is rather pointless. On the surface, I’m sure most people will disagree with me, but it’s true. Let me illustrate what I mean.

    I got married in ’96, went on the pill nearly right away (with awful side effects I might add,) and went off of it the beginning of ’97. It took me a year from the time I stopped using the pill to conceive. I had my daughter the end of ’98. Neither my husband nor I have used any type of b.c. since. We also haven’t ever conceived again. The doctors say “Oh this sometimes happens,” as their explanation for why we haven’t conceived again despite us both being reasonably healthy. So 13 years later here we are, with 1 child whom I never expected to be an only child.

    A little over a year after my daughter was born, my cousin (who was using the pill at the time) became pregnant with her first son. A couple months later, my best friend (also on the pill at the time) found out she was pregnant with her first son on her honeymoon. My friend proceeded to give birth to a total of 4 children over the next several years… only one of which was planned. All the others were conceived while using 1 or more forms of birth control. She eventually got her tubes tied as a last resort since she seemed unable to stop conceiving! My neighbor uses the rhythm method and doesn’t get pregnant using it, then every time she decides she wants a baby they stop using the rhythm method and are pregnant in 1-2 months!

    These are far from the only examples I could provide, and I’m sure most of us have similar stories of friends, relatives, neighbors. But here is the point, birth control… doesn’t matter. You can get pregnant time after time while doubling up on birth control. The pregnancies can line up with little space in between no matter what you do to control it. Or you can go seemingly endless years, inexplicably not conceiving. In the end, God decides, not us. Birth control just allows us to have a false sense of control.

    That’s my 2 cents anyway :)

    • Kara February 29, 2012, 8:53 pm

      I agree, I think God is far more powerful then the birth control pill:) I applaud anyone who will broach this topic. Not long ago I was called a stupid Catholic, crazy Christian, and oppressed for my beliefs on the whole healthcare mandate about the birth control pill. And you know, after being called those names I pretty much discounted those people’s opinions. I am very open to discussing these issues without people attacking one another. Glad you opened up the discussion:)

  • Tina February 29, 2012, 6:31 pm

    I used the birth control pill for many years prior to marriage and yes during that time I was having premarital sex…and during marriage, fast forward to now. Iv been married 9 years and have 3 babes with another blessing due next month. Notice I said blessing? Yes, because God transformed my heart over the years, not only has He saved me from my sins and having to pay for them by spending an eternity in Hell. He also convicted me of my attitude towards children, pregnancy and all that goes into how life is brought into this world. Oh and He did it to my husband to. Jesus…He’s always going around messing up MY ideas, MY opinions, MY comfy spots. Well we stopped using birth control 3 years ago and it wasn’t easy!!! Not only did it take obedience, which is so hard sometimes…it took alot of grief, regret, research on our own for us to REPENT and say ok God your right, we’re wrong on this one!!! But it took that first step of obedience to bring on the faith. I think the Lord knows what he’s doing, in all situations, in all times, with everybody’s life. So if He wants to make us a copy cat Dugger family, then that’s what He’ll do and all I have to do is trust and obey. Also along with simply believing God’s word here, we also read tons of research that shows what kind of evil hormonal birth control is. Let me tell ya, that stuff is bad news for a woman’s health!!! Not to mention the environment! And by the way, Im no “quiver-full” mom. I don’t believe God calls everyone to have a baker’s dozen of kids, but I do believe that our body is a temple of the living God. And that God calls everyone to care for “the least of these” meaning among others, children. Perhaps a woman isn’t called to birth babies, but she is called to have children if she is married and all birth control and its best friend feminism does is con a woman and her husband into thinking she knows better, then GOD.

  • Colleen G February 29, 2012, 6:56 pm

    We do not use hormonal birth control because of the physical reprocussions. However we have used natural child spacing methods. I really studied the scriptures out because my body makes pregnancy a living hell for me. I am not being flippant, it is very awful for me as well as debilitating. I was willing to avoid any form of control if that is what was clearly laid out in scripture. One thing that reall stood out for me was that in the Old Testament half of the pregnancies are described as husband “knows” wife and they get pregnant and the other half of scriptures say that God opened or closed a womb. That in combination with a few other things told me that pregnancy is one of those natural events that God chooses to intervene in sometimes but not every pregnancy is His direct doing. There are many things in this world that fall under God set up a natural course of events- tornados, earthquakes, crop fluctuations and yes pregnancy. This explains why there are barren quiverfull women who cry for babies and women whose bodies are so ravaged by close pregnancies that they can no longer bear living children. Sometimes God causes a pregnancy and sometimes a husband just “knows” his wife and a baby results. Not everyone agrees and they do not need to. We just need to realize that reproduction is seperate from salvation and that not everyone is going to have the same leading from God. My children are not my rightoueness Jesus is. I only add that because some folks seem to think there is some kind of holiness in the number of children they parent.

    • Betsy March 1, 2012, 2:11 pm

      really appreciate your perspective – thanks!

  • Rebecca February 29, 2012, 8:04 pm

    I am paying the price now for having used the pill…premarriage and post marriage….facts that are not shared at the Dr’s office are too numerous and I dare anyone to ask their doctor what it really does. Let’s just say…regardless of what it does to your body, it is a chemical abortion. Period. End of story. I will always wonder how many I had….and no one ever told me…until a true friend shared the truth of what it was doing to my body and my babies. Thank you for sharing this, Cindy!

  • Melissa February 29, 2012, 8:25 pm

    My husband and I have prayed about this and sought out the wisdom of Godly couples who have gone before us. The decision we came to was with complete peace and a confidence that God was showing us this was right for our family. We have 5 children who were born in a span of 6 years, with one more on the way, due this fall. We feel so blessed to have them and know they are special gifts from God. But I also do not feel it is God’s will for every family to be “big”…that word is so subjective anyway. What is a big family to one is something different to another and no one should feel inadequate if they are a smaller family. We have no problem with birth control and do not feel there is any evidence in scripture to support the statement, “birth control is a sin”. While we do feel, for ourselves and how we’ve been persuaded, that while some should be avoided, there are some that are perfectly fine for couple’s to use and I don’t think it’s anyone’s place to tell them differently. We have liberty to do what we feel is best for our family(with much prayer) and right before God but it is not our job to tell people to do it “our way” because that is how God is leading in our family. Every circumstance is so different, and many factors need to be taken into consideration. It is not at all a black & white issue. Just because God didn’t “create” birth control does not mean it’s a sin to use it. We have a lot of things in our modern world God didn’t create like Tylenol, computers, cars, cell phones, etc. Does that mean it is a sin to use them? Or that it angers God when we do use them? We have gotten pregnant 3 times on birth control. Imagine that. We chose to use birth control and yet God blessed us anyway. God blesses when your heart is right and your desire is to please him and do His will. He alone knows the heart and if you are making your decisions with the right heart attitude God WILL bless that.

  • Celena February 29, 2012, 8:57 pm

    I replied to a comment above, but I wanted to add a thought. I do not believe birth control is a good thing to use, but I do believe that parents need to be responsible. Parents need to have the time/energy/resources to care for their children. An arrow is only good if it’s straight and strong. A quiver full of broken, bent, weak arrows would be a tremendous hazard in battle. I haven’t really thought this out a whole lot, but I guess my instinct would be to work with NFP if/when you feel like you’re at the limit for what you can do as a parent… but don’t become so dead-set against more children. God can work around NFP, just like He sometimes works around birth control. I agree that birth control gives people a false sense of security, something external to blame when an unwanted pregnancy occurs. (THEY weren’t doing anything wrong… the pill is to blame! It didn’t work!) I don’t know if any of that made sense, it’s way past my bedtime and it’s been a long day. :) I’m anxious to read your upcoming posts!

    • Celena February 29, 2012, 9:37 pm

      At the risk of being a serial-commentor, I had ONE more thought. Albeit, not a complete thought, but figured I might as well toss it out there. We have also considered adoption. Where does that fit in? (I’m still trying to answer it for myself.) I confess sometimes I feel guilty for wanting more children of my own when there are so many kids out there, hurting and alone, that are waiting to be adopted. So many children that will age-out of the system without ever having a real family, no one to rely on, no place to go for Thanksgiving. I’ve always been under the impression (maybe wrongly so) that if you’re going to adopt, it’s best to adopt children younger than your own. (So that hopefully your older children would be role models, and because who knows what kind of background your new child has… wouldn’t want to risk them harming my own smaller children.) Is that wrong? I guess I always felt called to adopt older children, ones that weren’t likely to be adopted because they were past the prime ‘adoptable’ age. But it doesn’t feel right to put it off for the next 15 years because I’m still having babies of my own. Goodness, now I’m rambling. It is most definitely WAY past my bedtime. :) Sorry for the long (multiple) posts!

      • Laura March 1, 2012, 4:49 pm

        Interesting … and it brings an added dimension into the family planning question. I don’t believe birthing children (or pill use, or whatever) is the only way to be open/closed to God’s leading in having a family. I think adoption just as much part of family planning as anything else. God tells us in His word to care for orphans – not that it always (or maybe even often) means adoption, but for some families it certainly does.

        Home Builders has an excellent Bible study on adoption. It doesn’t lead you to a decision, just presents a Biblical perspective. We’ve also seriously considered adoption, including waiting child adoption, and this helped us to look at things with a clear head.

        I know families who have adopted older children (both with younger children in the home and without) and it has gone both ways, regardless of the family makeup. If both you and your husband are feeling led to consider waiting child adoption, I would suggest speaking with a social worker who doesn’t push one way or another (only adopt in birth order / never adopt out of birth order – life is not that clear-cut), or if that’s not possible speak with two different social workers who can each present their own perspective. Pray, decide with your husband how much risk you’re willing to take (realizing childbirth also carries much risk), pray, move forward on the path you’re feeling led , pray, pray …

        Another thing to consider is that most (if not all) adoption agencies suspend an adoption if the adopting parents become pregnant during the process. Usually they want 1 year between new family members – adopted or not – unless you adopt a sibling group. (I’m not sure how foster-adopt programs deal with this because you’re techinically a foster parent for a # of months before the adoption goes through.) So, if the Lord is leading you to adopt, that is a consideration.

        I know in my life being willing was the biggest step. My husband and I do not feel the Lord’s leading to pursue adoption at this time. But we’re willing and when/if the time is right that’s what we’ll do.

        • Celena March 5, 2012, 8:06 pm

          Thanks for the reply Laura. We aren’t quite in a position right now to adopt either, but it is something that I feel led to at the very least remain open to. Thank you for the advice, I will file it away. :)

  • Anne Thomas February 29, 2012, 10:46 pm

    Tim Challies blogged on this today, if you are interested to know his insight on the bible and birth control.
    http://www.challies.com/christian-living/the-bible-and-birth-control

    Personally, as I grow in my faith, I’m regretful that we ever used birth control. We have joyfully given our family size over to God and won’t look back :)

  • Anon February 29, 2012, 10:55 pm

    I wanted two children. DH wanted more, until we had 2. Then he was done and I wanted more. Eventually, DH was convicted and God set to knitting that sweet #3 together immediately. For awhile the door was slight ajar w/ dh for a 4th, but only after we got #1 straightened out. We’ve since learned that #1 is on the spectrum, so ‘straightening out’ looks a little different nowadays. My longing for more has never ceased, yet during my 3rd pg. I was put on meds that are now known to be harmful to baby. Between the meds, dh wishes, and, increasingly, the ages of our 3, I’m reluctantly resolved that we are done. In the midst of the longing, though, I sometimes wonder how spilling seed into deathly foam is any different than spilling seed on the ground, which God clearly calls sin in the Word. This is crazy… I’ve even prayed that the foam would fail while putting it in. I’ve prayed for ineffective condoms. But we still use them, because, ultimately, I have to give an answer one day about how I did or did not obey the authority in my life. I’ll have plenty to answer for without throwing pre-meditated schemes into the mix!

    • Cindy March 1, 2012, 7:58 pm

      Well, Anon, if it helps you sleep better at night, I’m pretty sure that curse about spilling seed on the ground was a direct prophecy or denunciation about one particular guy who did so. I’ll have to look it up, as it’s such an obscure passage that the context is lost on me right now.

  • Tammy February 29, 2012, 11:49 pm

    This is right up there with politics and religion for things you’re not supposed to disguss with groups of people *gasp* lol I think there are a lot of people at different places on the contraception road. Many just don’t have all or any of the information yet. So we need to keep putting it out there. I did a little looking into the “pill” and was a little surprised at what I found. If what I have found is correct……….

    The guy who created it was a Catholic that was looking for a way to help make the monthly cycle more regular so that the “Rhythm Method” of birth control could be more effectively used. At that time the pill relied on the hormones that regulated the cycle. However, at some point, probably through other manufacturers who knows, an additional additive was added as a “back up” method in the pill that would create a hostile environment so a fertilized egg cannot implant. The more we have found that the original hormone could also contribute to cancer the more the manufacturers rely on the “back up” method part of the pill. The Morning after pill or Plan B uses exccessively high doses of what is in a regular birth control pill. There are no studies showing the long term effects of these extra high dosages but we do know that regular doses have a lot of scary side effects as it is. But they want to make them available in vending machines now to whoever anyway. Yikes!

    I also have just 2 children:) like one or two who have commented before me. I’m not sure I would have the patience for another, still looking for enough for the ones I have. LOL Don’t see anything wrong with a good old fashioned condom. I also had relied on the general consensus that when you got married you were supposed to “go on the pill”. Was on that for a few years and diddn’t care for some of the side effects so I stopped. That was well before I even knew what it actually does. Would never even consider any form of chemical birth control now, nor for my daughter.

    • Emily K March 4, 2012, 4:08 pm

      Just wanted to say that each new child comes with a new dose of patience.. Seriously.

      Patience is something that grows during tribulation, and I count bickering children as tribulation.. LOL

      But seriously, I am so much more patient with 5 children than I ever was with only 2 children. There is a reason that scripture says we are saved through our childbearing. (though I don’t think it means justified,) They really change us and make us better.

  • Mrs. E March 1, 2012, 8:54 am

    How does a tubal ligation or vasectomy fit in here? Are they wrong?

  • Laura March 1, 2012, 10:05 am

    For sound information on Church teachings about birth control, you should read the articles, papers, books, and encyclicals compiled here: Open to Life. Or just read the series, which is an overview of everything.

  • Tomara Kern March 1, 2012, 10:07 am

    I only have a few minutes but feel so passionate about this…….when discern ABC (artificial birth control) we can only get the truth from our Maker. Ask yourself what he have gave us the marriage act for anyway. It is not by accident that we as couples conceive and bear children. That was His plan. It was His invitation. God draws us into creative power with Him! WHAT A GIFT!!!! The marriage act was meant and given to be life giving. There is an analogy in Catholic theology (maybe in other faiths as well, I’m just not familiar :) ) about the Blessed Trinity that goes like this….. The love between the Father and Son is so real, so powerful that it (the love) is the third Person on the Trinity, The Holy Spirit. Now analogies only go so far in describing the Blessed Trinity for God cannot be contained in words but it’s a good analogy nevertheless. Our marriages should reflect the same. The exchange of love and self-gift between spouses is so real that it can be another person! ABC reduces the marriage to an act of flesh alone. When we contracept we are blocking, sometimes chemically, sometimes physical (with barrier forms of contaception) the life-giving exchange between us and our spouse. NFP methods are really a natrual flow of Gods own “natrual law”. Consider that he did not make women fertile and able to conceive the entire 30 days of our cycles. He has written into the natrual law that not every conjugal act will be one of conception. He is just asking us to cooperate. NFP methods (and there are lots, NFP just refers to non-chemical, non-barrier forms of spacing) respect Gods own natrual flow of our fertility. We become aware of the days He built into our fertility either to help us know when to conceive or when to abstain. I could talk forever about the blessings in my marriage from using NFP AND I could talk forever about the stresses and difficulties that have arisen from NFP. It is natrual and right but that does not mean easy. When has being a follower of Christ ever been easy?! He didn’t promise that being faithful wouldn’t be difficult. But I do have to follow that up with the difficulties we had with NFP (I’m talking emotional, not in actual practice) were due to other spiritual issues or because of bad communication with my spouse. God’s plan is perfect, my implementation not so much! We have 8 beautiful children! And not because we are bad at NFP! The one baby we conceived while trying to not conceive we miscarried at 14 weeks. And wouldn’t you know, the one baby I thought I wasn’t ready for is the one I’d do anything to have back! You never regret the kids you have, only the ones you don’t! disclaimer….so much is lost in the way of tone in blog world. None of what I wrote is meant to judge or offend. We are all Sisters in Christ and this topic deserves and needs healthy dialogue.

  • Mia March 1, 2012, 1:12 pm

    We started our family very young. We had three children and decided we were done. We didn’t consult God and no one – not one person – in our families or church questioned the wisdom of our decision. A number of years later we found a new church home and were surrounded by faithful, quiver full families. Our eyes were opened, we repented and put that aspect of our lives in God’s hands. We traveled to Mexico and I had a tubal ligation reversal. That was seven years ago and I am now expecting my fourth little boy post-reversal. We are so thankful that God saw fit to guide the surgeon’s hands and bless us with these little boys. In a matter of weeks (please, please let it only be four!) we are expecting our seven child (sixth boy). We have a grandchild that is five months old and are expecting another in September! We are truly, truly blessed.

  • Tiffany March 1, 2012, 5:24 pm

    Very interesting discussions. However we seem to be focused on family planning withing the context of marriage. Unfortunately not everyone is seeking God’s guidance when it comes to sexual activity. While it is always ideal the reality is that too many young people are engaging in careless intimate interactions. It is the lesser of two evils but I would much rather them use birth control than have a child they are too immature to raise and that has an incredibly high likelihood of being abused or neglected. Are there exceptions? Of course! But it’s the rule that worries me….

  • manda March 1, 2012, 8:11 pm

    I’m not against birth control really. I mean, I have an IUD without the chemicals – which is why I don’t like birth control, but there has been a study showing that IUDs reduce the risk of cervical cancer… something having to do with the lining or what not. I am not a scientist or a doctor. Regardless… I don’t think it’s an awful thing to have one of these. Although, I did tell my husband that I was thinking about having another child but then it’d cost me like $900 to get this back in afterward because my insurance will run out. Regardless… I was writing something about how now the great big gurus of science are arguing that infanticide should be legal under the rules of abortion and I’m sad where all this birth control has brought us to. :( I’m glad there are people like you out there speaking out or up. I’m glad there are people like you.

  • Beth March 1, 2012, 9:45 pm

    I hate birth control very much and didn’t at first. I have a beautiful daughter and one handsome little boy. Right after he was born for the 1st time I decided to take birth control. Big mistake, it threw my once normal periods right out the window. I came off of it about a year later and my husband and I decided to have another child. Sigh, that was 2 years ago and I’m still not pregnant. GYN says I’m fine, no problems whatsoever that showed up in the bloodwork or ultrasound. Nothing wrong with the hubby either. I blame birth control for doing something to my system rendering me unable to get pregnant again. Am I right? Did birth control play a part in my situation? I don’t know but I bet it did not help.

  • Lisa
    Twitter: lifeofahappymom
    March 2, 2012, 1:47 am

    I remember when I was about to get married. I called my mom and said, “Hey, mom, I think we need to talk about sex again.” Her response was to discuss birth control!

    Okay, that aside, after almost 6 years of marriage, I think I have somewhat of an opinion. First, I would hesitate to use the pill or any similar method for health reasons, as well as the fact that it keeps fertilized embryos from emplanting, which in a sense destroys life. I’m not Catholic either, but still, this is just something I don’t want to do.

    On the other hand, I am not technically quiverfull, either. I do believe many of the same things quiverfull families believe (children are a blessing, gifts from God, etc), but I also believe that reasonable spacing for the health of the mother, and respect for the husband’s wishes (I won’t deceive him in order to have more kids than he is willing to have) have their place in the issue.

    So we use a barrier method. I’m pregnant with our third. Only our second was planned. We wanted to wait to have more until we were settled in our new house (moving this month, hopefully), but I believe the Lord allowed things to happen a little earlier. The timing really couldn’t be better. My husband is working full time and studying besides, and the baby is due in the summer when he is out of school.

    Honestly, I will welcome as many children as we have. None will be unwanted (even if they do end up being unplanned blessings). My husband and I seem to be very fertile; we have never had to try more than once. If we didn’t use protection during certain times of the month, we would have twice as many children, and my health is not good enough to be able to handle more. Now, I know quiverfull people will say that is a sign that I don’t trust the Lord enough, but my husband has different views on it, and I choose to say that I put respecting my husband on a higher level. That doesn’t mean we will stop with 3. We might. We might not. I don’t care what my mother thinks (she thinks we should have stopped at 2), but my husband’s desires and needs and opinions are important!

  • Gidget
    Twitter: HSingUnscripted
    March 3, 2012, 5:18 pm

    OK, I took some time to reply to this one before I answered….
    As someone who took birth control for many, many years because of health issues I obviously don’t think that taking birth control is a sin. My endometriosis would have grown at the speed of light h& I would have been in intense pain had b/c not been part of my medicinal approach.

    Of course, I also wonder how it actually comes into play, because obviously if God wants a child to be conceived, all the birth contol in the world won’t stop it from happening. But, then again, it’s obvious that it does limit the sizes of families, so….. maybe those families that don’t use birth control are better suited by God to sustain large families? As you can see, I don’t have the answers by any means…

  • KB March 3, 2012, 8:37 pm

    I had to read all the comments, there are so many. I have discussed the “quiver full” with two of my closest friends several times. I have to say that I am so interested in what is “full?” I am a happy mom of three kiddos here and one little one I miscarried. I could never take BC, every time I did I was and emotional wacko, and gained weight like a steer at a feedlot. I realized early on that it was not right for my body. Back to the quiver full, what is full and what is the make up of the fullness, adoption, fostering, born. I have never felt like there was a hard and fast, right or wrong for every family in regards to their having children. I am looking forward to reading more about this.

  • kelli- AdventurezInChildRearing
    Twitter: AdventurzNchild
    March 4, 2012, 11:58 am

    Trusting and following God’s lead in your life is the key to everything. Physically, do to major health issues (believing God will heal me) it isn’t wise for me to have another baby. Following God’s lead – after getting over the shock – we stepped in and adopted boy #3 out of foster care. There are so many who need to know Him and are in foster care. (another topic- but there is a link on my site for a new movie out on the topic about the responsibility the church has to orphans) Anyway, when you trust God with the direction of your life – it has a way of simplifying all the details. So many left questions about multi-level problems and such – which can only be answered appropriately by hitting your knees – reading God’s word and following where He leads you. If you don’t understand how this can possibly be a solution – please contact me & I’ll lay it out for you – because if you don’t understand how to hear from God – there is another – very different issue which needs to be settled first. It’s an amazing thing to be in the center of God’s will for your life and your family – it looks different for each family (to an extent) currently ours looks like 3 little boys & a mommy who God wants to heal. There is nothing wrong and it is biblical to seek Godly counsel – but take your issues straight to the Lord & follow Him without worrying about what others may think. For the record, we’ve not used birth control & never will, but neither are we careless with my health. God bless.

    • kelli- AdventurezInChildRearing
      Twitter: AdventurzNchild
      March 4, 2012, 12:01 pm

      p.s. Cindy, I love you. crack me up every day! can’t wait to hug your neck and pat your belly!

      • Cindy March 4, 2012, 1:24 pm

        :-)

  • Erin March 5, 2012, 2:29 pm

    I never used the pill, not because I was well informed and refused to use an abortifaciant, but because I didn’t want to gain weight after I got married. I know, shallow. I thank the Lord, however, that I didn’t take it because I would be horrified to think that I may have unknowingly aborted our baby.

    As far as birth control, the Lord changed our hearts several years ago-after my husband’s vasectomy. As it was never hard for us to get pregnant, the first two times in our marriage that I ovulated I got pregnant. Our first baby came in less than 10 months after our marriage and I conceived our second before my period started again.

    To think that we threw the blessing of fertility back at God saying, “Thanks, but no thanks” was devestating. Though we don’t deserve it, we are expecting baby # 6…our second reversal baby! He has dealt mercifully with us.

  • Pam March 6, 2012, 1:36 pm

    I don’t really know where my comment falls in the mix of this. Our only child was conceived in our first year, a complete surprise, and to honest a financial blow. Made too much to qualify for aid, too little to cover maternity insurance prior to the surprise. So baby was an out of pocket expense- one that set us back significantly. While the rhythm method, charts, and other NFP sound wonderful- its tremulously scary to chance. I believe in God’s timing and I also believe that God will find a way to provide. I sound like I am contradicting myself. Should we have taken the opportunity to have a baby on govt aid, when my husband was in school full time and working a less pay job while I was SAHM to just one? Or do you prevent a pregnancy so that you can get to a place financially to support another pregnancy without the help of govt aid?

    • Cindy March 6, 2012, 3:11 pm

      I’ve had this question a few times before, and I’ve thought about it extensively. It’s always hard to see someone struggling financially and then have the stress of parenthood put on them, too. God certainly doesn’t intend for us to look at our children that way.
      I’m not the final judge of these things, so I never tell anyone what I think they should do. I will say that I think it’s unfair to think of your little blessing as a financial blow. Financial problems arise, but it’s not because of the kid. It’s because that’s life.

      Secondly, I don’t think there’s any shame in being poor and needing help. Nor is there any shame in setting up a payment plan with the hospital, finding cheaper services (such as home birth), etc. I would probably swallow my pride and go to my church, friends, family, or even charities to ask for help before I would go for government assistance, but if you need help, you need help. I’d make myself feel better about taking government help by realizing that at least the money is, for once, going to a family that hopes to stay together, the way these programs were supposedly intended to work, rather than helping a welfare queen buy crab legs. ;-)

      It could be that you need to rethink your own financial plans and habits, take in some washing to make extra money (so to speak), or just pray in the funds, as we’ve had to do. Financial security isn’t something we’ve always had, either. In fact, we live in a rented doublewide, my shoes are rarely in style, and my kids get home haircuts. And we’re not entirely sure where all the money is coming from to “pay for” our next baby (though we’re getting close), so I do feel your pain, believe me! A lot of people would say that that’s a sign we shouldn’t have so many kids, but I can’t find any place in Bible where it says we should only be married and have children if we have a lovely house and fashionable lifestyles. It isn’t holy to be broke, of course, but neither is it something to live in fear of. God takes care of us! I think if you and your husband decided to trust God with every circumstance, he’ll take care of you, too. I hope this helps, and doesn’t sound too pushy. I understand your concerns, and I certainly wouldn’t want to make it sound like I know what every family needs to do.

      • Pam March 7, 2012, 10:43 pm

        Thank you Cindy for such sage words. Our baby was such a blessing but not something we had prepared for which cause the blow. I would say that if we had both been active in a church then, I think we would have settled our finances and created that “what if” plan better. Ah, to live, laugh, and get pregnant! ;)
        While, we have waited and used a non hormonal iud to guarantee that another baby wouldnt happen while my husband was claiming unemployment and in college full time, we are now finished with that and even though another baby would put us right back to “broke” we joke that it would be better to be broke with a household full than sitting by ourselves! There is nothing sweeter than a toddler hollering “Jesus loves me….” and dancing. I am honored to know you Cindy and your words are a blessing.

        • Cindy March 8, 2012, 9:16 am

          It always scares me a little bit when somebody calls me words like “sage”. LOL. I’m just some chick on the internet. ;-)

          (OK, and sometimes I’m off the internet, too.)

          • Pam March 8, 2012, 10:38 am

            “Sage: adj. 1. Having or exhibiting wisdom and calm judgment.” You have these baby, money, and beleiving in God talks with your husband more than me…. :)
            I like that about you!

  • Carolyn March 9, 2012, 4:00 pm

    I am a Mormon and we believe in big families. We have a prophet who speaks for God and, among the things he has said, he has encouraged us to have faith and have kids. So that’s my plan. I’d like lots of kids and we won’t be done when God says we’re done. I hope that’s not before we have at least 6!

    That said, I don’t think that using birth control is a sin. I think that it is a tool that can be used to good or ill. To me, there isn’t a theological difference between the rhythm method, the pill, or barrier methods. Or abstinence, for that matter! When preventing pregnancy in those ways, it seems to me that it is the reasons and not the methods that matter. I think that whether or not to use birth control is a very personal choice that is settled on an individual basis between us and God.

    But before we make our big plans, I think we should ask his opinion on the matter. Because it is a sin to prevent a pregnancy that God wants us to have.

  • Chris H March 12, 2012, 2:46 pm

    Oh, what a fun discussion! When I was about to be married at 19, My hubby and I told our families that prayer would be our birth control. Our parents flipped, and we yielded. After two years on the strong pill, we found out we were 8 weeks with our first (I only missed one pill!). God had his way, despite me! With our second God prompted us to plan our child for financial reasons, and we conceived after only one cycle off the ring. Another healthy baby girl, by God’s grace! Now number 3 was conceived on a different pill, and I didn’t miss any. God, can after all, do whatever he wants. After that I decided that if God wants to create life, he will and I can’t stop it anyway without violating my conscience. So we used NFP, and messed up, and well #4 is on his way. All that is to say, While I agree the health reasons alone to stay away from hormonal birth control is staggering, Don’t deceive yourself that you really have control over your body. Especially those who belong to God, he will do whatever he pleases in your life. As a side note though, I don’t believe it is a sin to use a non life terminating pregnancy prevention, as long as you have asked God if that is what he wants for your life, and he has confirmed it with a clear conscience. Never violate your conscience. People ask me everyday if we are done, and I say I don’t know, God doesn’t tend to inform me about when we will have kids. But we are hoping to stop giving birth so that we can focus on adopting children from the foster system. That’s where my heart aches to get children from. I look forward to seeing the bloggers thoughts…

  • Amy K March 22, 2012, 11:09 pm

    I havent’ read all the comments, but I will say, even birth control cannot stop God.

    I became pregnant with all 4 of my children when on birth control. :)
    When #4 was born, dh decided it was time for a vasectomy. I protested,but let him go through with it :( A year later, we were both saved,and convicted of our mistake with the vasectomy. We learned about the quiverfull movement and letting God be in control of your fertility. A year later my dh had a vas-reversal… it was not successful. long story short, we felt God was leading us to adopt and we ended up with 3 lovely children (siblings) adopted through foster care.We are currently awaiting more of God’s blessings through adoption! :)

    • Cindy March 25, 2012, 7:14 pm

      That is so good to hear! Congrats on your GIGANTICAL family! ;-)

  • Erin January 31, 2013, 2:28 pm

    Hello! There are not NEARLY enough blogs out there with this type of content. You have inspired me, truly. I am honestly not sure where I stand on the subject of birth control but I will be using your links to do quite a bit more research on the matter. I am a Christian, mother of 2 biological daughters and 3 step-daughters. I am not on birth control, but I am still very interested in hearing this side of the subject. I have never heard a pastor speak on the subject… Hmm… Thanks for the food for thought, I will do a bit more research before I make up my mind – but sincerely, thank you! More people should hold so strong to their convictions.

    • Cindy January 31, 2013, 4:25 pm

      I’ll be linking to my whole series on the subject soon! I hope you’ll stop by again.

  • Ahnah Hager August 5, 2013, 5:43 pm

    I am personally NOT for birth control because I believe it goes against the sovereignty of God in the sense that we are trying to “play God” with our bodies instead of yielding to God the control over our reproductive systems. In a sense I believe it is just as bad as abortion in that we are not allowing a human life to live that would possibly would have been brought into existence had we not chosen to use birth control. We always want to control our lives so much. We’re so afraid of giving our lives over to God!