American society encourages us to "use protection." Yet we rarely stop to ask: protection against what? Against life? Against the possibility that God might want to bless us with another child?
The scriptures do not say: "Blessed is the man who kept his family down to the reasonable number of two children." They say: "Children too are a gift from the Lord, the fruit of the womb, a reward" (Ps. 127:3). Time and time again, children are shown as a blessing (see, e.g., Gen. 49:25; Dt. 7:14; 1 Sam. 2:20-21; Ps. 128:1-6; Jn. 16:21, etc.) and barrenness as a cause for sorrow (see, e.g., Gen. 20:18, Ex. 23:26; Hos. 9:11-14).
We Christians often say that they should "let go and let God." When we practice birth control, especially through potentially abortive methods, are we imitating Christ or imitating the world? Do we honestly believe that if we allowed God to take control of this aspect of our lives that He would not provide for us? We often quote Matthew 6:26: "Look at the birds in the sky; they do not sow or reap, they gather nothing into barns, yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are not you more important than they?" Can we not trust God to provide for us in this most intimate and powerful part of our lives?
Birth control enables us to use our spouses as objects for pleasure, without the potential for self-sacrificial life-giving love that is supposed to be between a husband and a wife. "Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God, and that you are not your own? For you have been purchased at a price.Therefore glorify God in your body" (1 Cor. 6:19-20). Are we glorifying God with our bodies when we participate in the marriage act with our spouse if we use contraception? And are we holding true to our pro-life commitments when we utilize hormonal birth control methods that can essentially abort a developing life?
Authentic defense of the unborn and commitment to the sanctity of life requires that we do more than stand against abortion. "Pro-life" must mean more than just "anti-abortion." It should mean a positive affirmation that God is the author and provider of life, a commitment that we will not stand in the way of God's design, and a trust that God will bring forth life according to his provision and purposes.