Birth Control: Is It Biblically Acceptable?
This is one of those questions that is very very practical and very contemporary.
What about the question of birth control?
We’re living in a world where mankind has almost altogether forgotten there is a Creator God who upholds this universe by His power, has almost completely repudiated God. They look at the increase in population, they look at the problems of providing sufficient food for the nations of the world, and mankind is becoming really concerned that maybe things are not going to continue to go well, that we’re going to end up with an imbalance between food and population so that the world is going to starve itself out.
Therefore, instead of looking to the Bible to try to find some answers, man in his vain reasonings develops his own answers. He reasons that effectively — he doesn’t really say this quite this way — but effectively he’s saying “we cannot trust God, after all. He has abandoned us. Look at what is happening in the world, as the population continues to grow and as we have trouble with droughts and famines and tornadoes, and other things that make the raising of crops difficult. We’ve got to take matters into our own hands.”
So sin always breeds sin. First of all, they decide that we are going to control the conception of children. Then, after that sin has been able to mature a little bit, mankind has come to the second sin. In some cases the conception of children was not denied, and conception did occur, so we better abort the children. And so for the last several years, all over the world, millions, literally millions, of babies are aborted or are murdered, because of man’s fright that this world is getting out of balance.
Then the third sin develops. Because they’ve been able to control conception, this now means that sexual relationships can know no barriers. Men and women can live together without the benefit of marriage, they can go from partner to partner. Sex and all that goes with it is magnified until all the rules that God has laid down concerning adultery and fornication and immortality are flaunted right and left.
Well, that’s kind of a negative answer to the question, isn’t it?
But that really is what the world is doing. Now let’s see what God says about it.
First of all, God decreed in Genesis 9, after the Flood, to Noah, and this is a reiteration of the command He had originally given to Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden, “Be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth.” This was God’s command to mankind.
Secondly, God declared in Psalm 127 and 128 that children are an evidence of the blessing of God. For example, in verse 3 of Psalm 128 we read, “Thy wife shall be as a fruitful vine by the sides of thine house, thy children like olive plants around about thy table. Behold, thus shall the man be blessed that feareth the Lord.” In other words, God is indicating that children are a blessing, not a curse.
Now obviously, they’re only going to be a blessing if we belong to the Lord and if we are doing it by God’s rules. If we’re an unsaved family, a family that’s going by our own rules, then everything is topsy-turvy. If we design the rules, then we’re going to find all kinds of trauma and trouble anyway. But if we belong to the Lord and are concerned that God is indeed to be trusted, then God declares, “Children are a blessing.” And the more children, the greater the blessing.
More than that, God teaches in Psalm 104, for example, that children are conceived in the womb by the activity of God. After all, that baby that is conceived has to be given a soul. That can only occur because God created that soul in the womb of the mother. Whenever a baby is conceived, it of course was done through a biological union of a man and a woman, but actually God had to bless that union by bringing into being that new being within the womb of the mother. That’s God’s province, in other words.
Now we go on.
Who makes it possible that the grass grows and the crops bring forth abundant harvests?
Does man do that?
Well, man can put fertilizers on, and all that, and cultivate properly.
But God can send a drought in five minutes, can’t He?
So that the crop shrivels and goes to dust. And man can’t do anything about that. Or God can send benevolent rains so that they come just at the right time, the sunshine just at the right time, and He can bless those crops so that they bring forth a bumper harvest.
So you see, it is God who has set up the balances within this world. Even as He sets up the right kind of atmospheric conditions so that we can enjoy life, breathing just the right amount of oxygen, and all, so God also, if we trust in Him, will set up the proper balances so that there is an adequate food supply to supply whatever creation, whatever population God Himself brings into existence.
But of course if we violate the rules of God all over the place, then God is going to send His judgments, and we’re going to find that it’s going to be hard to find the blessings of God. But if mankind would trust in God, then we would find that God would do exactly what is best for this universe, for this creation.
Now this brings us to the Christian family. How are we to live in an alien world? Are we to be guided by the mores and the philosophies of the society around us? Are we to have fear in our hearts that we might not have enough finances to raise our children, if God would happen to bless us with five or six or seven or eight? Are we really going to trust in God, that He will provide what is necessary?
One of the fallacies that we run into in this world is that we have set standards for our material existence that are unbiblical altogether. We think we have to live in a certain kind of a house, we think we have to have a certain kind of car, or maybe two cars. We think we have to provide a certain amount of college education for our children. But where in the Bible does it say that any of these things are important? Nowhere, nowhere, nowhere in the Bible.
The things that’s important insofar as our relationship to God is concerned is that we obey Him and that we rear our children to obey Him. As we read in Deuteronomy 6, when we walk by the way and when we lie down and when we rise up, we tell our children about these things. We rear our children in the fear and the nurture of the Lord.
And it’s really not important at all whether they get a college education or whether we live in a fine house or whether we live in whatever kind of a house. The important things is that we have God in our lives.
If we as Christian families would simply abandon ourselves to God, now in I Corinthians 7:2 & 3, God declares that the husband’s body belongs to the wife, and the wife’s to the husband. And they’re to live together as one flesh. If we’ll live that way, trusting that God in His wonderful blessings will create a child in the womb of the wife at His good pleasure, then we are altogether in the will of God, and God is going to give us the perfect family. In one case it will be no children, in another case it’ll be one child, in another case it may be thirteen children.
But whatever the size of the family, we won’t have to fear that we are getting out of the will of God, and we know that every child that comes along is an evidence of the blessing of God.