God is Sovereign in conception.
We like to make excuses to justify our reasons for doing something which we know in our hearts does not coincide with God’s way. We also want to assume control for our lives in a way which does not glorify God. This aspect is not more clear than in the way the world is technologically taking over conception and birth; and the way the children of God are made to feel if they even have more than two children. We are bombarded by the world’s attitude in many ways, especially through the media. Because these views permeate our society, we begin to think that it isn’t really contrary to God’s word to practice a ‘little’ conception prevention. Where will it end? How will we know when we’ve gone too far?
God is sovereign in conception.
“Yabbut, we can’t raise all these children by ourselves. We have to be concerned with raising the chiddren we already have.”
To this we hear clearly from God, “There is none righteous, no, not one: there is none that understandeth, there is none that seeketh after God…there is none that doeth good, no not one,” Rom. 3:10ff, and “for all have sinned and come short of the glory of God,” Rom. 3:23. God humbles us to the dust so we realize how much we need him, how much we must depend on him for all things. “God resisteth the proud, but giveth grace to the humble,” James 5:6, and “Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and he shall lift you up,” James 5:10. In this humility, God brings us to “come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need,” Hebrews 4:16. We then also declare boldly with Paul, “I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me,” and “I have learned in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content,” Phil. 4:11,13. Without God, this is true. We cannot do it by ourselves. Without him, we can do nothing. God also knows what is best for us and for our families—and the existing children.
“Yabbut, man has responsibilities and God provides means….”
Man’s responsibility is to please and glorify and trust God. Man says, “Well, I don’t think I should have more children for a season, but God still might give me one, so since God provides me with the means to prevent it, I may use those means to prevent God from granting conception?” We can see the conflict in the above statement. May we attempt to prevent God by using means ‘God has provided’ or is man making himself god by interfering in areas which he has no right?
Think of the sin of Onan and the results. (Gen. 38:8-10) We can see how our sins often rise up against us when we look at what we want and how much easier life would be if only.
God is our conception prevention or birth control, if you will. “Children are an heritage of the Lord and the fruit of the womb is his reward” Ps. 127:3; and we must be careful of the impression we leave on our children if we pray, “Not now, Lord. Our situation is such that we shouldn’t have children right now.” Or our attitude may ‘tell’ our children that they are burdens rather than blessings. They may wonder why their parents wouldn’t want anymore children. Is it because of them and the stress they place on the family? Our attitudes about children are reflected in our children and their attitude toward other children and siblings. Rather, let us pray, “Turn us again O Lord God of hosts, cause thy face to shine, and we shall be saved,” Ps. 80:19.
“Yabbut, we’re not in good health, and have great difficulty dealing with the daily challenges that a family brings.”
When a husband or wife is very ill, the spouse will show tender love, care, and consideration, and they may choose to possibly abstain from sexual relations because of health; these relations being probably the last thing on their mind anyway when dealing with severe illness. In this situation, the motives for abstinence become to preserve life, (that of a spouse), not to prevent it. Here, conception prevention hardly comes into the picture. When scripture speaks of sexual abstinence, it is in the light of spiritual strengthening as fasting and prayers. This is never a long period of time. The seriousness of illness will necessarily dictate the duration of abstinence, but it also ought not be for a great length of time since it is indeed a picture of the unity between Christ and the church.
A mother may become ill after having had children (not necessarily related to pregnancy or childbirth) during which time fellow saints rally around to provide support as do the existing children, if they are old enough. Situations like this build responsibility and other positive character traits in the family. The love of God is shed abroad in our hearts as we pray for and assist that family. Remember, God sends affliction and tribulation; “and we glory in tribulations also: knowing that tribulation worketh patience; and patience, experience; and experience, hope: and hope maketh not ashamed; because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us,” Rom. 5:3-5.
“Yabbut, I just can’t handle it. I’m so stressed out already, and any more children just might put me over the edge.”
God knows exactly what we can and cannot handle and deals with us accordingly. He grants grace sufficient when we need it. “And he said unto me, ‘My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness.’ Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me,” II Cor. 12:9. We will not necessarily be able to handle six children when we have two. But he usually gives us one (or two) at a time and grace to handle them when they come, not before they’re there. There are also those who (we think) would be able to handle six, seven, or more children, whom God has seen fit to bless with two or three (or not even one). These families may feel ‘shortchanged’ whereas in reality they become a true blessing to the larger families about them with their helpful encouragement, generosity, and prayers, and their realization that life in the midst of a world of iniquity is not easy.
We need not fear the gifts God gives unto us. We must welcome them as the treasures they are. We need not fear that God might add trial to trial or tribulation to tribulation just to see how much we can take before we break. “There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it,” I Cor. 10:13. Our God is righteous, just and full of mercy. “Behold, we count them happy which endure. Ye have heard of the patience of Job, and have seen the end of the Lord: that the Lord is very pitiful, and of tender mercy,” James 5:11. We have the confidence that we are his children through Christ and his tender love will carry us through. Even Job in the midst of trial, the death of his children, sickness, desertion by friends and family, could say, “I know that my redeemer liveth.” God will grant us the faith and humility as a little child to totally depend on him. He will cause his blessings to be a joy to us, “like olive plants round about thy table,” Ps. 128:3b.
We must look to the Lord, his glory and honor in all aspects of life, his sovereignty, and pray that we may trust in his goodness. “What man is there of you, whom if when his son asks for bread, will he give him a stone? how much more shall your Father which is in heaven give good things to them that ask him?” Matt. 7:9, 11. Pray also that God would grant us the faith and trust to “trust in the Lord with all (our) heart and lean not unto (our) own understanding. In all (our) ways acknowledge him and he will direct (our) paths. Be not wise in (our) own eyes: fear the Lord and depart from evil,” Prov. 3:5-7.
Let God’s sovereignty, honor and glory shine forth and may his kingdom come by way of the covenant elect seed.
“Now the Lord Jesus Christ himself, and God, even our Father, which hath loved us, and hath given us everlasting consolation and good hope through grace, Comfort your hearts, and stablish you in every good word and work,” II Thes. 2:16, 17. ❖