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Is There a Place Within Christian Marriage to Use Birth Control?


Yes, but an explanation is in order.

God is the author of human life (Deuteronomy 32:39), and human beings are the stewards (Genesis 9:5). Although Christians may decide when to have children, it is God who grants those children.

A Christian’s decision to use birth control, therefore, is a stewardship issue. Child-bearing is a blessing to be managed to the glory of God.  It is not an entitlement.  It is not even a command.

But what of Genesis 1:28?  The instruction to “be fruitful and multiply” is not a command but rather announces a blessing.  We already recognize this as it applies to animals (Genesis 1:22) with our current practices of neutering.  Had Genesis 1:28 been a “command” the Apostle Paul would have been in conflict with his veneration of being single (1 Corinthians 7:1).

What are the factors in the decision to use birth control? Despite society’s move toward a gender-blind existence, it does not change the biological fact that women bear the children. They experience the dramatic changes and as the child-bearers they are uniquely positioned to bear extra responsibilities.

These changes and responsibilities often come with physical and emotional limits. To pursue more children but neglect the Biblical principle to care for one’s spouse and body is wrong. Children are a blessing (Psalm 127:3) to be cherished and cared for. The protection and care of all loved ones is a command for everyone (1 Timothy 5:8, Galatians 6:10).

Financial considerations may be an issue. Scripture warns us about giving in to greed (Ephesians 5:3). A Christian couple should carefully evaluate whether financial concerns are genuine in the essentials of raising a family or whether financial concerns reflect a love of the world more than a love for God.

Married couples wrestle with timing questions before they decide to add a child to their family (such as schooling or time in solidifying the relationship). Soul searching needs to be done in this regard.

Remember, children – regardless of timing, health or convenience – are blessings from God. Decisions rooted in an attitude that children are anything less than a blessing reflects a motive that doesn’t understand God’s will on the matter.

It is therefore within the realm of Christian freedom that a married couple can practice some form of birth control recognizing a proper motive of the heart that truly glorifies God.


Adapted from "The Christian and Birth Control" book, which provides doctrinally sound and practical information on the topic of birth control and family planning. Eight easy-to-read chapters provides excellent help and guidance in the light of God's Word. A resourceful tool for couples, pastors, counselors, and anyone who would like to learn about God's will regaridng birht control. Available at CLRStore.com


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