GODLY COUNSEL with PASTOR PHILLIP KATAI
Does the Bible allow birth control? I and my wife have 2 children but my wife is currently on family planning insisting that we cannot add another child for now. Does not the Bible say we should multiply and fill the earth? Advise!
ANS: Dear father of two, thank you for your exciting but sensitive question. Foremost we must take note that children are a gift from God, whether or not birth control is in place.
In my own view, the Bible nowhere forbids birth control, either explicitly or implicitly, and we should not add universal rules that are not in Scripture.
From the following common scripture it should be noted first of all that in the creation account, the command to multiply is given together with the command to subdue the earth: â€œAnd God blessed them; and God said to them, â€˜Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth, and subdue it; and rule over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the sky, and over every living thing that moves on the earth (Genesis 1:28).â€™â€
The word subdue refers to: pacify, calm, soothe, mollify, placate, reduce, soften and moderate.
In this case I will go for the word moderate. God tells us to multiply, fill the earth but in moderation.
It is therefore, right for a couple to seek to have the number of children that they believe they can reasonably nurture in light of the other callings they may also have on their lives.
Without regulating the size of their family, many couples would end up having more children than they can reasonably support financially. (I Timothy 5:8).
In reality, then, although it is true that â€œblessed is the man whose quiver is full of children, (Psalm 127:3-4).â€
We need to realise that God has not given everyone the same size quiver. And so birth control is a gift from God that may be used for the wise regulation of the size of oneâ€™s family, as well as a means of seeking to have children at the time which seems to be wisest.
If I may ask, why should we conclude that the way to let God decide the size of our family is to get out of the way and just let nature take its course?
We certainly do not think that way in other areas of life. We do not reason, for example, that we should never get haircuts so that â€œGod can decideâ€ the length of our hair.
And one might do well by deciding to have four children instead of 15, so that more resources can be channeled towards career development for both parents and children. Wife or husband can go back to school for upgrade to enhance lifeâ€™s choices. Blessings!