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What do the Scriptures say about Birth Control?

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June 17th, 2014 | Filed Under: Author, Birth Control, Larry Groenewald, Mike Vinson, Mitch Kuhn, Topical Studies, Victor Torres0 Comments | Author:

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Study Notes

You can read the study in pdf format: Birth_Control.pdf


What do the Scriptures say about Birth Control?

Question:

Answer:

Permanent family planning refers to surgical procedures that are designed to prevent pregnancy. For men this is called a vasectomy and for women a tubal ligation, more commonly referred to as “having your tubes tied”. In order to cover this topic thoroughly we’ll be discussing both permanent family planning methods as well as other types of birth control.
It is wise to get a multitude of counselors so I will be including parts of an e-mail exchange with Victor Torres, Mike Vinson, and Larry Groenewald on this subject.

(Pro 15:22 KJV) Without counsel purposes are disappointed: but in the multitude of counsellors they are established.

There were a few key points that came up during the discussion that we all agreed upon.
First of all we must not think above what is written.

(1Co 4:6 KJV) And these things, brethren, I have in a figure transferred to myself and to Apollos for your sakes; that ye might learn in us not to think of men above that which is written, that no one of you be puffed up for one against another.

It is very important that we do not think above what is written in the scriptures lest we become puffed up against one another. We are commanded to be of one mind and to have the same judgment over and over in the scriptures.

(1Co 1:10 KJV) Now I beseech you, brethren, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that ye all speak the same thing, and that there be no divisions among you; but that ye be perfectly joined together in the same mind and in the same judgment.

As we discussed this subject it became quite clear that the scriptures do not given any direct commands about birth control. There are very clear instructions about abortion, which is murder.
Here is a study on the topic of Abortion.

http://www.iswasandwillbe.com/is-abortion-ever-permissible/
That being said birth control is not abortion. There is however some debate surrounding the use of various birth control pills and whether or not these pills only prevent fertilization or if they kill a fertilized egg.
We all agreed that due to the lack of scriptural reference to this topic it comes down to the faith and conviction of each couple.

(Rom 14:22 NKJV) Do you have faith? Have it to yourself before God. Happy is he who does not condemn himself in what he approves.
(Rom 14:23 NKJV) But he who doubts is condemned if he eats, because he does not eat from faith; for whatever is not from faith is sin.

As a part of your consideration for birth control I must tell you how these pills work.
Here is a quote from the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists.
Birth control pills contain hormones that prevent ovulation. These hormones also cause other changes in the body that help prevent pregnancy. The mucus in the cervix thickens, which makes it hard for sperm to enter the uterus. The lining of the uterus thins, making it less likely that a fertilized egg can attach to it.

The controversy surrounding the use of birth control pills has to do primarily with the thinning of the uterine lining. If an egg is fertilized, it makes its attachment more difficult and thus likely ending the process.
Many argue that life begins with a fertilized egg and that the thinning of the wall is in essence an abortion. Is it an abortion? I don’t know. I don’t know enough about the science, and we also never know which of the three effects of the pill is preventing the pregnancy if it is in fact abortion.
While this is a matter of faith between you and God, we must also consider if any particular action is expedient and beneficial to others around us.

(1Co 10:23 NKJV) All things are lawful for me, but not all things are helpful; all things are lawful for me, but not all things edify.
(1Co 10:24 NKJV) Let no one seek his own, but each one the other’s well-being.

I want to show you the end of Romans 14 and explain what our motive should be when considering such topics that are not clearly explained in the scriptures.

(Rom 14:13 NKJV) Therefore let us not judge one another anymore, but
rather resolve this, not to put a stumbling block or a cause to fall in
our brother’s way.
(Rom 14:14 NKJV) I know and am convinced by the Lord Jesus that there is nothing unclean of itself; but to him who considers anything to be unclean, to him it is unclean.
(Rom 14:15 NKJV) Yet if your brother is grieved because of your
food, you are no longer walking in love. Do not destroy with your
food the one for whom Christ died.

If you are trying to share the Gospel with someone and they consider “the
pill” to be abortion, you may very well destroy your opportunity to witness to
that person.

Rom 14:16 Therefore do not let your good be spoken of as evil;
Rom 14:17 for the kingdom of God is not eating and drinking, but
righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit.
Rom 14:18 For he who serves Christ in these things is acceptable to God
and approved by men.
Rom 14:19 Therefore let us pursue the things which make for peace
and the things by which one may edify another.
Rom 14:20 Do not destroy the work of God for the sake of food. All
things indeed are pure, but it is evil for the man who eats with offense.
Rom 14:21 It is good neither to eat meat nor drink wine nor do
anything by which your brother stumbles or is offended or is made
weak.
Rom 14:22 Do you have faith? Have it to yourself before God. Happy is he
who does not condemn himself in what he approves.
Rom 14:23 But he who doubts is condemned if he eats, because he does
not eat from faith; for whatever is not from faith is sin.

You have the freedom to do what you wish in areas that the scriptures do not directly address, but you are commanded to consider how your decisions affect others.
That being said we can never please everyone. There will always be those that find fault no matter what we do.

(Mat 11:16 NKJV) “But to what shall I liken this generation? It is like children sitting in the marketplaces and calling to their companions,
(Mat 11:17 NKJV) and saying: ‘We played the flute for you, And you did not dance; We mourned to you, And you did not lament.’
(Mat 11:18 NKJV) For John came neither eating nor drinking, and they say, ‘He has a demon.’
(Mat 11:19 NKJV) The Son of Man came eating and drinking, and they say, ‘Look, a glutton and a winebibber, a friend of tax collectors and sinners!’ But wisdom is justified by her children.”

Don’t let that discourage your from still seeking to be above reproach as best you can. If there are other less controversial methods of birth control then why not consider those alternatives first?
Here is a quote about natural family planning and its effectiveness.

The symptothermal method (STM) assesses fertility levels during the monthly cycle by measuring body temperature, and observing cervical secretions.
The Human Reproduction study found using STM correctly led to a rate of 0.4 pregnancies per 100 women per year.
http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/health/6375261.stm
.4 pregnancies per 100 women is 99.6% effectiveness. Obviously the effectiveness depends greatly on the diligence of the couple in adhering to the methods.
My point is that you have alternatives that you probably have never considered nor have been educated about properly due to our modern medical system. “The Pill” is regular medication prescribed by a doctor that puts money into the pockets of the pharmaceutical industry. It is in their best interest to promote their product and discourage natural birth control methods.
Permanent family planning methods such as tubal ligation and vasectomies fall into the same category in the sense that the medical industry supports these surgical procedures over natural alternatives. They are highly invasive procedures that could have side effects. The scriptures do not directly prohibit such procedures, but we are given great caution in principle.

(1Co 6:19 NKJV) Or do you not know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and you are not your own?
(1Co 6:20 NKJV) For you were bought at a price; therefore glorify God in your body and in your spirit, which are God’s.

We have been given stewardship over our bodies and therefore should take care to treat them well. Why should we willingly subject ourselves to potentially harmful drugs and surgery when natural alternatives are available? There certainly may be legitimate reasons that honor God, and that is why this is ultimately a personal decision for each person.
We must be careful to not go overboard in this regard and start judging one another improperly.

(Rom 14:1 NKJV) Receive one who is weak in the faith, but not to disputes over doubtful things.
(Rom 14:2 NKJV) For one believes he may eat all things, but he who is weak eats only vegetables.
(Rom 14:3 NKJV) Let not him who eats despise him who does not eat, and let not him who does not eat judge him who eats; for God has received him.
(Rom 14:4 NKJV) Who are you to judge another’s servant? To his own master he stands or falls. Indeed, he will be made to stand, for God is able to make him stand.

Based upon our different levels of faith, self control, resources, and circumstances, different physical things will be profitable for different people. It’s good to encourage one another to care for our bodies and share our experiences that we may learn, but we must not make the kingdom of God about food and drink, and health.

Here is a study I did a while back about food and the body. This studies goes into the spiritual lessons we learn from the physical things in this world. I offer some suggestions in here regarding health, but please do not feel obligated or overwhelmed. This is simply to help your joy as you are lead to study these matters. Seek first the Kingdom and God will lead to you to an appropriate level of diligence and care regarding physical health.

http://tryingthespirits.com/food-and-the-body/
With that introduction, I’ll include some of the recent e-mail exchanges on this topic.
#1 Mike Vinson
I am unwilling to “think above what is written” and “family planning” simply is not a Biblical term. As I pointed out in our last study the scriptures command us to “multiply and fill the earth”, whereas man encourages us to use… [various forms] of birth control, including “the morning after pill.

Gen 1:22 And God blessed them, saying, Be fruitful, and multiply, and fill the waters in the seas, and let fowl multiply in the earth.

Gen 1:28 And God blessed them, and God said to them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it: and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living animal that moveth upon the earth.

After all these thousands of years, neither man nor beast has managed to overpopulate this earth. We could give every family on earth two acres and they would not cover one quarter of the United States. Mankind is not at all over populated. We are, by design over concentrated into ever growing cities as more and more land is being turned back over to nature all around this world.
This is another scripture on this subject:

Psa 127:3 Lo, children are an heritage of the LORD: and the fruit of the womb is his reward.
Psa 127:4 As arrows are in the hand of a mighty man; so are children of the youth.
Psa 127:5 Happy is the man that hath his quiver full of them: they shall not be ashamed, but they shall speak with the enemies in the gate.

I have looked high and low for anything concerning “planned parenthood” and I have yet to find even one verse of scripture. But I am open to all of “that which is written”. So please feel free to open my eyes on this subject if anyone has anything to offer.
Not being willing to “think above what is written” (1Co 4:6), the scriptures do speak of a woman’s “menstruous” period:

Isa 30:22 Ye shall defile also the covering of thy graven images of silver, and the ornament of thy molten images of gold: thou shalt cast them away as a menstruous cloth; thou shalt say unto it, Get thee hence.

Lam 1:17 Zion spreadeth forth her hands, and there is none to comfort her: the LORD hath commanded concerning Jacob, that his adversaries should be round about him: Jerusalem is as a menstruous woman among them.

Eze 18:6 And hath not eaten upon the mountains, neither hath lifted up his eyes to the idols of the house of Israel, neither hath defiled his neighbour’s wife, neither hath come near to a menstruous woman,

Any woman who is aware of her own body knows when she is ovulating, and there certainly is no Biblical prohibition against refraining from sex during that time.
The Hebrew word for ‘menstruous’ is ‘niddah’ and it appears 29 times in 24 verses of the Old Testament. 14 of those 29 times it is translated as ‘separation’.
There is nothing unbiblical about staying separated during this time if you do not want another child. The world will ridicule those who use this method and will call the children born under this method ‘mistakes’, but condoms and other methods are also faulty, and some of them can be dangerous to the health of the woman.
Your brother in the Christ,
Mike
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#2. Larry
Thank you for this interesting question which took me on an inward and outward exploration on this topic of permanent family planning. This topic is very relevant in the light of Mike’s current studies and need proper investigation. But in short I will give what came to mind when I was meditating on this since you brought your situation to our attention.

Lyndell and I never had to make this decision on permanent family planning as God just decided in His all-knowing wisdom that we should only have one child (Larry Michael) in 1985 after we initially had to wait 3 years after our marriage in 1982. We wanted more children after that but could not and we went for tests in the 1990’s and nothing wrong was found with both of us. Today I can see why the Lord did that and I can thank Him all the more for doing what was initially very hard for us to accept. So we never had to come to what you and your spouse are confronted with at this point in time.

But from a Scriptural point of view this following passage led to many false conclusions about how human seed is to be seen:

Gen 38:8-10 And Judah said unto Onan, Go in unto thy brother’s wife[Er, the elder brother, was killed by God because he was wicked], and marry her, and raise up seed to thy brother. 9 And Onan knew that the seed should not be his; and it came to pass, when he went in unto his brother’s wife, that he spilled it on the ground, lest that he should give seed to his brother. 10 And the thing which he did displeased the LORD: wherefore he slew him also.

What displeased the Lord? Selfishness! [Onan’s unwillingness to give to his brother]. This brings the question if sex in marriage is given also for pleasure besides the purpose for procreation. These following verses help us to see that physical oneness in terms of sex for pleasure is also part of the marriage union – not for one partner only but for both which cut out selfishness which Onan clearly demonstrated in the above-mentioned verses:

Gen 2:24 Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh.

Eph 5:21-29 Submitting yourselves one to another in the fear of God. 22 Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as unto the Lord. 23 For the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the church: and he is the saviour of the body. 24 Therefore as the church is subject unto Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in every thing. 25 Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it; 26 That he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word, 27 That he might present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish. 28 So ought men to love their wives as their own bodies. He that loveth his wife loveth himself. 29 For no man ever yet hated his own flesh; but nourisheth and cherisheth it, even as the Lord the church.

1Co 7:3-5 Let the husband render unto the wife due benevolence: and likewise also the wife unto the husband. 4 The wife hath not power of her own body, but the husband: and likewise also the husband hath not power of his own body, but the wife. 5 Defraud ye not one the other, except it be with consent for a time, that ye may give yourselves to fasting and prayer; and come together again, that Satan tempt you not for your incontinency [want of self-control].

Many bad and extremely evil things have been done in the history of humanity under the name of family planning which include the spread of promiscuous sex, abortions, ethnic cleansing killings and world wars, population control measures, sex education on public schools, etc. But we have been given the ability by God to walk the narrow way in every issue that we face, and to work out our own salvation (in every sense) as God gives us the wisdom to plan for the tower we want to build:

Luk 14:28-30 For which of you, intending to build a tower, sitteth not down first, and counteth the cost, whether he have sufficient to finish it? 29 Lest haply, after he hath laid the foundation, and is not able to finish it, all that behold it begin to mock him, 30 Saying, This man began to build, and was not able to finish.

This is for me where we need to sit down and use whatever God has given to the benefit of the family also. This is a matter which is between you and your spouse, and we cannot say what the two of you should do as we know only in part as far as your situation is concerned. Both of you must agree on how to go forward and God will bless you in that decision.

Your brother in the Christ
Larry

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#3. Mike
My concern is to not think above what is written. I see and agree with Larry’s point about Onan spilling his seed on the ground. That story is definitely not condemning coitus interuptus [withdrawal, pull out method] The only point being made there is that Onan was being selfish and disobedient.
If “in all our ways [we] acknowledge Him”, then don’t we need to have His word behind our actions?

Pro 3:6 In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.

Do tubule ligation, vasectomy, or IUD’s (intrauterine contraceptive device), “acknowledge Him”? I am just asking.
One thing is certain in this discussion, and that is what Victor pointed out, “Whatever is not of faith is sin”, and I for one am more than happy to let this subject go at that. What you do in faith, is what will not be a sin for you.
Your brother who simply wants to never so much as think above what is written.
Mike

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#4. Mitch
Hello All,

Mike makes very good points and raises good questions. When it comes to health everything I have experienced and learned has taught me that natural is better until there are no other options. I have personally found that the man made more invasive procedures are often utilized due to a lack of diligence or patience on my part. For example I had back surgery three times when most or all of them could have been prevented if I had more self control to do proper rehab and accept my limitations.

This article that I referenced refers to natural methods of birth control that are the safest and most natural.

http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2010/07/10/real-contraceptive-choices-alternatives-to-risky-hormone-pills-patches-and-shots.aspx

Every man made birth control method that involves a drug or surgery has side effects. If we are to be good stewards of our bodies then we should seek to do things naturally whenever possible.

I too do not want to speak above what is written and I certainly do not want to try and have dominion over someone’s faith.

(2Co 1:24 KJV) Not for that we have dominion over your faith, but are helpers of your joy: for by faith ye stand.

(Rom 14:22 KJV) Hast thou faith? have it to thyself before God. Happy is he that condemneth not himself in that thing which he alloweth.
(Rom 14:23 KJV) And he that doubteth is damned if he eat, because he eateth not of faith: for whatsoever is not of faith is sin.

That being said I am inclined to suggest that we use natural methods and trust God for whatever may happen. Even the supposedly permanent methods of birth control from man are never “fool proof”. I read stories of pregnancies happening with every method.
If God wants a child in this world no amount of effort on our part will stop that.

Mitch

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#5. Victor
I want to be with one mind with all of you before I respond back, for as I told Mike, the last thing I want to do is confuse anyone.

(1Co 14:33 NKJV) For God is not the author of confusion but of peace, as in all the churches of the saints.

Please consider these Scriptures brothers:

Lev 21:10 And he that is the high priest among his brethren, upon whose head the anointing oil was poured, and that is consecrated to put on the garments, shall not uncover his head, nor rend his clothes;
Lev 21:13 And he shall take a wife in her virginity.

Several early LDS leaders believed Jesus was literally married because in the OT, it says the high priest must be married.

http://en.fairmormon.org/Jesus_Christ/Was_Jesus_married

We know that they are blinded to these verses:

1Co 10:11 Now all these things happened to them as types, and have been written for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the ages are come.

We all know the spiritual reality of this physical type:

2Co 11:2 For I am jealous over you with godly jealousy: for I have espoused you to one husband, that I may present you as a chaste virgin to Christ.

From Mitch’s study below, we learned that it is actually preferred to remain single:

Paul also explains that not everyone will have the gift of remaining single, because only God can give self control and contentment.

1Co 7:7 For I wish that all men were even as I myself. But each one has his own gift from God, one in this manner and another in that.

So why is singleness preferred?

1Co 7:32 But I want you to be without care. He who is unmarried cares for the things of the Lord—how he may please the Lord.
1Co 7:33 But he who is married cares about the things of the world— how he may please his wife.
1Co 7:34 There is a difference between a wife and a virgin. The unmarried woman cares about the things of the Lord, that she may be holy both in body and in spirit. But she who is married cares about the things of the world—how she may please her husband.

When you are married, you now have another person to treat as your own flesh. This is a stewardship given by the Lord and it takes a great deal of time and effort. The person who is single has far more time to devote to serving the Lord.

1Co 7:35 And this I say for your own profit, not that I may put a leash on you, but for what is proper, and that you may serve the Lord without distraction.

There is another reason:

1Co 7:28 But even if you do marry, you have not sinned; and if a virgin marries, she has not sinned. Nevertheless such will have trouble in the flesh, but I would spare you.

Talk to anyone who is married, and they will tell you about the trials they encounter, which singles simply do not have to deal with.
God has ordained marriage and has written it in many people’s books to be married. Paul explains that marriage is actually a provision for the weakness of the flesh.
End Quote

Here are other verses that I want to point out:

Mar 10:29 And Jesus answered and said, Verily I say unto you, There is no man that hath left house, or brethren, or sisters, or father, or mother, or wife, or children, or lands, for my sake, and the gospel’s,
Mar 10:30 But he shall receive an hundredfold now in this time, houses, and brethren, and sisters, and mothers, and children, and lands, with persecutions; and in the world to come eternal life.

1Sa 15:3 Now go and smite Amalek, and utterly destroy all that they have, and spare them not; but slay both man and woman, infant and suckling, ox and sheep, camel and ass.

If the verse above is just a type of the spiritual reality of destroying all the false doctrines in our land, I hope you can understand me when I say that I am having a difficulty in seeing why Gen 1:28 is also not a type of our commission to be fruitful as we abide with our spiritual Husband:

Gen 1:28 And God blessed them, and God said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it: and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth.

Joh 15:5 I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing.

Children are an inheritance from the Lord, does this literally mean we should have as much kids as we can?

Psa 127:3 Behold, children are a heritage from the LORD, the fruit of the womb a reward.

Or is this a type, a shadow of this spiritual reality?

Finally,

1Co 6:12 All things are lawful unto me, but all things are not expedient: all things are lawful for me, but I will not be brought under the power of any.

Your brother seeking of one mind with Christ and His Christ,

Victor

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#6. Mike
Hi Victor,
The invisible things of God (having many spiritual children, and knowing what is the riches of His glory in the saints) are understood by the things that are made. Genesis 1:28 is a type of that, as you say. But here is ____’s very short question cut and pasted:

“Hello Brethren,

“I just wanted to know what the Scriptures say about permanent family planning methods. We are considering this after ___ gives birth, as we don’t want to be surprised again by another pregnancy.

“Thank you all ahead for giving your Scriptural input on this one.

___, to his credit, has asked for our “scriptural input on… what the scriptures say about permanent family planning methods”, and I have yet to see one verse of scripture concerning “permanent family planning methods”.
Not one of us has even hinted that we should “have as many children as we can”, although I can see how quoting the scriptures on this subject would lead one to believe that is what we believe. But Larry and I both pointed out that the story of Onan spilling his seed on the ground had nothing at all to do with condemning a married couple for practicing coitus interruptus .
I personally cannot “think above what is written” about permanent family planning”, and so far I have seen about as much on this subject, or even less, than I have seen concerning the celebration of birthdays in scripture. The fact is that not one single birthday of one single Biblical character has been preserved for us to celebrate, and to this point I have not seen one verse of scripture concerning “permanent family planning”, which I take to mean limiting the size of one’s family.
I hope that nothing I have said is construed into ‘have as many children as you can’. That is not what I personally am saying at all. Sandi “planned” to have four children, and using coitus interruptus we had four children. Then using that same method, eleven years after our plans were fulfilled, God decided that we would have another child, who we all know as Austin. So this verse was fulfilled in our life:

Pro 16:9 A man’s heart deviseth his way: but the LORD directeth his steps.

My understanding is that ___ was asking if a vasectomy or tubal ligation:

tub•al li•ga•tion
noun
noun: tubal ligation; plural noun: tubal ligations
1. a surgical procedure for female sterilization that involves severing and tying the fallopian tubes
I cannot address that question simply because I cannot find a scripture to give, but as I said before, if anyone has a scripture which tells us that such things as vasectomies and tubal ligations are covered in principle, in scripture, I would love to see that….
What I myself, and Sandi, live with to this day is “Whatever is not of faith, is sin”, and it is on that basis that we brought ourselves to use coitus interruptus, but we have no dominion over anyone’s faith and I am simply answering ___’s question because He asked:

“I just wanted to know what the Scriptures say about permanent family planning methods. We are considering this after ___ gives birth, as we don’t want to be surprised again by another pregnancy.

“Thank you all ahead for giving your Scriptural input on this one.”

I look forward to any more input myself.
Your brother who wants only to know what is the mind of Christ.
Mike

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#7. Mitch
Hi Victor,

I’m glad you brought this up. The Lord already had me thinking on this last night.

The scriptures have both a physical and a spiritual application, because we learn the spiritual things by the things that are made in the physical.

(Rom 1:20 KJV) For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse:

Just as physical marriage is a provision for the flesh, so too are children means that God uses to keep certain members of the body faithful and growing to be more like Christ.

(1Ti 5:11 NKJV) But refuse the younger widows; for when they have begun to grow wanton against Christ, they desire to marry,
(1Ti 5:12 NKJV) having condemnation because they have cast off their first faith.
(1Ti 5:13 NKJV) And besides they learn to be idle, wandering about from house to house, and not only idle but also gossips and busybodies, saying things which they ought not.
(1Ti 5:14 NKJV) Therefore I desire that the younger widows marry, bear children, manage the house, give no opportunity to the adversary to speak reproachfully.

Children in the physical realm are an excellent way to learn to lay your life down for another, and to learn how to be a good teacher, leader, and disciplinarian.
This is why a qualification of a Bishop or Elder requires him to have a physical wife and the experience of raising children.

(1Ti 3:2 NKJV) A bishop then must be blameless, the husband of one wife, temperate, sober-minded, of good behavior, hospitable, able to teach;
(1Ti 3:3 NKJV) not given to wine, not violent, not greedy for money, but gentle, not quarrelsome, not covetous;
(1Ti 3:4 NKJV) one who rules his own house well, having his children in submission with all reverence
(1Ti 3:5 NKJV) (for if a man does not know how to rule his own house, how will he take care of the church of God?);

A Bishop is a very specific role within the Church that God uses as a physical example of what we all are to do spiritually.
As you pointed out, physical marriage is a shadow of the true marriage between Christ and his bride the Church.

(Eph 5:32 NKJV) This is a great mystery, but I speak concerning Christ and the church.

In the same way physical children are a shadow of the spiritual children that we will bear both inwardly as good fruit of our loins and outwardly as Paul did by preaching the Gospel.

(1Co 4:15 NKJV) For though you might have ten thousand instructors in Christ, yet you do not have many fathers; for in Christ Jesus I have begotten you through the gospel.

(3Jn 1:4 NKJV) I have no greater joy than to hear that my children walk in truth.

(1Ti 1:18 KJV) This charge I commit unto thee, son Timothy, according to the prophecies which went before on thee, that thou by them mightest war a good warfare;

That being said, physical children are a good thing to have if married as Mike pointed out, but we still should not seek to be rich in the flesh.

(Mat 6:19 KJV) Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal:
(Mat 6:20 KJV) But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal:
(Mat 6:21 KJV) For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.

Having many children can be an idol of the heart. If our goal is to have as many children as possible then our lives will be consumed with caring for that family and virtually no spiritual labor will be done.

(1Ti 6:9 KJV) But they that will be rich fall into temptation and a snare, andinto many foolish and hurtful lusts, which drown men in destruction and perdition.

(Pro 30:8 KJV) Remove far from me vanity and lies: give me neither poverty nor riches; feed me with food convenient for me:
(Pro 30:9 KJV) Lest I be full, and deny thee, and say, Who is the LORD? or lest I be poor, and steal, and take the name of my God in vain.

Some children are good for the blessings and lessons they bring, but going overboard and seeking it as riches will lead us to deny God and be carried away by the cares of this world.
There is certainly no biblical limit on the number of children one should have, so it comes down to counting the cost and seeking first the kingdom.

(Mat 6:33 KJV) But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.

(Luk 14:28 KJV) For which of you, intending to build a tower, sitteth not down first, and counteth the cost, whether he have sufficient to finish it?
(Luk 14:29 KJV) Lest haply, after he hath laid the foundation, and is not able to finish it, all that behold it begin to mock him,

I agree with Mike that the world is not overpopulated, it is overcrowded in certain areas as everyone leaves the open countryside and crowds into cities. As a city dweller all of my life there are certain limitations that God has thrust upon myself and others in this situation.
I did not grow up on a farm so I do not have the skills to grow/ raise food for a family if I had one. Also all of my employable skills are more of white collar office work. I think others are in the same position.
A city dweller has limited resources to raise a family. Housing is expensive and therefore that limits the size of a family that one married couple can support. Especially if the wife intends to stay home to raise the children the number of children has a great impact on family finances. It seems unwise to me that someone in such a situation would just take the command “be fruitful and multiply” and have as many children as possible without ever sitting down to count the cost lest he not have sufficient resources to provide for his family and he be mocked and ashamed. I know the same applies to a person not living in the city as well, I’m just speaking from the perspective I know best.
On top of that if one has a spiritual mind then there should be a desire to labor on spiritual matters as well and not only focus on having a big physical family that will likely one day turn on you to tear you to pieces.
Children are a blessing, and I’m very glad that my parents had two children so that I have a physical brother. Though he is not spiritually minded we have been blessed to get along well and are able to work and play together at this time peacefully. When the time comes to care for my parents it will be nice to have help as well. It’s already a physical blessing in many ways, but my true treasure and focus is the body of Christ.
I hope this is of some help Victor,
Mitch
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#8. Victor
Hi brothers,
Mike you said “I hope that nothing I have said is construed into ‘have as many children as you can”. Around the 17:30 marker of the recording, you said: “He didn’t say replace yourselves, or have two children, He said multiply” as part of your commentary on Gen 1:27and 28. Then you discussed the lying spirit of overpopulation.

I did misconstrue those comments as saying ‘have as many children as you can’. I am sorry my brother, but I hope you can understand why I did, and make the necessary clarification on the website. Another fault that I must confess is that I did believe the lying spirit of overpopulation and I thank you, Mike, for opening my eyes for that.

Now on permanent family planning methods, one principle that I pointed out that I apply to this is:

1Co 6:12 All things are lawful unto me, but all things are not expedient: all things are lawful for me, but I will not be brought under the power of any.

….

As much as we make it clear that children are a blessing (including the reasons Mitch pointed out), we should also make clear that limiting the number of children in consideration of devoting more resources in the service to the Lord is not only lawful but expedient, for the reason that having too many children can rob you of those resources.

Gal 5:17 For the flesh sets its desire against the Spirit, and the Spiritagainst the flesh; for these are in opposition to one another, so that you may not do the things that you please.

Joh 6:63 “It is the Spirit who gives life; the flesh profits nothing; the words that I have spoken to you (including Gen 1:27 and 28) are spirit and are life.

Your brother in the Christ,

Victor

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#9. Larry

Hi there brothers

Just a few short points from my side:

I am sure that this question on the topic of “permanent family planning” comes from a most noble heart as I am sure our brother has already searched the Scriptures to find whether this thing is found anywhere in there and he just needed confirmation on that and a way to approach this serious matter at hand. This confirmation that “permanent family planning” is not a concept found in the Scriptures is of great benefit to him and to all for sure.

I agree that the concept of family planning in the way the world approach this is for sure beyond what is written. Any control we have is of God and even the delusion of a belief in so-called “birth control”, whether through natural means, a drug or medical procedures as well, is also from God.

But planning (any tower) in general is a Scriptural truth and does not negate God’s will if we know that He works in us to do that planning

(Luk 14:28 KJV) For which of you, intending to build a tower, sitteth not down first, and counteth the cost, whether he have sufficient to finish it?
(Luk 14:29 KJV) Lest haply, after he hath laid the foundation, and is not able to finish it, all that behold it begin to mock him,
(Luk 14:30 KJV) Saying, This man began to build, and was not able to finish.

(Php 2:12 KJV) Wherefore, my beloved, as ye have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling.
(Php 2:13 KJV) For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure.

That is what faith requires – an action from our part.

Jas 2:17 Even so faith, if it hath not works, is dead, being alone.

To plan for tomorrow does not contradict the truth that we have no clue what is on “the morrow”. We should however have no anxious thoughts about tomorrow and to do that takes careful consideration in what we do today:

Jas 4:14 Whereas ye know not what shall be on the morrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapour, that appeareth for a little time, and then vanisheth away.

Mat 6:31 (ASV) Be not therefore anxious, saying, What shall we eat? or, What shall we drink? or, Wherewithal shall we be clothed?

Mat 6:31 KJV Therefore take no [anxious: Greek – “merimnaō” – G3309] thought, saying, What shall we eat? or, What shall we drink? or, Wherewithal shall we be clothed?

Concerning “planning” in terms of our family and the space and resources available for that family is part of being a good steward of how God works through us. That goes for good decisions and bad decisions – they are all from the Lord for His purposes. Restricting intercourse to certain periods of the month or making use of seed spilling (through “coitus interruptus”) in whatever form which a married couple agree on, is indeed part of that “planning” or stewardship not to have a pregnancy.

As I have pointed out in my first email, this is a private matter between two adults within the marriage setup and no one can prescribe, or as the Scriptures say, have dominion over another’s faith (in that particular choice). This is what we are doing by staying on topic as the question was askingl for scriptural proof.

Another factor to be considered in relation to Scriptural faith is that each one also has been given a measure of faith within the boundaries of “not to think above that which is written”:

2Co 1:24 Not for that we have dominion over your faith, but are helpers of your joy: for by faith ye stand.

Rom 12:3 For I say, through the grace given unto me, to every man that is among you, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think; but to think soberly, according as God hath dealt to every man the measure of faith.

This choice of planning is also linked to a couple’s level of faith. To make a subjective law or to be legalistic about anything is also a sin. Whatever the couple decides before God, they must live with:

Rom 14:23b ….for whatsoever is not of faith is sin.

Gal 3:12 And the law is not of faith: but, The man that doeth them shall live in them.

We also know that nothing in flesh or of the earth can be perfect and that include all kinds of planning in the flesh. No method of birth control can thus be seen as 100% effective which is proven by various studies on these matters:

1Co 1:29 That no flesh should glory in his presence.

1Co 15:50 Now this I say, brethren, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God; neither doth corruption inherit incorruption.

I hope I was of some help and please correct me where I went wrong brothers.

Yours in the Christ
Larry

#10. Mike Vinson
I just want to say Amen! to what Larry has said here concerning us not having dominion over another’s faith, and that faith being given in different measures to all of us.
I also want to agree with great emphasis, that this subject is a private matter between a man and his wife, and none of us has any business telling a brother or a sister whether they should limit the size of their family or not. The size of your family is your business, and how you control it is your business, except for murder of a member of your family, born or unborn.
Whatsoever is not of faith is sin.
That is as near as I can personally, at this time, speak to this question of ‘What do the scriptures say concerning permanent family planning.
My pointing out that the scriptures say nothing on this subject in no way says that therefore any decision to limit your family is unBiblical. That is the equivalent of saying that since the Bible says nothing about drinking cow’s milk, that anyone who drinks cow’s milk is a sinner. I have never said such a thing and I have never thought such a thing.
What you and your wife, or husband want to do to limit the size of your family, again, is none of my business, and I certainly do not want it to be any of my business.
Neither is it any of my business if you want to have more children than your paycheck can feed. I have no business telling you how many children you can have. It is all God’s doing, and it is none of my business to tell you what your paycheck can feed. Maybe you can make a dollar go twice as far as I can.

Joh 1:13 Which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.

Do those words apply only to children born to ‘wise parents’ who limited the number of children in their families? Do they apply only to people who had four or more children?
Both are a work of God within the measure of faith granted to both sets of parents, and it is thinking above what is written to attempt to tell anyone what should be the size of their families.

2Co 1:24 Not for that we have dominion over your faith, but are helpers of your joy: for by [the measure of] faith [given by God] ye stand.

Rom 14:22 Hast thou faith? have it to thyself before God. Happy is he that condemneth not himself in that thing which he alloweth.
Rom 14:23 And he that doubteth is damned if he eat, because he eateth not of faith: for whatsoever is not of faith is sin.

Verse 22 applies both to the person who has many children and to the person who limits his children. We have no dominion over things that are not even dealt with specifically in scripture, and yes there are principles we need to live by, but one of those principles is verse 23.
Thank you Larry for your input. I will certainly add this to my studies on marriage, Larry, but I think we can do both and get together the input from all who feel led to contribute to this study.
Your grateful brother in the Christ,
Mike
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Conclusion
As you can see from the various comments above we all agree that it is lawful to limit the size of one’s family as a part of counting the cost and seeking first the kingdom. The method that you use is between you and God, however we have shared some words of wisdom and warnings regarding the various options available today. No matter what we do, we must commit our plans to the Lord knowing that only his will shall be done.

(Jas 4:13 NKJV) Come now, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we will go to such and such a city, spend a year there, buy and sell, and make a profit”;
(Jas 4:14 NKJV) whereas you do not know what will happen tomorrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapor that appears for a little time and then vanishes away.
(Jas 4:15 NKJV) Instead you ought to say, “If the Lord wills, we shall live and do this or that.”
(Jas 4:16 NKJV) But now you boast in your arrogance. All such boasting is evil.

Make your decision prayerfully, with a multitude of counselors, and in consideration of how it will affect your witness to others.
This is our intent and desire for sharing this brief study with you.

(2Co 1:24 NKJV) Not that we have dominion over your faith, but are fellow workers for your joy; for by faith you stand.

This verse is always good to remember and pray for the strength to do.

(1Co 10:31 KJV) Whether therefore ye eat, or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God.

Your Brother in Christ,
Mitch
For more on this topic see the following study:
http://www.iswasandwillbe.com/what-do-the-scriptures-say-about-family-planning/

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