Tuesday, February 28, 2012

alternatives to the birth control pill and our view of children

Let me being by saying: Keep in mind that I know this issue is a sensitive one for many reasons. There are those of you who don't want kids. There are those of you who desperately want kids, but until now, that hasn't happened. There are those of you who want kids and have faced loss, miscarriage after miscarriage. There are those of you who have kids and feel that you can't handle anymore.
We live in a broken world, destroyed by sin and death. Things are not they way they were meant to be. But I know full well, that God has a plan for each and every one of you and each and every one of your families. He is faithful. But He also asks that we trust Him; that we follow Him; that we allow His Holy Spirit to shape our hearts and minds and to conform them to the way He sees the world. This is one of those areas.


Last week I wrote about how the pill works and why we need to know.

This week I need to address what the other options are. It's one thing to know the truth, it's another thing to live it, but it's something else altogether to have the right tools and know how to live it.

While I know none of these options are popular or even easy, some are uncomfortable and inconvenient, perhaps we need to consider why that is our attitude? For most of us, it's because hormonal birth control has changed our perspective of children altogether. Hormonal birth control has made it easy to ignore what our bodies are made to do. It's made it easy to ignore the fact that God wants children. He wants you to have children.

"Has not the one God made you? You belong to him in body and spirit. And what does the one God seek? Godly offspring." ~Malachi 2:15 (emphasis mine)

Stop and think: why are you trying not to have children?
Don't you know what scripture says?:

Sons are a heritage from the Lord,
children a reward from him.
Like arrows in the hands of a warrior
are sons born in one’s youth.
Blessed is the man
whose quiver is full of them
. ~Psalm 127:3-5

Of course I'm not suggesting we all adopt the Quiverfull lifestyle and become like the Duggars. But I am suggesting that our attitude toward children, particularly our own children and our future children, needs to change.

Children are a blessing, not a burden.

If you truly believed that, how long would you really wait before you started your family? How many kids, then, would you plan to have? Who's plan would you want to follow, yours or God's? (I guarantee His is better; so much better!)

"Opportunities are easily lost while waiting for perfect conditions." ~ Gary Ryan Blair

With all of that said, let's take a look at the alternatives to hormonal birth control. We need to begin with a simple lesson in contraception methods. There are 5 basic categories of birth control:

source

1. Sterilization. This method is commonly know as "getting your tubes tied" for women or a vasectomy for men. While I personally don't agree with these methods because of their permanence, this is something that I would urge any couple to very seriously and prayerfully consider before making a decision. Seek out wise counsel on the issue. And know that just because you have made a decision doesn't mean that it is God's plan for you (that is the case in all areas of life!)

2. Hormonal. This refers to the pill, the patch, the shot, the ring, the IUD (there is actually a hormonal IUD and a copper IUD, but both work in the same way), implants and the morning after pill. All of these methods work in almost the same way. You can read about how they work here. These methods can be abortive.

when those 2 methods are not an option, you are left with...

3. Abstinence. This means that you abstain from sex. While I of course do not recommend this for married couples, I do recommend it for everyone else. God has called us all to purity and chastity- we should be pure in all of our conduct and intentions and be able to practice restraint. It guarantees that you will not get pregnant. 100% of the time, it works every single time. No other method offers that kind of success rate.

4. Barrier. These methods are anything used to block sperm from entering the cervix and eventually the uterus. Devices such as condoms, diaphragms, a sponge, or cervical cap, often times used in conjunction with spermicide, create a barrier through which the sperm cannot travel; thus preventing it from fertilizing an egg. These methods are never abortive.

5. Fertility Awareness. There are several names for this method like the rhythm method, the calender method, natural family planning, charting and basal body temperature. This method can be one of the most misunderstood, intimidating and seemingly daunting and involved methods. But of all the methods, it is the one where you have to learn your own body, understand your cycle and how it works and work with how God made you. I ask all women to at least consider learning about your own fertility. Knowing your body and how it works is empowering. When you know your body and your cycle, there is less worrying, guessing, wondering and stress involved.

Comparing Charts on FertilityFlower.com
source

There are many options in this area. Learn a few of them. Read about them. Discuss with your doctor and friends who have done it. Take a class. Here are a few resources to look into:
*Web MD: Fertility Awareness
*Creighton Mondel
*Taking Charge of Your Fertility
*Couple to Couple League
*basal body temperature

more information on all birth control methods here

You have more options than just "the pill". You are worth more than just doing what everyone else is doing or following a doctor's advice because it's their protocol. Be different. Ask questions. Do the research.

You owe it to yourself to learn and live by the truth.

Again, as I have stated before: My intention is not to be legalistic on this issue. I encourage everyone to do their own research, pray, search the scriptures, discuss it with your husband and other wise counsel and make a decision for yourself.

"If the desire to bear children depended on such philosophizing, the race would have long become extinct." ~ Dr. Leon Kass


Recommended/Related Reading:
*Start Your Family: Inspiration for Having Babies
*Taking Charge of Your Fertility
*Natural Progesterone vs. Synthetic Progesterins
*Pam Stenzel- abstinence speaker

3 comments:

  1. Thanks for putting this together. I very much started birth control without knowing much about my options and didn't really cared. I was getting married (which for me meant sex for the first time) and the last thing i wanted to worry about was getting pregnant before i was worried.

    now being on the other side -- having my first child and learning about my fertility while trying to conceive, I will never go back on the pill... FOR ME, its not something I want in my body any more. I only say that for me though.

    I wish more women were less afraid of their own bodies. All women -- even young women should have an awareness of their fertility and how their bodies work. I think if more women knew, more women would respect their bodies.

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  2. I'm glad I found your blog. I was at Small Bird Studios and found you through the sisterhood of Loss and Support. I am happy you haven't had a loss the other sites I've followed through that site, are sad. Their stories like mine don't have happy endings. Good for you for being honest about who you are and what you want to do with your life. Stop by my blog (it's very sad though) anytime www.letterstoleia.ca
    xxoo
    Angie

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  3. As a mom of 6, this is a sensitive issue for me. I hate being judged for having an "unacceptable" amount of kids. I conceived the lay two on the pill. The Last pill was so strong I stopped menstrating. I have always had issues with the pill. For me, taking it was telling God "I don't trust you". He is the Author of Life. My baby is proof.

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