Christians and the Birth-Control Controversy

Two weeks before my wedding I paid a visit to the lady doctor.  She poked and probed me and then asked me, “What sort of birth control do you use?”

“None,” I replied.

“What?  Aren’t you afraid of getting pregnant?” she suggested in a horrified tone.

“Ummmm…no, I haven’t had sex with my fiancé, so it hasn’t been a big issue.”

The doctor looked at me and frowned.  “Well now that you are getting married, are we putting you on the pill?”

“Nope, we want kids.” I said.

“Ok, after the kids.  Then what?” she asked.

And then I shrugged and sighed and shook my head.   Because the truth is I get confused about the birth control issue and Christian evangelicalism.  It’s a big blurry gray area of dividing ideologies and as time passes even my own paradigm shifts with new revelations, not to mention my own painful experience with different approaches.

What I do know is abortifacient contraception is not an option for me anymore. 

Recent evidence suggests abortifacient contraception –the Intrauterine Device (IUD), the day after pill, and even the regular birth control pill distort the natural design of conception.

So if you believe (like I do) that conception begins when an egg and a sperm meet and a spark of life ignites, then who am I to play God and get in the way of his plan?

For a great in-depth look at this topic -read Albert Mohler’s, “Can Christians Use Birth Control?

But even without this controversial argument, every method of birth control I’ve ever used (besides a diaphragm, condom, or family planning) has always screwed up my body so much, that if I’m honest, I innately knew it wasn’t good for me.

The truth is birth control is just like all of those drugs advertised on TV.  Your initial symptom might go away –but beware of the twenty more issues you will now have… Like all those poor Propecia guys, who tried to grow more hair but now can’t get an erection.  Personally, if I was a dude I’d rather be bald!

And so it goes with birth control and the promise of consequence free sex.

When I took the pill in college, I not only gained weight but got so depressed I hid in a corner curled in a ball weeping.  Then I tried Depo-Provera -a nightmare of synthetic chemicals injected in my behind.  The side effects were so bad it was questionable if I would ever even want to have sex again.  I gained weight, became severely anemic and could barely get out of bed for three months –definitely not sexy!

Then there was the abortion I hid (like all my friends did in their early twenties).  But ironically, Planned Parenthood forgot to tell me and thousands of other young women about the consequences.  They didn’t mention how almost fifteen years later the recognition of what I had done would hit me like a tsunami, drowning me with devastating waves of grief and sorrow I then had to process.  Somehow I repressed the emotions long enough to justify my behavior –until I couldn’t anymore and the pain seeped out like a hidden vault of toxic tears.

All of my efforts to play God with birth control and taking life had detrimental consequences to my body and my heart.  It’s the reason I champion life now and speak to teen moms and parents of unplanned pregnancy. 

Pain changed my paradigm about birth control and life.

Maybe if we saw sex in marriage as a gift and as a potential life creating union it would mean more to us.  Maybe if we looked at children as a unique treasure and not as an imposition it would alter our selfish tactics.  Maybe we should question the price of “sexual freedom” and think twice about destroying our bodies for the sake of promiscuity.

As for my husband and I, we have chosen to use natural family planning methods.  For us, this makes sense with our belief in God’s design.

But it hasn’t been an easy road to navigate and there are no pat answers. 

What do you think about the birth control issue within the Christian evangelical realm?

Comments

  1. Sam- we haven’t ever met but I use to go to Fusion 6 years ago and am a member of Mariners Church. I knew your husband then. I moved to South Africa as a short term missionary and currently am still living here with my husband of 4 years.

    I wanted to write you just to encourage you in regards to your writing. I really enjoy reading your blog and find it very honest and hilarious.. As well as giving me laughter I also enjoy reflecting on whatever message it is that you are bringing forward.

    I can 100% relate to your message regarding birth control and Christianity as in my BC (before Christ) days I also tried many of the birth control methods and had similar reactions.. and delayed reactions. My husband and I also waited until we were married and as you mentioned ..what a gift it was to wait. I find this also a very touchy topic because on one hand if we truly believe God is in control then we should also believe he will provide for the life He has created within your womb. I am speaking as a married woman who is now pregnant with our first child but was shocked and excited as much as overwhelmed initially when we found out. We thought my husbands sperm was damaged. Ok maybe that is too much information. But the point I am going for is that we have no doubt in our minds that the Lord will be with us as we prepare and raise this child. I am very curious about the “natural planning method”. I must look into this as we prefer to not have more children after this one for financial reasons.. Though of the Lord blesses us again we will love that child also. Anyways I don’t want to just rattle on so thanks again for sharing your gift of writing. Take care.

  2. Hi Jenn,
    Thank you for your encouragement! Tim says hello and many blessings with your pregnancy!!!

    As for your question, Tim and I do a moderate method of Natural Family Planning (when we aren’t trying to get knocked up). And right now with my heart issues we are taking a break.

    Here is a link with some more info.

    http://familydoctor.org/familydoctor/en/prevention-wellness/sex-birth-control/birth-control/natural-family-planning.html

    We use a diaphram when I am super fertile but the truth is…we are always ok with an oops. It’s just where we are at. Usually our oops is some of God’s best work. But I know not everyone feels that way.

    I hope this helps.
    Sam

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