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Purpose: Share the journey how God led us from having a typical birth control and family planning mentality to a biblical one regarding having children along with the different ways each philosopy and practice shaped our lives. Part 3/3 of Birth Control & Family Planning in Christian Families.
We like most couples started off into marriage so excited. We also had the pressures of life. In our case earlier on in our lives we were trying to get through university, internship and Chinese language school. They involve a lot of money and time. Later on we were involved in an intense Christian ministry.
We were willing to only have a few children because of our situation. We played the strategists figuring out when best to have children. We were sure that we knew better than God. God tried to teach us early on. He frustrated our university plans by slipping in an unexpected child. My wife had to resign her good paying job, and I had to work extra while attending university and being active in church ministry.
The best thing in the world was for God to give us our first daughter. We love her. Without God intruding in on 'our schedule', she wouldn't have existed. Right now she is 25 and serving volunteer short term in India using her graphic artist skills to help produce literacy books for recently reached tribes so that they can read the Bible.
If we were gifted with insight rather than hindsight (too late), we would have cut off birth control a whole lot earlier in life. We had our troubles trying to have children. We had a few miscarriages. These situations sure grieved our soul. In the Bible miscarriages are often associated with God's displeasure.
Was He unhappy because we still tried to fit children into our schedules? Is it possible that when we wanted a child, He held His blessing back? Is God possibly trying to tell us that we are interfering with His plans by thinking we know better than Him on this matter? We think so.
We were such slow learners. We had our second child overseas. We then had a long break. I guess we just wanted to keep in charge of things. God graciously started to change our hearts and minds with the coming of our third child about six years after our second child.
There were a number of truths that God began to teach us.
1) Children are precious. We should want more of them than less.
2) Children are to be a delight. We should enjoy them rather than be frustrated how they might interrupt our schedules. We need to trust God for more grace.
3) God has taught us in His Word how to raise godly children. We had to repent and change the way we cared for our children.
4) We put the condoms away. We gave God control over the children that we would have.
The results are delightful. We now have eight children with the youngest being 3 years old. We will have no empty nest syndrome! We raise children who fear God. People like being with our children. We are training them to be a blessing to others. While we do this, they are quite manageable. We consider God's schedule for having children the best. Although we are moving out of childbearing years, we still welcome God's plan for us.
As a couple, since we have thrown the condom away. We have saved lots of money. But that is trivial compared to the increased unity we have sensed in our marriage. We are able to trust God together for what He has for us. We trust God together to provide for all their future needs. We anticipate how God is going to use them. Right now we need to be consistently training them by providing a vision for godly living.
We don't have things other couples might have if they didn't have children. That is fine. We have something much better. We have trusted God more and our children are much better trained. Our older girls are convinced how to properly raise children that God one day might give to them.
They really appreciate seeing what God has done through their little siblings. When God had finally taught us to enjoy our children, then we could indeed enjoy His precious gifts. We have learned that having a godly family is one key thing He wants for all families.
We have failed Him at strategic times in the past. Our doubt in His wise oversight didn't help us more effectively minister. God knows our hearts. He would have done much more had we been able to fully trust Him in these matters. We are so appreciative of His forgiveness through Jesus Christ.
God is the one who gives life. If anyone wants to do a study on birth control in the Bible, just study how God opened and closed wombs. God specifically regulates the ability to give birth. This also teaches us not to make a blanket observation that a childless couple is in sin. They could be another Abraham and Sarah.
We should also remember, though, that God has a general plan for us. We have learned to trust God within His monthly cycle that He designed for women. We have observed two Old Testament commands regarding timing of intimacy. One asks us to abstain for a certain period after birth. The other command is to abstain during the wife's menstrual cycle.
God has given us our last six children about two years apart.
God has provided more disciplined children (not perfect).
God has given us a closer marriage.
God has given us a wonderful growing and trusting relationship with Him.
God has given us a grand big family.
God has provided for our needs. We receive less than others but somehow manage.
We have learned that birth control is an issue that has to do with our relationship with God as well as our spouse. Birth control is a moral issue that has great ramifications on our lives and how God is going to use us.
God wants us to trust Him with who and when He brings children into our family. When people tell me that I am 'abusing' my wife, I simply tell them that my wife at 48 still asks God for more children. We want to be open to God's best plan. We finally can admit that we do not know what that plan is. We are waiting upon God for His best.
 We of course do not see these as works that lead to salvation. Instead they consist of wise advice to maintain the best of health and life. Here are the two references:
"Then the LORD spoke to Moses, saying, "Speak to the sons of Israel, saying, "When a woman gives birth and bears a male child, then she shall be unclean for seven days, as in the days of her menstruation she shall be unclean. "And on the eighth day the flesh of his foreskin shall be circumcised. "Then she shall remain in the blood of her purification for thirty-three days; she shall not touch any consecrated thing, nor enter the sanctuary, until the days of her purification are completed. "But if she bears a female child, then she shall be unclean for two weeks, as in her menstruation; and she shall remain in the blood of her purification for sixty-six days." Leviticus 12:1-5, NASB.
""When a woman has a discharge,"if her discharge in her body is blood, she shall continue in her menstrual impurity for seven days; and whoever touches her shall be unclean until evening. "Everything also on which she lies during her menstrual impurity shall be unclean, and everything on which she sits shall be unclean. "And anyone who touches her bed shall wash his clothes and bathe in water and be unclean until evening. "And whoever touches any thing on which she sits shall wash his clothes and bathe in water and be unclean until evening. "Whether it be on the bed or on the thing on which she is sitting, when he touches it, he shall be unclean until evening. "And if a man actually lies with her, so that her menstrual impurity is on him, he shall be unclean seven days, and every bed on which he lies shall be unclean." Leviticus 15:19-24, NAS
Scriptures typically quoted from the New American Standard Bible unless noted:
(C) Copyright The Lockman Foundation 1988