Is It Biblical to Use Birth Control?

It’s important to understand that the Bible neither advocates birth control nor condemns it. The Bible was written long before modern methods such as a vasectomy or tubal ligation were developed. Consequently, its silence cannot be used to argue for or against birth control.

One viewpoint that some try to use to argue against the use of birth control is that God will limit the number of children when He decides we have enough. This way of thinking, however, seems to border more on presumption than faith. Faith advocates wise choices and responsible living. Presumption advocates testing God, over which He grieves ( Mark 8:11-13 ) and can encourage foolish, reckless, and irresponsible choices ( Matthew 4:5-7 ). Others use the argument that God wants every husband and wife to have a “full quiver” ( Psalm 127:3 ). The dilemma is that the Bible never specifies how full is full.

Like many other issues in life, God leaves it up to us to decide how to honor Him in all that we do. God could have plainly stated: “All families must have 5 children; no more, and no less.” That would have ended the issue. But He chose not to, because He allows for personal choice in the matter.

The freedom to choose, however, also takes into consideration why a choice is made. There is a big difference between choosing to use birth control for selfish reasons versus responsible reasons. If a vasectomy or other forms of birth control are chosen mostly out of convenience, then a couple should question their decision. On the other hand, if their decision is made out of an attempt to be responsible by recognizing their unique limitation as parents, then it is likely a wise choice.

Realistically, almost every couple must practice some form of birth control. Otherwise, most married couples would conceivably have an inordinate number of children. Although God does not oppose limiting the size of a family to the number of children that parents can wisely raise to serve Him, He never intended parents to use birth control devices to prevent having children completely. Children are “a heritage of the Lord” ( Psalm 127:3 ) and a great source of blessing.

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