Birth Control? God's plan or ours? My husband and I are not in agreement and need advice..

Carmen - posted on 02/09/2012 ( 39 moms have responded )




So, my husband I have been married going on 4 years now. While still engaged, we agreed that we would allow God to plan our children, when they would come and how many (no birth control, our family planning would be left to God and His perfect timing).

My husband was raised in the Catholic church, served 6 years as an alter boy and even after becoming a born-again Christian has maintained his belief and conviction that He wanted to trust God completely with future family planning. If we can trust God with our finances, with finding our spouse, with our future career then why take child-bearing into our own plans by using birth control? is his reasoning. Also, God's scripture of "Be fruitful and multiply", "Children are a gift from the Lord" who are we to take matters into our own hand which prevent God's gifts.

At first, I was was not in agreement with him and reasoned that "I would like to go to grad school, travel and spend time nurturing my marriage first" but in order to come to an agreement with my husband and feeling excited about the mystery of God's timing, I trusted that He would indeed not "give us more than we can handle" and so, upon marriage..we did not use any birth control (instead, I prayed almost everytime before we made love that a baby would not be conceived - so messed up right?!).

Two months later (after marriage), and into my 3rd week of my graduate program, we found out what I was fearing all along, we were pregnant! Nervous, scared, upset, sad were my emotions. How I hate that those were the emotions during what was supposed to be such a joyful time. Needless to say, all of my fears and worries were all being taken care of and God didn't give us more than we could handle. I gave birth naturally to a 8lb. 15oz. boy the Sunday after my last finals for that year (May 2009) and was able to spend the entire summer (3 months) at home with our baby before having to go back for my 2nd year of grad school. Then I thought I wouldn't be able to continue nursing and financially "how were we going to make it"..but God had all that under control as well. I received one of the few graduate assistantships that counted as my advanced practicum (internship) for the program which included a full tuition waiver and a monthly living stipend (which was more than I was making working more hours at my part-time job. My placement was also very understanding and gave me space to pump during my intern hours and I was able to nurse for my son's entire first year. I graduated with a Masters in Social work that May of 2010, the day before my son turned 1. To make a longer story short, my husband had also been wanting to go back to finish his degree that he started years ago, wanting to pursue his dream of a college education so our son can know that his papa also followed his dreams as an encouragement that our son can follow his.

Financially, we didn't know how that would happen..but God knew. As a family of 3 with 2 in school, my husband received grants that covered his entire tuition and a parent scholarship that covered both of our textbooks. My living stipend was enough to cover the basics and we took out a small loan to cover emergencies and extras (since our tuition was being covered). This entire time, although God had provided, I struggled with fear that "what if we get pregnant again...right away...what if God thinks we can handle another kid? ..."I don't want another kid right now" but we were not using birth control and allowing God to give us His miracle(s) in His timing.

When my son was 16 months old, I stopped nursing and that same month (October 2010) conceived our 2nd son. Our second son was another healthy boy born naturally weighing 9lb.7oz...the labor couldn't have gone smoother. Although I had symptoms of nausea and fatigue for first 6 months of pregnancy with both babies, me and babies were healthy and had no problems.

Now, with 2 sons, having graduated with a second Masters and my husband having graduated with his BS degree..I am not in agreement with my husband about continuing to NOT use or practice any form of birth control. I am being adamant now about using the wisdom that God gave us, and the freedom of Choice that He gives to us. I tell my husband that God desires to give us our hearts desire, and right now, I do'nt desire more kids. I personally do not want to take any hormonal birth control however will be for condoms, or the rhythm method, husband is against all forms.

Now, I do agree with him in a sense and would love to feel peace about allowing God to have his complete way in our lives..although I justify practicing some form of method because financially, I don't want to have to work full-time and put my kids in day-care (in school, we utilized the University child care center which worked on a sliding-fee-scale) and now that we're out of school..we won't be able to utilize all of the services once available to us. We are fully capable of working and should. I currently work part-time in a very flexible good-paying job and my husband works full-time seasonally while he awaits for his "dream job" to open up. I desire to be able to travel and do things with my family, go on vacation (how I would love to go somewhere nice within a year)..I can't be pregnant and do what I would like to (7-day cruise) or missions trip to Costa Rica...I also, don't want to have to get a new vehicle to fit us all comfortably (I want to be comfortable).

My questions:

- Am I being selfish? or am I just using wisdom and practicing the choice that God gives to his children? I have prayed that God would reveal his plan for me and my family, that He would give me a revelation into this birth control debate (whether it's sinful not trusting in Him or reasonable)...I would like another child, just not right now. ????

- Is my husband being religious about this?

- Would natural family planning (rhythm method, temperature method) be considered not trusting in God?? My husband thinks so

- Anyone else in my shoes or have agreed to trust God with His Family planning?

At this point, my husband has preferred to abstain from intercourse with me instead of using a condom. This is our biggest and greatest issue and is greatly affecting my husbands trust in me as he questions my decision to desire some form of Family planning now.


Victoria - posted on 02/10/2012




My experience......

First off I have never had a regular cycle, so some methods just wouldn't work for us.

When we first got married my husband wanted me to take birth control as he didn't really want any more children having two teenagers from his previous marriage, I wasn't in agreement, but I went along.

Anyway after a while I came off the pill, as it made me sick, we were pregnant in a couple of months, had our oldest, I didn't breast feed & we didn't use anything. 2 and a bit years later had our second daughter. After which we used condoms, as neither of us wanted any more.

Well around our second daughters 1st birthday we found out we were expecting again & the doctor immediately put me on high risk due to some problems I had with my heart.

After having my 3rd daughter the doctor told me for health reasons (matter of life & death) I shouldn't have any more children , being pregnant could be very dangerous for me. So again I went on hormonal birth control, this time the patch.

Forward 6 years & I have been suffering from server migraines & the doctor explains that the BC makes them worse & deadly, pulls me off it immediately. Due to my other health issues with my heart, I can't have general antistatic to have my tubes tied, therefore later this month my hubby is having a vasectomy, something he never wanted to have, but after prayer we are both in agreement.

Sure I could go on trusting God that he won't let me get pregnant, and yet Gods word says don't put the Lord God to the test. God provided the wisdoms for these procedures, for these birth controls & I have no problem utilizing them, but with my health again I won't put God to the test. I trust him completely & believe he has ordered our steps every bit of the way.

However, it will be different for each couple, God will lead you in what is right for each of you. God says everything is permissible but not everything is beneficial & he also said not to put a stumbling block before your brother (or sister), this being the case, for some they are okay to use a form of BC, but for others they believe it is sin. If you believe it is sin or not trusting God then don't do it, if you are free to use BC & you and your hubby are in agreement, go ahead & use it.

Pray it through as a couple & allow God to order your steps.

Pastor Victoria MacPherson.

Crystal - posted on 04/01/2013




Your story of how God provided for you is interesting, since God did not provide tuition waivers and housing stipends, the government did. If the Catholic church is so adamant about not using birth control, they should have paid your tuition and housing. God did give us free will, we are not animals who have no control and no free will.

Amy - posted on 11/03/2012




Carmen, I wanted to respond to this because it is close to my heart. This is something me and my huband struggled with as well. In my prayer and commiting my whole heart to gods will he began to change my heart. First off I believe that the bible tells us that children are a blessing and no where in the bible do I see where it says we are to control how may kids we have. The truth be told the bible gives us many verses that tells us that having children is a blessing and that it is gods will. The bible also says that we are to submit to our husbands and not be apart physically accept to pray. I have three beautiful daughters and I have often feared about providing for and tought of all the things I want to do in life. What he hs revealed to me is that he opens and closes th womb. He knows what we can handle and most of all he tells us not to worry about tommorrow but to trust him today. Truly loving God means we die to ourselves and live for him. He reveals to each of us what we are meant to be doing. We went from my husband wanting no more children to my husband realzing that more children was not his choice but gods. Real wisdom is only real wisdom if it lines up with gods word and his will. So when you think something is a wise choice, check it to see if it alligns with gods word. I am not trying to say your side is wrong, but the real answers to lifes question lie in being in line with the word of god.Best wishes to you and your husband.

Linda - posted on 02/10/2012




I have thought long about how to answer this question because I have pondered it long myself. I will tell you what I did when I was young....and what I've learned since then.

When I was engaged, I did my own Bible study on birth control...mainly because I wanted to get my information right from the Bible instead of taking someone else's view of it. After several months, I determined in my mind that God did want us to have children, but that he didn't specify by how MUCH to muliply. Therefore, I took birth control for 4 years in the beginning of our marriage--I wanted to finish college and save some money before we had children. (My husband was in agreement with this.) After that, I had my first child and never went on birth control again...I didn't really like the idea of taking chemicals. We did occasionally use condoms, though my husband hated them. Finally, after my fourth child was born, and I was really stressed (and homeschooling as well), my husband had a vesectomy, and our child-bearing days were over.

I was never really at peace with that idea...I wondered if I had had enough faith if we could have handled more children. For YEARS this bothered me. I confessed any lack of faith to God and know that God forgave any sin....but still wondered what could have been. Recently, I learned that I have endometriosis (and have probably had it all along) uterus is pretty scarred, and I am amazed I have any children at all! In the end, God is sovereign and he will give you the children he wants you to have.

Given all that, these are some things I think you need to consider:

1) First, you agreed with your husband before you were married that you would follow God's plan to have children as they came...and God has been faithful so far. I think you two need to be in agreement on this if you change your direction. You should both pray TOGETHER about this every day that God would show you wisdom (James 1) You also need to make sure that you are honoring and respecting your husband.

2) Men hate condoms; don't make him wear one

3) Some people can have large families more easily than others. Some mothers are easy-going and have easy-going kids. I know a woman who has 10 children, and I never see her stressed....she takes everything in stride and her children are wonderful, loving, helpful, and well-behaved. Others (like me) are more Type-A personalities that need to have everything planned.....and have kids that are slightly ADHD. It's harder to have a large family with that mix of personalities.

4) I was afraid to trust God because I thought I would end up with 10 kids (I was married at age 20)....I probably would not have had more kids even if we had done nothing.

5) I know many families who have agreed to trust God with their family planning, and none have regretted it.

6) I think that Natural family planning is an excellent idea IF your husband is on board with the idea.

7) Sex is an important part of marriage; never abstain for too long.

8) If I were to do it all over again, I think I would try to trust God more, and plan less.

In the end, this is a decision that only you and your husband can make, seeking direction from God alone. Again, it is very important to be in agreement on this. Pray, trust God.

Kaitlin - posted on 02/09/2012




Okay. *tucks in to answer*

As a Catholic, we practice Natural Family Planning, which is not considered a form of contraception by the Church, and it was the only form of planning accepted by all Christian churches until the 30's (yes, that's right, all churches agreed condoms=bad). It is not the rythm method, it is more accurate than any other form combined when practiced correctly and is really about the bringing together of a married couple entirely, not just whenever we please to have physical needs met.

I do not think you are selfish at all! I think you, along with most of society, has been taught one thing and went with it. It is encouraged to use 'protection', to have sex when we please, and to do whatever we feel like. I don't think he is being selfish here either. Marriage is about martydom to self.

I'm not sure what you mean by 'is my husband being religious'? If he's just going with what he remembers (which sounds like it may be incorrect, NFP is VERY much a part of a Catholic home, and is taught in churches, and is based on scripture.) and what is fact. Definitely do research together before making your choice.

I have a lot of reading material that you are welcome to if you would like to learn more. It's not difficult once you try it (though I know it can seem daunting in the beginning) and the whole aim is to bring you both together completely, with no barrier, not denying one another any piece of you, and getting to know your own body better (which helps in a bunch of other ways, btw- even if you decide to use barriier methods, using Fertility Awarenss method- which is NFP with barrier methods and is not okay'd by the church, but the ways of figuring out your body are the same- it's a great way of getting to know your body and when something may be wrong or when to expect your period, etc).

I feel like I have so much more to say and I'm rambling. But I think that's okay because your original post was so much the same, lol. Contraception has become somewhat of a hot button issue as of late with Obamacare and all that, so there has been a lot more discussion and incorrect ideas about it flying around. It's tough to get the right information. Even if you are not practicing any particular denomenation at this time, it may be helpful to go and talk to a priest from the Catholic church to get all the details about NFP and find out exactly what they (we) believe. There are also a lot of churches that have classes on the NFP and why it is acceptable and how to do it.

Here's one link, it's to a specific article but there's other great stuff on this blog if you have time to fish around, and if you want to talk about it ever, send me a line! I love this stuff, lol, and I won't force what I believe on you, but I'll let you know what it is I do believe.

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Lauren - posted on 11/06/2012




I haven't read all the other posts so sorry if this is duplicating, but I'm going to post here a response I just posted for someone else.

There are several natural methods of birth control and because you monitor your own body free of hormones are just as effective (or more effective with other BC methods used incorrectly) than hormonal birth control. ..a great compromise between both of you. This was actually taught to us during our marriage prep with the Catholic Church, and many other religions and organizations are teaching it because of its basis in science and accuracy. With any method, there are chances to get pregnant, but I know one woman who does this knowing if she gets pregnant again her breast cancer will come back with a vengance. She has trusted it for 20 years.

Do not follow the days/rythmn method as that is not always accurate, but there are other methods where you track your temparature at the same time each day or by looking at the stickiness and color of your vaginal mucous each day (sounds gross, I know but only takes a second each day). One is called the Billings method .. the other is the Creighton model. You can actually sign up for a couple sessions with people trained to help you learn how to track your body and how to get your spouse involved as well so all the pressure isn't on you.

Definitely check it out because I've met numerous people who have made this a part of their daily life and find it rewarding to share sexuality without limiting the other person's fertility, without forcing hormones into your body and still plan when to and not have children. Links below (keep in mind this is Wikipedia and I still recommend speaking with an expert) and contact me with any questions ( Also look into the Couple to Couple Network ... they support you in natural birth control methods.

Angela - posted on 02/26/2012




Looked up the LadyComp it's an impressive piece of machinery! DIdn't know what VCF was so looked that up as well. It's only a spermicide and I really don't think the margin of error on spermicides used alone is small enough to be worth the risk, I feel a barrier method should be used as well. I think diaphragm or cap is an excellent contraceptive method and is also favoured by female doctors.

But I'll remember LadyComp! Great stuff!

Ashley - posted on 02/26/2012




I strongly suggest that you and your husband pray and ask God what His plan is. How many children does He want you to have and when? Try asking Him. Also, if you have a health problem that stands between you and having children, don't pray not to get pregnant, pray to be healed. If your finances aren't steady, pray for that to improve, or at least for God to show you what He is planning so you can rest a little easier. We should live by faith and use godly Wisdom. You'd be amazed what He will give, when asked.

I also think Linda was spot on "First, you agreed with your husband before you were married that you would follow God's plan to have children as they came...and God has been faithful so far."

The Lord has proven Himself to you time and time again. trust Him now as well. The Spirit of Truth has the answers and He will reveal to you His plan. I'm pretty sure it won't be abstinence. That is a dangerous, controlling, possibly abusive game to play. It can do emotional damage. I can't even imagine wanting to be intimate with my husband and being rejected and told, "I don't want anymore kids."

And also, if the reason that you don't want more children is solely that you think you wont be able to handle it, you need to seriously reconsider your position. Look at your life through the lens that God will always support and excel you; will more children be a problem?

I hope you and your husband always remember to put God first in your family and relationship. His will is all that matters; and His plan for you is amazing!

Be Blessed Sister.

Angela - posted on 02/23/2012




Don't think anyone's been harsh on here. Yes there have been some strongly-worded answers, but it's an emotive subject.

Peace everyone!

Carla - posted on 02/23/2012




Good morning, ladies. Carmen brought her question to us, as Christian women, to give her Godly advice. I know our thoughts and emotions are a part of who we are, but let's be kind and choose our words carefully. We do not want to offend each other while we are trying to get our point across.

Remember, respect, not thumps.

Thanks and God bless all!

Jamie - posted on 02/22/2012




I think it is horrible that people would want to make me not be intimate with my husband if I wasn't planning on possibility of a pregnancy.

We wanted to have two biological children and adopt one.

I ended up developing a really deadly complication in my pregnancy that is likely to happen again- and there is a significant possibility I would die from it.

We opted (happily) to have my husband have a vasectomy so that I would be alive to take care of my children.

I also think we're discounting adoption as a means of multiplying. The world is OVERPOPULATED. We actually obeyed that command back in Genesis. It's done. It is ridiculous to think that the only means of bringing up a large christian home is through birth.

Angela - posted on 02/22/2012




But Rebekah - I'm wondering if it's somehow a "must" for a Christian couple to produce children - at all? I'm supportive of couples who conscientiously decide they don't want children. I think a couple who decide that they don't want any children are being responsible when you consider how many people thoughtlessly breed and don't look after their children properly.

I don't support abortion, but those who take care not to conceive in the first place because they know they definitely don't want children should not be maligned. Not many accept it when they say they don't want a family .... They believe:

*Wife wants children, husband says no - so no kids (or vice-versa - husband wants them but wife says no)

*The couple actually WANT children but there's a medical reason why they're not getting pregnant, so they're putting a brave face on it and "pretending" they don't want kids ...

*They want kids but career is more important and they can't guarantee they'll still be able to have a family in a few years time so they "claim" they don't want a family ...

*They want a family but don't wish to discuss it with others as it's none of their business ....

And so it goes on! No-one seems able to accept that some people just don't want children! And for those who do want them but are unable to have children it's tremendously liberating to know that there are other couples who don't want children anyway. They feel less of a failure when it's evident that having a family isn't the be all and end all.

A friend of mine never, ever wanted children. She met and married a man who felt the same way. After using contraception very strictly and consistently for 3 or 4 years, the 2 of them had medicals. The husband was found to be infertile anyway and the wife's fertility was "questionable". Believe me, this couple felt REALLY blessed when they found this out.

It's absolutely fine to have a family, to love and look after one's children and enjoy being a parent. But PLEASE don't let's assume it's the only Godly way to conduct one's marriage. If those who don't have a family are somehow "lesser" human beings and their marriages are apparently less valid, where does that leave couples like me & my husband who married at 50 - therefore unable to have kids with each other?

(I do have 4 adult children from my first marriage). If any of my own children came to me and said they had decided, together with their partner that they weren't going to have children, would I be disappointed? Start quoting some piece of scripture at them? Imply their relationship wasn't worth as much? I wouldn't be so rude!

Breeding the future generations isn't the be-all and end-all of life.

User - posted on 02/22/2012




This is definitely a tricky subject because the decision that you and your hhusband will make is based on your believes, not on what other people tell you.

Personally, I feel God is an all Mighty being who will guide me through life. However, I dont think letting God pick how many children I will have and when is what should be expected by my church/religion.

I believe we are beings of free will. That is how God has made us. So if I feel that having one child is enough, or if having 5 children will enrich my life, that choice should be up to me. If that means using precautions so I dont accidently get pregnant, then that is perfectly ok.

Rebekah - posted on 02/22/2012




I'm all for "be fruitful and multiply". If you look into most Christian homes now, they stop after 2, some even after 1. But look into a Muslim home and they have 5+ kids. Can't get anymore devout than a Muslim in their faith... pray 5 times a day, spend over 4+ hours studying their book, etc. Needless to say, they have "be fruitful and multiply" down better than any religion out there - and now look into the world, Muslim religion is dominating and Christianity is beginning to lack. I truly believe that when we decide to put the "choice" into our hands, we miss out on the blessings that God wants you to have. Free choice is ours, but God still wants our choices to line up with Scripture.

Summer - posted on 02/19/2012




We used the LadyComp. It's a computer that tracks your temp and cycle for you. Works great but is spendy. They come from Europe. (can't believe they aren't bigger here!)

Also we used VCFs instead if condoms. Worked great when I was ovulating but we still wanted to have sex. Didn't get pregnant for 4years.

I'm not Catholic, but do think women have been planning childbirth for as long as we have had cycles. We have to plan our periods why not plan our ovulations. God gave us the wisdom to know our bodies, I don't see this as going against Gods will.

But I do think taking your husbands strong feelings into account is really important. I really want to adopt but my husband says he doesn't. Ive left it up to God to change his heart. If there is a child out there we are supposed to adopt, God will change his heart not me. Pray about it and follow your husbands lead.

Cyndel - posted on 02/19/2012




Ok...I completely get your point...for a while my thinking was similar to your husbands...though more because I was hoping we would get pregnant not just trusting in Gods plan.

But my husband has made an excellent point to me.

God snickers when we think just because we took a little pill or are wearing a thin layer of latex that we are in control of whether or not we conceive. GOD and God alone chooses when and if we have a baby.

God gave us brains and expects us to use them. If it is physically unhealthy or financially devastating to have a child at the moment then God has given excellent options to prevent conception. By saying the pill or a condom take the choice from God is denying God his divinity. He is all powerful; if he wants you to get pregnant then the pill will be a dud, or the condom will break.

God will let you know when it is time to stop using the protection and try to have another child, or he'll just reach down and break the condom...giggle. Trust God to tell you when it is time to put away the protection and try again.

The emotional and physical strain and stress that women used to go through because their choices were either possibly get pregnant again or not have sex with their husband, was immense.

The bible says not to stop having sex except for very specific reasons or you will be led to temptation...not necessarily adultery there are other temptations that can hurt a marriage. I say it is better to trust that God is more powerful than the pill then risk compromising your marriage by not having sex.

Nancy - posted on 02/18/2012




Hi Carmen, I hope all is well. I know that you stated you are Catholic and that impacts your views on birth control and child bearing. Please note, I am not Catholic so I am not fully knowledgeable about your Church's views on contraception. I am Christian and truly believe as Victoria stated before that God's will be done regardless of whether you used protection or not. I truly believe the only solution for your situation is prayer. Pray together with your husband, individually, and seek counsel from a priest or pastor you trust. Refraining from sex and love making will only harm your bond as a married couple and impact the marriage negatively. May God bless your family and the decisions you make. :0) Best wishes

Angela - posted on 02/16/2012




The Catholic Church (as I understand) are happy to advise ANYONE on methods of Natural Family Planning - you don't have to be a Catholic or even a Christian believer to get guidance from them.

Jasmine - posted on 02/16/2012




No you're not being selfish, having 2 kids, or 4 or 6 is a lot of work so it's not unreasonable that you want to take a break from childbearing. Maybe there needs to be some kind of compromise, like you'll use birth control for a year or two and then revisit the idea of having more kids or perhaps seek the advice of a priest since religion is a big factor here. I'm pretty sure the Catholic church is ok with Natural family planning.

Rachel - posted on 02/15/2012




I agree you should seek outside counselling. For myself, I prayed earnestly during my fourth pregnancy, whether this was the last one. My husband (who is much more anxious in nature than I am) needed to be done, and my answer to prayer was a very clear one, that God had sent the children he needed to send, but could send more - the choice was mine, and both were good. I chose to support my husbands decision, and I feel the wisdom there. I believe if God didn't want my husbands vasectomy, he would've told me so. Now my husband and I are talking about Foster Care. I have faith God will bring me the children I'm meant to have, and many bc methods are a tool that can work with God. Not to mention, if God really wants you to get pregnant, a little bc isn't going to stand in his way.

Julie - posted on 02/14/2012




When I prayed about this situation myself, I was led to this scripture. I know that verse 12 is talking about how a person becomes saved and becomes part of God's family spiritually. So I am not confused about that at all.

John 1:12

12 Yet to all who did receive him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God— 13 children born not of natural descent, nor of human decision or a husband’s will, but born of God.

But I also noticed that in verse 13 it tells of different ways that children are born physically: natural descent -- just letting it happen; human decision -- deciding to use birth control, or not to, and husband's will -- what the husband's decision is.

So this showed me that babies are born in different ways, and each way is ok. I also heard them talking about this on New Life Live. Have you ever heard of them? Once I heard them talking to someone and it sounded like they thought it was ok to plan your family. They are Godly wise men and women. You might want to call them and ask about this. This is a very hard one because I totally understand you not wanting to have 10 kids!!, but also it's hard to go against your husband's wishes, this can cause a great rift between you. And abstainance I don't think will be good for your marriage at all!

I knew that I couldn't have more than 2 because it would just be too much for me to handle. I wanted to be a good Mom that was able to give my children lots of attention and love, and not be too stressed out. I have great peace with our decision. I did pray and ask God for his guidance. Let the peace of Christ rule. When you have peace about your decision then you will know it's right.

I also know I'm living under grace and not under law.

You may want to get some Christian counseling. Try calling New Life Live. Look it up on the web. They are awesome Christian counselors, and you can call them and ask questions, on the air, though. But I think they could help more. Also they can direct you to someone to talk to.

Tell your husband that you want to stay close to him, and that you think maybe you both need someone to talk to so that you can be close and not let this cause problems between you since you love him so much.

[deleted account]

1 Corinthians 7:3 The husband should not deprive his wife of sexual intimacy, which is her right as a married woman, nor should the wife deprive her husband. 4 The wife gives authority over her body to her husband, and the husband also gives authority over his body to his wife.

This doesn't mean that a couple cannot come into agreement that they abstain during fertile days...

1 Cor 7:5, reads; “Do not refuse one another except perhaps by AGREEMENT, for a set time, to devote yourselves to prayer, and then come together again, so that Satan may not tempt you through lack of self-control.

NFP is more of a tool using discernment, whereas birth control is unnatural.

As for 'trusting god' we are taught to be good stewards. If we trust 'god will provide' we still need to budget and not over extend or let things just happen. NFP is the same in that a family isn't something that happens to us but through prayer and consideration of what's happening in life. Remember that it is God that created our cycles, that we have days that we are fertile and infertile.

There's also some scripture that MAY suggest natural family planning. Leah (Jacob's Leah, the one with the more loved sister Rachel) traded to have Jacob on a specific night. Possible that she knew she was furtile and would be planning to get pregnant.

Amy - posted on 02/12/2012




I will give you my story. I only wanted two kids, boy and a girl. Married my husband who loves a big family and comes from a big family. He also felt the same. I was building a career and not a family. We are very devoted to our faith and in God. I decided to trust in the leadership of my husband to for God to give me peace and He has. I now am pregnant with my ninth child. This will be our last as we have decided to "get broken". Interestingly enough, God has supplied ALL of our needs and wants. We live in a beautiful home, have traveled the world and I work in law at home. Actually now my hubby works with me at home and we run the company together. God has given us such grace to have a large family and I am sooooo grateful I did. I have not missed out on anything and either have my kids. This is TOTALLY not what I wanted in my life, but I am so blessed and honored that I trusted in my husbands leadership, none of it would be possible if he was not 100% committed to our family and raising of these little ones. We did use rhythm method, (this is why they sent the women away for some time after their menstrual cycle, or wouldn't touch them during a period of time) and if it happened it happened. No meds, no condoms, just nature. I have had a baby every two years and oddly enough every pregnancy I am either in Italy, German, Japan (we were also missionaries in Honduras for a number of years) I have been on cruises and I am a conference speaker at churches so I traveled A LOT!! I will say God has changed my needs and want factors a lot in raising a large family. We use "eating out" as a blessing for one or two of the kids to spend time with just them at kids eat free restaraunts, its a special thing and not an american right/norm, lol. Its actually cheaper for food cause we buy in bulk and my hubby is a professional chef (THANK GOD) We have created the family lifestyle we want! Wouldn't change a THING. thats my story and I hope it encourages you.

Victoria - posted on 02/11/2012




The word says "Nothing is impossible with God". So where as we can make choices, if God has a specific plan that he is wanting to fulfil that involves you having more kids, then there is no birth control, not sterilization that can stop Gods plan.

Kelina - posted on 02/11/2012




To me it sounds more like you are struggling in your faith than anything. Right there in your post, you tell us that God has never provided you with more than you could handle. HE provided you with a way through school. He provided you with daycare. He's given you a job that works wonderfully with being a mother as well. And yet, you're continuing to distrust Him. I'll be the first to say my faith has always been on shaky ground. To trust God even as much as you have so far is still far beyond what I believe I can do, not to mention my husband would never agree to it. But even with the things that you've mentioned I think possibly you and your husband should make several things clear. How many children do the two of you want? Does he believe there's a point where you should stop? What would be your ideal situation for having more kids? I also feel you might want to look at how practical the things you've said you want to do are going to be with two small children. a cruise, or a missions trip are still going to be difficult. And remember that even when you and your husband come to an agreement, no matter what method you're using if God believes the time is right for you to have another child it's going to happen whether you believe it's time or not. Talk to your hubby. Pray about it together if he will. And really look inside yourself and ask if you can trust God to provide for you no matter what.

Marie - posted on 02/11/2012




one last thing. "trust in the Lord" is never followed by a "but" in the Bible. Trust in Him. He will never steer you wrong. and He may give u more than u can handle, that's whenn your need of Him is perfected and your dependence on Him is made clear. He will give you the tools u need when u need them.

Marie - posted on 02/11/2012




the Bible also says Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding. God also provoded the knowledge to create nuclear weapons. doesnt make it right to use them. maybe not the best example but you see the point. my husband and i made the decision for him to be sterilized 7 years ago. i regret it because we chose to stand in the way of God's blessings...which is what children are. do i think it was an unpardonable sin? no. the Bible only gives is one of those. but i do think that we should not have taken out own initiative on the matter. our wisdom never trumps the wisdom of God and He can prevent or allow a pregnancy in any circimstance let's not allow ourselves to beloeve that we can change His plan by our actions.

Carla - posted on 02/11/2012




@Victoria--I am THRILLED they figured out what was exacerbating your migraines! I can tell you now, I was very worried about you and many prayers went up for you. Yay God!

At 21 I had two children, 5 and 3. During the waiting period for the divorce to be final I met my now husband. I had been told that my uterus was tipped upside down, and that I might as well get off the pill because it was messing with my mental health. Even with taking the pill and the tipped uterus, I got pregnant with Mark's and my first, my third baby. God absolutely wanted Randi to be born! But, neither of us had any type of formal education, and raising 3 children was a great financial strain. I was back-slidden at the time, but I still feel God was watching over me, to grant us the great joy of having Randi. After watching the labor and breach birth, my husband, who wanted a football team and a squad of cheerleaders signed the papers for a tubal ligation. I was 22, he was 20.

Even if I HAD been living a Christian life, I would STILL have had 3 children that we struggled to support. Although I would have loved to have more (there's nothing like rocking your little one), the responsible part of me knew it would be more of a sin to bring more children into the world that we couldn't afford than to be willy-nilly and hope God was watching.

Each couple has to work out their salvation and lives with fear and trembling. Like Victoria said, if you honestly feel birth control is wrong, don't take it or use it. But what ever we do, we have to be fully persuaded it is right for us.

God bless, all!

Becky - posted on 02/11/2012




I applaud you in not using both control. There is nothing wrong with Natural Family planning. Yes I agree with trusting in God but if you struggle to make ends meet now adding another bundle of joy will only put more Strain on you and your family. I suggest where ever you go to church you talk to the pastor. That is why they are there to take care of God's flock. Just so you know you are not alone. We want another one but can't do it financially so we use Natural Family planning.

Angela - posted on 02/11/2012




Male or female sterilization is good, once your family is complete. I got sterilized at age of 37. It's easier if the man is the one who gets sterilized but it's not the man who gets pregnant - therefore I feel more assured being sterilized myself.

Also, I had it done for free on the National Health Service (UK). I was told that it varied from time to time - sometimes the waiting list for female sterilization was shorter, sometimes the vasectomy waiting list was shorter. Couple who were desperate for surgical intervention just went along with whichever waiting list was shorter.

But you have to be sure!!

Angela - posted on 02/10/2012




There are a number of contraceptive methods that have been revealed to be “abortifacient”. Most people know that the coil, or IUD is said to be one of these. It is said to prevent a fertilized egg implanting in the wall of the uterus. However, it’s not so well known that nearly all hormonal contraceptives also do this. That means the following products are questionable.

The Pill (combined oestrogen & progestogen pill)

The mini-Pill (progestogen only pill)

Depo Provera contraceptive injection

Emergency contraception (morning after pill)

Contraceptive implants (Norplant etc …)

Main aim of hormonal contraceptives is that they prevent ovulation – if this was the case all the time then it wouldn’t be a problem. However, occasionally it’s not effective in preventing ovulation. So an ovum might get fertilized. However, the resulting fertilized egg will not proceed to a successful pregnancy because the hormonal contraception affects the endometrium making it unsuitable for implantation. Therefore a very early abortion takes place – to be fair this is thought to be in a pretty low percentage of cases – firstly intercourse would’ve had to have taken place, secondly the ovulation suppressing function would have had to have failed, thirdly the cervical mucus which is thickened as another effect of hormonal contraception must have somehow let sperm through anyway, and of course the sperm getting through must be healthy and active enough to be able to fertilize the egg – so maybe a long shot – but is this risk one that you want to take? Information on the links below:

Barrier methods of contraception are not abortifacient. Linda’s right – most men DO hate condoms but I reckon they’re better than other methods which might be abortifacient. Let’s face it, most men hate any form of taking responsibility if it’s something they can neatly pass over to the wife!

However, I will readily admit that condoms are annoying and fiddly for both partners. The best contraception, I feel, is the female barrier contraceptive – the diaphragm or Dutch cap. They’re easy to insert, very cheap to use, don’t involve pumping your body full of hormones, possible weight gain and not abortifacient in the least. Because they were used long before the Pill was even invented/formulated, they’re an old method that many women don’t even consider now. But they’re effective. I read somewhere that because of the simplicity and lack of side effects etc … the cap or diaphragm is the preferred contraceptive choice of a great many women doctors.

So if the medic ladies actually prefer them to all the modern, state-of-the-art hormonal contraceptives, who are we to argue?!?!?

Ferris - posted on 02/10/2012




When I first got married 15 years ago I was using the Norplant birth control. I had never given much thought to using birth control, nor had my husband. Once we started living for the Lord (we were raised as Christians, but weren't practicing Christians when we first got married) we questioned it, but thought it's wise not to have kids if we couldn't afford them. We believed God wanted us to use wisdom. I had a very bad experience with the Norplant and had to stop using it. This was six years into our marriage. I researched many forms of birth control and just didn't feel comfortable with any. I was convinced there had to be something I was missing in God's word about birth control so I wrote a letter to my pastor, his secretary called me to discuss the later. She told me our church was not against birth control, that there was not scripture she could give me against using it. She said the most important thing was that my husband and I were in agreement over what we were going to do. Then she shared her testimony. She didn't feel comfortable using birth control either. So her and her husband agreed not to and prayed they would have kids in God's timing. Neither one of them was interested in conceiving right away. I think it was several months or so since they had stopped using birth control. She then prayed with me. I know God led me to talk with her, because I wanted to do just what she was doing. Once I got off the phone I discussed with my husband. He listened. I then prayed "God in the Bible many women who are barren ask you to open their womb and you do. So I know you are able to shut a womb that's fertile. God I submit to your will and your timing. God you know I don't desire to get pregnant before I turn 30. I give my body and sex life over to you". After that I prayed with my husband. I felt complete peace about it from the Lord. We didn't use any form of birth control, not natural family planning, not counting to see when I would be ovulating, not anything. We just had sex whenever we felt like it. I was 26 at the time. I didn't get pregnant until I was 30. I smiled when I got pregnant because God had answered my prayer. We had a beautiful healthy baby girl. After I had her my husband thought we should use birth control. I didn't really want to but I went along. After several months I expressed how I felt about it and he said well just stop using it then. We just prayed and trusted the Lord. When our daughter was 3 we wanted to have a second, we prayed and God gave us our first son. We didn't use any birth control after he was born and when he was 13 months we conceived our 3rd child, our second son. My husband does not want anymore kids and is planning to get a vasectomy. I am not in agreement with this. I don't believe God is directing him to do that, although right now I don't want anymore kids. Whatever you decide to do prayer about it with your husband. Make sure you are both in agreement. Continue to pray together for God's wisdom.

Angela - posted on 02/10/2012




Carla's absolutely right here - at the moment the "solution" to your current worries about getting pregnant as it's not the right time are pretty much solutions that are not ideal. I especially applaud this bit (quoting Carla):

"This is something you and hubby are going to have to talk about, very plainly. When children come into a marriage, a lot of Mom and Dad's hopes and dreams go out the window."

My own life now at age 53 is a very long way off what I imagined or hoped for it to be, back when I was in my late teens/early 20's - or even what I expected it to be for several years beyond that time.

Now I don't regret the existence of my children - most parents don't. But a whole load of things have impacted on the way things are now for me - my first marriage, the "control" my own parents exerted over my life (sometimes very subtly, but effectively nevertheless), my circumstances, my own poor choices ... Lots of stuff played the part of removing my life a long way away from what I wanted or expected. You can never get those years back.

Having said that, I'm very happy these days. I'm in a secure happy marriage to my 2nd husband, I have a job and have been in employment with the same organisation for over 4 years, my children have grown up and are doing fine, I have a nice home and no real worries! I never expected to have this happiness, comfort and security - even 10 years ago!

But age and the advancing years towards retirement and ultimately death are on the horizon. I don't think I made the "splash" with my life that I wanted to.

It takes a very firm and self-assured person to say - "Here I am, life hasn't always been 'peachy' but things are great now, so no regrets!"

Don't know if I can actually say that for myself, but guess what? I CAN say "In spite of everything, good or bad, there is no-one on this earth I'd rather be than be myself ...! No-one else alive would be as good as being me - as me!" and I believe when a person can truthfully make that statement, they can probably work towards the day they can also truthfully say "no regrets!".

But all I've done here is philosophize about my own life. You're the person who needs to take a good long look at YOUR life, not me. And your husband's life. You mention he is waiting for an opportunity opening for him to get his dream job. How realistic is this "dream" of his? Would it be adversely affected by adding to the family again at this stage? If so, I can see that he's obviously being pro-active towards this ambition by abstaining from marital intimacy.

As you're young, you're in a much better position to take the bull by the horns and discuss your family planning issues with your husband - and do so thoroughly and soon. Then you take effective action that is agreeable to both of you.

If he's not willing to talk about it, he's not showing maturity. And maturity is essential for him to be a husband to you, to be a father to your existing family, to be a suitable candidate for his dream job, to be able to build, nurture and sustain a worthwhile, enriching marriage with you. If he wants all those things, he's going to have to grow up, evolve and be willing to talk through his concerns and yours.

Sorry if I've rambled a bit there - but good luck anyway! I'll pray for you & your family!

Carla - posted on 02/10/2012




Okay, I'm seeing some inconsistencies here--hubby wants to trust God for family planning, but has abstained from sex? Isn't this a form of birth control? AND, it isn't a good one ;) Abstaining is going to cause frustration and resentment if it goes on too long.

You told your husband you would go along with God planning your family, and he is still operating under that premise. However, when my husband and I got married I had two children from a previous marriage and was pregnant immediately with our third. He had told me he wanted a football team and a squad of cheerleaders ;) I would have agreed to anything for him! I had a horrid pregnancy and she was born breach. He was in the delivery room with me and held my hand all through it. As soon as she was born, he went and signed the consent for a tubal ligation. We make all kinds of plans/agreements, but once LIFE happens, we have to re-think some of them.

This is something you and hubby are going to have to talk about, very plainly. When children come into a marriage, a lot of Mom and Dad's hopes and dreams go out the window. My husband wanted to go to medical school, and started school. We had 3 children, I had a 9th grade education, so getting a job that actually supported the family was impossible. His dreams had to be discarded in order to raise the children. I don't think he regretted it. We struggled financially for a long time, but the gifts from God were ours to nurture. How important is your career versus Connor plus any other children?

I pray God give you explicit answers, so you can make your decision, knowing you have the mind of Christ. God bless, honey

Angela - posted on 02/09/2012




Right, I’d be one of the first to endorse NFP – but only when it’s used correctly, effectively and with a good discipline.

Nearly all Family Planning doctors who prescribe and advise on artificial contraception say that the failure rate of such methods are nearly always down to human error. So many couples using an effective contraceptive method still fail to read the instructions that come with the Pill, condom or whatever method they’re using. And they don’t remember the verbal instructions and guidance given to them by the nurses/doctors before they left the clinic!

For example, having a bout of sickness, diarrhoea or vomiting will render the Pill ineffective. That’s because the hormonal, contraceptive effect of the Pill is no longer present when the Pill itself is no longer in one’s body! The vomiting/diarrhoea took care of that! When this occurs, a barrier method should be used until next cycle of Pills is started.

Barrier methods fail when they’re not applied/inserted correctly and also when unorthodox, non-approved lubricants are used (butter? Vaseline? NO!!! NEVER USE THEM FOR THIS PURPOSE!!)

That’s just TWO examples of human error in using contraception!

How much more is failure a possibility, or even a likelihood if couples are sloppy or undisciplined with NFP when they’re careless in using contraceptives? There are times within one’s cycle (the fertile times) when NFP requires the couple to abstain – can both partners do this? And if one partner is weak, how easily does the other partner “give in”? My friend was a Methodist woman whose husband, a Roman Catholic insisted on natural methods. Her husband was incapable of abstaining though.

I would strongly advise a long, serious discussion with your husband and with a family planning advisor before settling on ANY method. Seriously! And if settling for natural methods, remember there are ways to intimately keep one another happy without risk of pregnancy on the days you need to abstain from intercourse.

Good luck!

Angela - posted on 02/09/2012




So is he saying no contraception at all? Or is he just saying "no" to the ones which require something from HIM? As in using condoms (something many men don't like doing) or using natural methods (which requires the willpower to abstain during the unsafe times in the cycle).

I respect your preference to avoid hormonal contraception. Why put chemicals in your body? There is a condom called a Femidom - a female condom, if you would consider this.

Have a little think about this and an honest discussion with him. The picture I'm beginning to get is that YOU aren't the selfish one. And how realistic is the "dream job" your husband is waiting for?

There are more ways of making love and being intimate with your partner than intercourse. Lots of ways that don't result in pregnancy or risk of pregnancy.

Carmen - posted on 02/09/2012




thanks Angela Barker, I revised it a bit and hope it is more understandable..I felt the need to give the whole story before getting to the questions. I appreciate your response to me and I guess I'm just stuck as to what I should do from here :( I hate having these feelings of fear and nervousness about more kids but my hubby is not budging about his beliefs..I'll continue to pray..

Angela - posted on 02/09/2012




I feel your post (being a long one) is incomplete?

Birth control or Family Planning can be something of a contentious issue for some Christians. Also remember that Family Planning doesn't just refer to avoiding pregnancy or adding to your family, it's also planning for additions to your family!

I have 4 children - these were spaced using various contraceptive & natural methods, the odd occasion of taking risks etc ... I found that immediately after the birth of a new baby is the time when couples are less inclined to take risks, not wanting to add to the family so soon (unless planning/wanting to do so). After my 4th child (but not immediately after) I was sterilized and have never regretted this decision.

It's good to trust the Lord but using a Family Planning method (whether artificial or natural) doesn't show mistrust - it shows initiative and wisdom - which are God-given attributes.

I have seen some families in Church communities have several children in a short space of time and to myself at least have questioned the wisdom of this. In times of economic hardship for entire nations, never mind individual families I always thought it seemed unacceptable to go ahead, breed regardless and then allow others within one's own Church fellowship to help out in various ways.

Of course, I would never argue that for most, the best time to produce one's family is when you're young. Putting off having children until you're in a more financially viable position, further on with one's career, fully educated, better housed etc ... might appear a wiser choice but whilst time marches on, the health and fertility of a seemingly fit and healthy couple can indeed diminish. With this in mind, I can understand why a great many couples will go ahead and start their families (and maybe even continue and finish their families!) before they're in an ideal economic position to do so.

You've also hit upon a crucial consideration in your opening post. The importance of first nurturing your marriage. So many couples just get on and reproduce once they're married. They don't plan the time to learn to really get to know and cherish one another. I'm just thinking about SO MANY couples who split in the first 5 years or so because they rushed into parenthood and didn't first spend time valuing and getting familiar with each other.

I'm beginning to see why so many modern couples nowadays are making conscious decisions not to have children at all!

Please post again so we might see the full extent of what you wanted to put in your opening post!

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