from “Family Planning in a Changing World: A Christian Perspective”

…Most families have some need for contraception, both for their own well being and for the well being of society. However, Christian parents who experience an unplanned pregnancy, through self-discipline and spiritual devotion should accept the additional responsibility of another child with grace and love. Such experience can provide an unusual blessing within the family.

Contraception is the means of preventing conception of unwanted children. The use of technical means in preventing pregnancy is at times morally right and desirable. Are there religious implications involved? Yes. Sex is ordained by God, not as a performance, but as a sacred relationship. It is not an act of self-love, it is the right of loving another. It is respect for a person, not merely a body.

The full dimensions of parenthood – the care and nurture of children, the safeguarding of their material welfare, the training for responsible adulthood, the companionship of family life – all have a direct relationship to the Christian’s personal view on controlled procreation. This needs more than just the practice of “birth control.” It implies a basically affirmative attitude toward procreation.

Partners in marriage should have the privilege of deciding the number of children to have in their family. Counsel concerning birth control methods and means should be sough from a Christian physician or counselor. Any method of birth control that irreversibly sterilizes the husband or wife involves a difficult decision. Any such choice should be with full understanding of both partners.

The means which a married couple uses to determine the number and spacing of the births of their children are a matter for them to decide with their own consciences on the basis of competent medical advice and spiritual advice with a sense of accountability to God. So long as it causes no harm to those involved, no particular method of contraception has any special merit or demerit. It is the spirit in which the means is used, rather than whether it is “natural or artificial,” which defines is “rightness” or “wrongness.” “Whatsoever you do, do all to the glory of God” (I Cor. 10:31) is a principle pertinent to the use of the God-given reproductive power.

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