Home motherhood/family/parentingpregnancy/birth control More on Birth Control and The Sovereignty of God over Life

More on Birth Control and The Sovereignty of God over Life

by Kelly Crawford

On the coat tails of yesterday’s post, I thought some may be interested in perusing a few other posts that further delves into the topic of the sovereignty of God over life.  Enjoy and feel free to come back and discuss!

How Birth Control & Catheters are Related

The Church That Turns Visitors Away

Going Green With Everything Except the Womb

Is Birth Control the Church’s Business?

We Weren’t Born With It

Motherhood and Suffering:  Is it a Sign?

Quiver-full by Default

Are We So Arrogant?

We Need More Arrows

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Kendra August 3, 2010 - 10:26 am

Whoa awesome list of articles to check out! God has really been weighing this issue on our hearts lately. I’m pregnant with our first child right now, and we’re already considering what to do after she arrives in December. Thanks for these great resources!

Jennifer Griffin August 3, 2010 - 11:48 am

Ooooo…I can’t wait to read these!

Randi August 3, 2010 - 3:54 pm

Just discovered your wonderful blog and I have really enjoyed reading your posts concerning birth control. I am a Catholic convert who accepts the Church’s teaching prohibiting birth control. It has been nice to see all the different angles you use to approach this topic. But I am very curious why I have not yet seen you mention Natural Family Planning? Have I missed your discussion of that, or perhaps you are not aware of it? It is simply a way of taking advantage of our bodies’ natural fertility signals to prayerfully decide with our spouse whether or not to abstain from the marital embrace. When we have serious reasons to postpone a pregnancy, it is extremely helpful to be able to detect the few days each cycle that we are capable of getting pregnant, and to be able to use that information in deciding whether or not to engage in sexual relations. All it involves is looking at cervical mucus (the secretions that we see on tissue when we wipe in the bathroom) and checking our temperature. These natural fluctuations allow us to be aware of the potential for conception should intercourse occur, but it is our prayerful considerations with our spouse that lead us to our appropriate decision each month. And the reality that babies are a natural consequence of the marital embrace is never denied, but only affirmed.
What say you to this Catholic way of working with our natural fertility? I look forward to hearing your thoughts on this.

Word Warrior August 3, 2010 - 4:23 pm

I don’t say much about NFP because I think it’s an easy slippery slope (at the heart of the issue is still the question, “Who is in control of life?” and, “Do we have authority to overstep our design/marital intimacy?”)

Having said that, I’ve always maintained that NFP could be a viable option for a couple for certain extreme reasons. My caveat would be that it not become a regular means of preventing children for the same reasons we use artificial birth control.

Randi August 3, 2010 - 5:07 pm

Thanks for responding so quickly! I think that your comment about ‘slippery slope’ is so valid. But I think that for a couple who actually practices NFP, as compared with people who have never learned it, they would say that this ‘contraceptive mentality’ is not actually so easy to fall into as one might think. Here’s why: a husband and wife who are willing to practice NFP are willing to allow for the natural consequences of sexual intimacy in marriage. They do not oppose it; rather, they acknowledge that children are the primary fruits of marriage and that procreation and sexual intercourse are inextricably linked. Furthermore, they are likely going to be aware of the fact that abstaining from sexual intimacy, even for a brief period of time, will require prayer and mutual consent. Also, since they are not able to engage in sexual relations if they desire to postpone pregnancy, they better have a sufficiently good reason holding them back, or they will end up changing their minds and abandoning their plans to wait, right?
My point is this: couples who practice NFP understand this reality – if you don’t want to make a baby, don’t have sex. If your desire for your spouse is high enough to override any instinct to postpone a pregnancy, that reason is probably not sufficient enough, so go on and enjoy intimacy with your spouse. In this, I think, NFP families have so much in common with QF families. Of course, humans do not have to copulate all the time, nor must we seek conception with every act of intercourse, but when we do engage in sexual relations, let it be with full awareness and acceptance of the natural fruit of that union.
Thanks for letting me add to this conversation. I certainly will be enthusiastically following your blog. I have already greatly benefitted from what I see in you as my wiser big sister in Christ. I love what I see coming from the Protestant faith that mirrors my new Catholic faith. We sisters in Christ have much to celebrate when we discover such common ground. God bless you and your ministry.

Pilgrim August 4, 2010 - 7:57 am

Randi – I really enjoyed your thoughts here. I am a Catholic, and my husband is also a Catholic convert like you. I have also had the same thoughts on this blog: isn’t it so refreshing? It’s also great to hear the Catholic position explained so well by you. One huge point in Catholic teaching is that procreation and the marital act should never be separated. And in the act of contracepting, whether a couple realizes it or not, they are committing a selfish act (even if they have good reasons for postponing pregnancy) by keeping part of themselves from their spouse – their fertility. It’s like saying, “I want to give you all of myself except this part.” It isn’t really giving everything, a complete gift of self. I would also like to add explicitly that the Church teaches that a couple must have grave reasons to use NFP to prevent conception.

And as far as NFP goes, it’s a great way to TRY to conceive, if a couple is having trouble in that area.


Randi August 4, 2010 - 8:30 am

Thanks Pilgrim! I am so glad that my attempt at an explanation was adequate. I am still so new to the faith, but NFP and Theology of the Body were specifically what drew me into the Church. I was raised in a Christian church, but not in a Christian environment in the home, so the faith I inherited was seriously fragmented. I am so thankful to find an authentic Christianity, both in the Catholic Church, and online through women’s ministry sites and blogs just like this. It has been absolutely life-changing to be able to acknowledge to my husband and to peers the longing I have always felt in my heart to have children with the man I love. I previously stifled that instinct, because I was raised to believe that men, even Christian men, want access to their wives but she had better not become pregnant without his permission. How crazy is that?
And yes, your point about needing serious reasons to avoid pregnancy, for a time, is well taken. Welcoming the children as they come should be the norm, with periodic continence being used only to delay pregnancy when a couple needs to avoid for very good reasons. And we should not forget to mention that NFP can be used to alert the couple to possible female fertility problems that could be improved with ethical treatments.

Joyful Mama August 5, 2010 - 1:41 am

Hi Kelly and thank you for all these posts. My husband and I have been blessed with two little ones so far, and we are eagerly trusting God to increase our family again soon! Our situation is a little less common, though and I was wondering if there is anyone out there reading this blog who finds herself in a similar position: I am 33 and my husband will be 61 in October. We met while on a missions trip in Kenya four years ago, and we are a ‘match made in heaven’! Shortly after we were married, God opened our eyes to the truth about birth control, and as a reslult we will be embracing all the children He wishes to bless us with! I will admit to being weak sometimes and worrying about what will happen if my husband passes away and I am left with many little ones. I know that this can happen to any young family, too, and I know that I must just trust God: our age difference is no surprise to Him; He is the One who creates life and provides for the children of the righteous. I guess I would just love a little encouragement in my faith sometimes from someone in a similar situation. Thanks again for this blog – I subscribe via e-mail and a new post in my inbox is always a highlight to my day!

Lena August 6, 2010 - 8:53 pm

Thanks Kelly for all the articles. I love reading through them. My sister found this beautiful clip on youtube, about the miracle of life. If you havent seen it… you should. Its so beautiful, how God, the Creator has made little babies, it gives me chills.


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