Day 3: Getting Real About Control… Birth Control

One commenter on Challies blog wrote, “the results of sex [conception] are viewed to be as undesireable as a venereal disease… they don’t realize the natural has been replaced by the unnatural.” I am one of those people who have been indoctrinated to the idea of pregnancy as undesirable in a way. I didn’t see pregnancy as permanently undesirable, but only desirable 5 years into marriage and then at intervals of only 18-24 months and only to be repeated 2-4 times, depending on finances and geographic stability. I thought pregnancy was something you could control. I always have. I controlled it by remaining abstinent until marriage. I controlled it after I got married by using birth control. Pregnancy was undesirable as a 22 year old with a travel bug and a new marriage. In the back of my mind, of course, I knew that my brother was conceived while utilizing 2 forms of birth control. So I knew that God was ultimately in control, but I was certainly going to be responsible to do my part to insure that we didn’t have kids before I was ready! God could intervene if necessary.

I was interpreting God’s control in the area of conception as an offensive measure that could overwrite the natural order but certainly not as a defensive measure preventing what I didn’t yet want.* We have plenty of defensive measures that do not require God’s defensive intervention. So if God REALLY wanted me to have kids, he could break through the forms of birth control as he did with my brother. But I was going to assume that he could not/would not prevent me from having kids if it wasn’t time yet.

I needed to follow the natural order of the day and prevent pregnancy until a day when it would be desirable or at least not repulsive for me. Like maybe 5 years down the road when Larry has a good job, we’ve had a couple years to get to know each other, and maybe we had a down payment saved up for a house. That would be the responsible thing to do. You can control pregnancy, and you should.

I have begun to wonder if that statement is a 2-part lie.

You can control pregnancy. You should control pregnancy.

This is crazy controversial, and it’s crazy personal. There’s so much out on the web, why in the world would I want to discuss this in my own personal terms?

Because the issue of having children is so controversial, and it’s so personal. I would say that the discussion is general and universal as with so many other issues, but I think the real issue is that it hasn’t really been discussed. And when I see more than 20 women in a 15 minute time slot at 6:30am on a Saturday on Memorial Day weekend in a fertility clinic there to get blood work and an ultrasound for their controversial and personal battle with infertility as anonymous, isolated individuals, it makes me want to make the issue discussed and known. So here I am anonymously dealing with the personal issue of infertility. Doesn’t make sense, does it? I, too, am not courageous enough to attach my name to infertility at this point in my struggle with it.

Your assumptions about birth control might just be wrong. So before you ask another couple who have been married 5 years, when will you start having kids? I hope you’ll consider what you’re really asking. On the positive side, if you have children I hope the next time you have a 2 year old birthday party you might think, who in my life doesn’t have kids but might really want to share this? Or that you might be prompted to ask your long-time single friend, what name would you have wanted to give a baby girl?

 

(*We can sidebar a theological discussion about God’s establishment of the natural order and his omnipotence in acting through and in circumvention to it if you’d like. But that’s not what I am saying was at play at this point in my life. God plays offense, not defense. Are we together? This was my mindset. I am not saying this is actually true.)

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