Sunday, June 29, 2008

Birth Control

Now don't get all crazy but, prayerfully, Tim and I decided to go off birth control. We made this move of faith at the end of May. Since that time, God has moved my heart to see how much I disagree with the process of preventing children. This change of heart, under the influence of godly women, is something that only God could have brought about, and I speak out of humility and a desire to glorify God, so please join in dialogue about this subject. I would like to pose some questions regarding this subject, which I believe, by and large, Christian women, including myself,  have believed personal truth rather than searching and trusting God's truth.
I. My previous heart:
I believed that bc would keep me from getting pregnant, which most of the time it does. I thought I was immune from the power of God to allow pregnancy until "I was ready". I also believed that 3-4 children would be all I would want and I would use bc to stop any more pregnancies because, "I would be done" and any more children would be "more for me than I wanted". I used bc to prevent pregnancy because "I would know when I'm ready", "I want more time for just Tim and me", and "we can't afford to have children". As I look back, I realize how entirely selfish and egocentric these ideas are for me. 
II. My changing heart:
Before we were even married, Tim had objections to bc. He believed that if God wanted to grant us a baby, He would do it regardless.  But as we planned the wedding, and the time came for me to get back on the pill, we made a hasty decision just to do it --even though we hadn't really thought, prayed or conversed about the ramifications of bc. During the first 7 months of marriage, I settled into the belief that we couldn't afford children because we were and continuing to pay for two houses, school loans, braces, cars, etc. I still believed that the pill kept me immune from God's power. I was meeting with my Mom and aunt Sally studying through Nancy Leigh DeMoss' Lies Women Believe book and I came to the chapter about children. All this time, God was working on my heart in regards to this area, so I was primed for what I heard. 
In summary: 
1. Children are a blessing from God. 
Nowhere in the Bible is there one verse about children wherein it does not regard them as a prize, a gift or a crown from God. (Malachi 2:5, 1 Tim. 5:14, Matthew 19:13-15, Psalm 127:3-4; 128:3)

2. When we take methods to prevent God's blessings, especially if those blessings are a result of sacrifice, what we are really saying to God is, "My kingdom come, my will be done, not yours God."
3. It is ultimately God who opens and closes the womb. I began to see how selfish and utterly audacious I was in believing that I could determine when and how many children we would have. I realized this because I started getting a little fearful of how many women I knew were not able to bear children. A great friend of mine longs for children, but is unable to conceive, another friend went off bc and for two years, waited to get pregnant, another had to wait 5 years, and still others have lost babies to miscarriage, who knows if these problems are at all associated with what we do, chemically, to our bodies in an attempt to stop God's blessings. I also came to realize that just because I am ready, doesn't mean that I will automatically be a baby machine. Case in point at my naive belief that I would be pregnant this month. (Surprise- no baby!)
I'm going to include a long quote, but I think it is the heart of my heart:
"As Mary Pride points our in her penetrating book The Way Home,
'Family Planning is the mother of abortion. A generation had to be indoctrinated in the ideal of planning children around personal convenience before abortion could become popular. We Christians raise an outcry against abortion today, and rightly so. But the reason we have to fight those battles today is because we lost them thirty years ago. Once couples began to look upon children as creatures of their own making, who they could plan into their lives as they chose or not, all reverence for human life was lost...Abortion is first of all a heart attitude. "Me first.""My career first." "My reputation first.""My convenience first." "My financial plans first." And these exact same choices are what family planning, which the churches have endorsed for three decades, is all about.'
The process by which most people- even 'believers' - determine the size of their family is often driven by fear, selfishness, and natural human reason:
'How will we ever provide for more children? We're barely making ends meet, as it is. What about college tuition?' 'I can't physically handle more children. I'm already exhausted trying to take care of the two I already have.' 'I just don't have the patience to handle more children.' 'If we have more children, we won't have time for us as a couple.' 'My friends or parents will think we're crazy if we have more children. They think we already have too many.' 'If we were to let the Lord decide how many children we should have, we'd have two dozen kids!'  " -DeMoss

4. It is God's desire that we be fruitful (Genesis 1:28) (Genesis 9:1) and multiply, even to filling the Earth! Henry M. Morris writes,"It was therefore God's intent that man should fill the entire Earth, at least to the extent of its optimum productivity. Since this has not yet been accomplished, it is overt disobedience to God's command to seek now to impose population controls to prevent it."  Onan (Genesis 38:1-14) wasted his seed on the ground and God took his life. I think this has more to do with his disobedient heart in regards to God's laws about fulfilling your brother's duty, but if God's desire, generally was to have brother's fulfill their duty to their sister-in-law in order to produce children for the next generation- do you think this reflects the heart of God in desiring our obedience to his will in regards to our offspring?
III. My changed heart:
Is not firmly grounded in trusting God. I still waver back and forth. Many of you, including myself, are thinking, "Yea, just wait till you've got 5 kids and God's still 'blessing' you, then you'll eat these words my dear." Yup, I still fear. Can we afford kids? No, not if we continue to own two houses, desire a boat, buy whatever we want whenever we want and hope to live in a 4000 sq. ft. home. Yes, if we trust that God will provide what we need, when He deems we need it and hope in him to sustain us and our children. Do we want 12 kids? No, not if we continue to believe the lie that the world has fed us that it is our will and our plan to determine our family size and that we can't raise up and discipline that brood, even if I put on a wonderwoman outfit and Tim wins the lottery. Yes, if my heart is like Mary's "I am the Lord's servant...May it be to me as you have said." (Luke 1:38) For Mary, the timing was all wrong, she wasn't settled in a home, pulling 95K a year, nor was she even going to be home when Jesus was due. Yet, her response was exactly why God chose her to bear His Son. "I am your servant."
I have to ask myself:
If I trust God, why do I believe that I can prevent or become pregnant upon my will?
If I trust God, why do I worry that we can't afford to have children?
If I believe children are a blessing, as God says they are, does my desire to prevent them parallel the heart of God?
If I want to gain patience, and visualize the depravity of man, why would I prevent that sanctification process?
If I am unwilling to bear fruit in my family, can I really desire to bear fruit in the church- the bride of Christ? What if Christ's bride decided to "take birth control"? 

I urge you sisters, to examine your hearts. Why are we so accepting of our ability to control what God designed us to do? Biologically, emotionally, psychologically, physiologically- in every way I believe that the majority of women, at some point, will desire to be a mother to her husband's children. For those who do take bc, I don't judge you, I did too! I just want to share what I believe God is revealing to me through His word as I seek him. Of course I would be so interested in why you came to the belief regarding this topic that you have- whether you agree or not. You may also pray that if it be in the Lord's heart to give us 12 children that He gives you the grace not to laugh at me too loud. =) Love, Lauren 


Alison said...

Hey's Alison (Willy's wife) and man has it been a long time or what?!?!?! I stumbled across you blog by way of the Starr's blog. I love reading Rose's blog and sometimes click on her links to see if I know any of the people on her list...well, yes this is a small world.

Anyways, Congrats on your new marriage. You sound so so happy and you look great. I've really enjoyed your posts and thoughts. I just went back to Weight Watchers too about 3 weeks ago and I love it. I also haven't taken bc since we got pregnant with Boston our first son. I decided that the way it affected me and changed my emotions and body was not meant to be. I felt like a two-headed dragon ready to bite off Willy's head at the slightest wrong mood. I felt chemically off and couldn't take it anymore. It's been almost four years and there's no way I'll take it again. So far, I only have two kids, but hey, twelve will fill our quiver too if God chooses :)

Glad to see you are happy...hope you don't mind me poking around on here!

Love, Alison

Rose Starr said...

I wanted to comment here a few days ago, but the weekend happened! So, I'm back...

I love your recent heart I wish we lived close...I'd love to hang with you more!

BC is such a tough topic and I applaud you for your honest struggles...Desi and I have struggled through much of the same stuff...

I can vouch for God's provision though...We have lived an AMAZINGLY FULL life with four littles on one small income... God gave us a house, vehicles, vacations, furniture, a camera and plenty other blessings via people who chose to give to us. Desi and I are truly amazed.

I could go on, but it's late...there are days I want 10 more kids and other days I want to be 7 years old at my parent's house again! When it's all said and done though, I wouldn't trade motherhood for's been the most incredible blessing...truly life transforming and God has used raising children to grow Desi and I in ways we would not experience otherwise. Through the tough times I trust that God will see me through and I have these glimpses of life when I'm older (if God allows) of Desi and I having family vacations, dinners and holidays with our grown children and their children...

Praying for God's will for you and Tim!

Alison said...

Hey again...this is the only way I can figure to reply to your comment...not sure if email works on this blogger thing...anyways...

willy and i are living in menifee and moving in about a month to wildomar with my family. willy is going back to school, so we are going to live with my family to take the pressure off him working so much and doing school. I'm working at starbucks in murrieta to bring in some extra money for us. That's what we are up to right now...knowing us though, things could change next week...we'll see.

I'm totally with Rose on God's provision for our families and the fulfillment of children. It's so fun and makes life so much fuller. I have a friend getting married and she has been asking me about bc lately. I may tell her to read your blog cause I love all the quotes!

Thanks for letting me chat with ya...I'm sure my comment was surprising to get!