They also decide on when to give birth to those children and the age differences between their children. So family planning is more of a goal or purpose than a method.

Jul 29, 2023 - 12:11
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This is an issue that has bordered a lot of people. It has been the reason for a number of decisions that people take, especially in their marriages. I am happy to share my thoughts about this very important issue. Many of those who think it is a sin come from some of the family planning methods.

Family planning is when a couple decides when to give birth. It implies that pregnancy does not happen by chance or unaware. However, they decide how many children they will have. They also decide on when to give birth to those children and the age differences between their children. So family planning is more of a goal or purpose than a method. So that we will know that if a couple decides not to be intimate because they want to avoid pregnancy, it is still family planning because it serves the same purpose.

There are a number of methods people can use to achieve this purpose. Some of the family planning methods include abstinence from sex, contraceptive injection, contraceptive patch, contraceptive ring, condom, diaphragm, sponge, cervical cap, spermicides, sterilization, following the safe cycle, pull-out (withdrawal) method, and emergency contraception. At the extreme, abortion is also a family planning method because it can serve the same purpose.

The case of Onan

The story of Onan is one of the main reasons Bible believers see family planning as a sin. Their case is that God killed Onan because he spilled his semen on the ground to avoid pregnancy.

Then Judah said to Onan, “Sleep with your brother’s wife and fulfill your duty to her as a brother-in-law to raise up offspring for your brother.” 9 But Onan knew that the child would not be his; so whenever he slept with his brother’s wife, he spilled his semen on the ground to keep from providing offspring for his brother. 10 What he did was wicked in the Lord’s sight; so the Lord put him to death also.

Genesis 38: 8-10

When we do an objective analysis of the story, we see clearly that Onan’s wickedness/sin was not because he spilled the sperm but why he did that. He was willing to enjoy his late brother’s wife but not to give her children. Because he knew that the children who not be his but rather they would be children of his late brother and his wife, he didn’t want to get her pregnant. It even looks like withdrawal was a family method which Onan was neither the first nor only person to do it. God killed Onan because he was selfish and greedy and exploited his late brother and the woman.

The case of contraceptives

Contraceptives are pills or drugs that are taken to prevent pregnancy. They are taken before or after intimacy so that fertilization will not take place. Some see this as abortion but I believe otherwise. My case is that pregnancy is when the sperm from the man and the egg from the woman come together to form a zygote which will grow into a foetus and eventually a baby. Abortion is when any of these is intentionally destroyed. Using contraceptives is not abortion because, in the case of contraceptives, there were no pregnancies at all. Any drug that destroys pregnancy is an abortion drug but not a contraceptive.

Let me conclude that the discussion of whether or not family planning is a sin is only in the context of marriage. Sex outside marriage is a sin and cannot be justified. Everything about it is sinful, including using family planning methods. But in the context of marriage, sex is not only meant for reproduction. It is also meant for reconciliation, pleasure, appreciation, etc. Also, it is better to give birth to the number of children you can afford to take care of than to have your children surround you with no hope for a future. When you do family planning, it doesn’t mean you think God cannot take care of you and your children. After all, God is the same person who is the provider for those who are able to give good lives to their children.

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