Friday, November 21, 2008

"Do you have family planning?"

 I was asked this today during my visit Friday with the nurse from the health department.  That's a good question.  I can't remember exactly what I told her, but my reply was a negative in some form.  But while trying to go back to sleep early this morning  I realized that I should have truthfully replied that yes, we do have family planning - God!

It's interesting, but when we first considered taking God into the equation when considering "family planning", we got so excited about our "new" outlook that we told people right and left about it.  The responces were varied, including everything from agreement to anger!  Due to our family size, I rarely, if ever, am the one to bring up the subject.   And I'll tell them "We let God plan our family" (or something like that.  Jokingly I'll often add funny comments like "He hasn't made any mistakes so far" or "they're all keepers" - and of course, there's the old "don't you know what causes that?"  This one I have a variety of answers to ranging from sublime "yes - and we now keep out toothbrushes separate" to the audacious "yes- and we are really good at it - if you need any pointers, let me know!"I've only used that one twice - and both times it was with a person who was being insulting in there comments - they both laughed nervously and left it at that!  I've regretted using that one, but I love to joke about that one!

So, why do we have more than four times the national average when it comes to children?  Aren't we concerned about adding to the "population explosion"?  Aren't we worried about not meeting all our children's needs?  Those and others are great questions I've been asked recently and I'd like to take the time to answer those questions and other for you!

But.... this would be a really long blog entry that could potentially take days to write/read, so I've added a new category for my blog entries and I'll break down my thoughts/beliefs into smaller entries for you!

So as I find time, I'll post about why we believe what we believe and answer questions I've been asked, as well as those that might come in response to my posts!

Lastly, please understand that I believe what I believe to be true, but I know that very few will agree with me, and I understand that - God has each of us in His hands and challenges each of us in different ways - my only request is that you prayfully consider your choices when you are "planning your family" - as most families make their choices without even considering what God would have them do!  We did for many years!

I'm looking forward to this, I hope you are too!


  1. Hi! I am interested to hear your experience - not too surprised. After each of the births of my three children, I was asked what I was going to do about family planning, and before each of the births I was asked if I had been using contraception. In the UK this is standard practice, and I find that the midwives and nurses are very respectful of whatever decision their patients come to - although I know others who hold very strong views one way or the other as to the rights and wrongs of "trusting in G-" or "taking sensible decisions on family planning" depending on the perspective. I live in an area where there are people from all different cultural backgrounds. Many have made the decision either not to use contraception or not to consider terminating a pregnancy. As a Jew, I take a middle line: I feel that children are the biggest blessing and privilege a person can have, but I do feel that there are circumstances when it is right for a couple to decide not to have more of them. Pregnancies have been much more difficult for me as an older mum than when I was younger.

    We laughed when we read the book "Cheaper by the Dozen" (published 1948) about a couple who have 12 children. It was written by two of the dozen: Frank B. Gilbreth and Ernestine Gilbreth Carey. You might already have it on your bookshelves. I am sure that you and members of your family will enjoy reading it - if you haven't enjoyed it already. There are a lot of "big family" jokes in that book, including the story of when the mum is invited to join the local committee for educating women about family planning. Your blog on the subject really shows how little has changed, in some respects, over the past 100 or so years. But they didn't have Malden Mills fleece in those days! nor automatic washing-machines...

  2. Thank-you for all your blog entries on this topic! It takes a lot of courage to say something so counter-cultural and unpopular even in many Christian circles. I find this so confusing. I have many strong Christian couples in my extended family who are completely trusting in God in terms of finances, health, serving others etc.; yet their hearts are so closed towards having more than 2 children. I see this as the link between contraception and abortion. By choosing to contracept, a couple has hardened their hearts against a child. If they get a 'surprise' the temptation to abort is higher than it would have been had they not been contracepting. If you look at the stats, contraceptives are more widely available, effective, and socially acceptable today than they were in the 1960's. Yet we have more 'unwanted pregnancies' and abortions than ever.

    I also wanted to add that ALL Christian churches were against contraception up until 1930, when the Anglican church decided they would allow it in certain grave circumstances. Since then, nearly every denomination has changed their stance from forbidding it, to advocating contraception as 'responsible parenting'.

    Another thing is that faithful Christian couples have always had recourse to self-control if they had a serious reason to postpone pregnancy. Thankfully, in modern times, there has been an increasing understanding of God's design of the woman's body, so abstinence need not be absolute. I believe a couple using natural family planning for serious reasons is still open to life, because each time they make love, they are doing ABSOLUTELY NOTHING to prevent God from creating a new life from that act if He so desires. (Even if they know it is unlikely at that time due to His design of the woman's body). Modern methods of natural family planning (NOT the rhythm method!) are as reliable as any form of contraception without all the nasty side effects.

    I also recognise that some couples have discerned that *their* call to openness to life is to be answered by not using any measures to postpone pregnancy.

    I have read some really great books on this topic. The first is 'Life-Giving Love' by Kimberly Hahn. The second is 'The Good News About Sex & Marriage' by Christopher West.

    BTW, I have 3 girls and hope to have more children in the future. :)