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?

beautiful mistakes

There is nothing quite like a captive audience (even if you have to bribe them to be there). Tonight I am so excited to speak for the second time at Birthchoice. For those of you unfamiliar with this nonprofit, they are a pro-life health clinic dedicated to helping and equipping young moms (and even a few single dads) with parenting and life skills, as well as preparing them to have healthy relationships.

When the young parents attend a class they earn points which can be used towards diapers and baby clothing. Therein lays the beauty of the scenario…a group of teens and young adults, all paying rapt attention. This is virtually unheard of in most realms.

One thing I learned from my last class is teen moms are just like all moms, but younger (profound, I know…).  No matter what the topic, all they really want to know about is labor, pain and nursing. And this ultimately, is what all expectant mom’s want to know about because it’s the big scary unknown.

I could have spoken on car seat installations and the first question would have been, “How bad does nursing hurt.” (Then again, maybe they weren’t paying attention?)

Of course, being the great instructor I am, I was completely honest and told them it hurts like hell.

One smarty-pants girl retorted, “Only if you’re doing it wrong.” (La Leche clearly has a new advocate)

Honestly, I was a little scared the first night I showed up. I didn’t know what to expect when I walked in the room and encountered all these curious eyes staring at me.

I didn’t know my heart would pound so nervously before I spoke, or how much I would enjoy bantering and playfully razzing the group. I certainly didn’t anticipate my spirit swelling with a profound ache.

Their courage was tremendous and it hit me like a ton of bricks.

I wasn’t that brave at their age. I made mistakes.

I believe abortion is often (though not always) the quick fix and the easy way out.   I know that’s a loaded statement and many will disagree. I also know there are situations where rape and incest are involved and that certainly changes the parameters.

But this group of kids, despite the circumstances, were willing to take a risk, even though it was by far, the more difficult (at least initially) of the two paths.

I imagine few will ever regret their decision, while another generation of young women and men will struggle with shame and remorse for making a different choice.

I am humbled by their bravery.

We all screw up eventually, but few will choose to make beauty from ashes.

And a baby just might be the most beautiful mistake ever made.

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