Selfish contraception

babymother.jpgGeoff has started discussing contraception over on the geoffreport, this has sparked some decent discussion.

The long and short of it for me without having done any intense research besides a few thoughts, reading Rob Bell’s Sex God, a few other marriage books and thinking about basic practicalities, is that post-January, I/we will opt for something slightly more definite than Natural Family Planning (and whatever methods with long names fit there) for the next while.

Devoid of theological, moral or otherwise ideals, this is simply the most practical and wins the question. I have 3 more years of uni and would like some semblance of having a stab at a job in the the real world doing what I love.

I’ll/we’ll consider the ramifications of whatever ‘sin’ we’re commiting by using the pill/equivalent when it is more convenient. *Someones jaw drops at the blatant selfishness*

By the way.

*I don’t think using the pill is a sin
*I don’t want a huge number of children
*I do one day want kids
*If by some ‘accident’ I have a kid before I finish uni – so be it, I’m sure it’ll be wonderful (But it’s a scary thought)
*I am not at all adverse to looking into other ‘methods’ when it becomes a bit more suitable

If you would like to read things about childbirth/contraception/midwifery, my sister Laura writes ALL about it (Lets even put a ‘mature content’ warning on it).

9 Comments

  1. sammy said:

    Meh, I’d only say it’s a sin if you can biblically somehow justify it to be one

    August 7, 2007
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  2. said:

    I love that you guys are so open about this stuff. Reading what Melinda wrote on Geoff’s blog there reminded me why I get so angry about the kind of high minded moralism that pressures women into ignoring their better judgment. I’m probably still andro-centric, I think men really miss out when the women in their lives get stuck being homemakers, and aren’t free to contribute to society, and engage with the world as individuals and proffessionals.

    Obviously women miss out more… and I’m still not sure that its more men than women who put pressure on women to be baby factories… in fact it seems to me that these days, and espcially in christian sub-culture, women tend to put more pressure on eachother than men ever get around to, in relation to this stuff. Having said that I’ve met some men I would have happily explained some of this too with the business end of a baseball bat.

    But thats just me being emotional because I’ve had to put up with my own mother griping for years about not having a career… and I’m exceptionally tired of feeling more than a little blamed for that. I think, despite my personal bias, that its still fair to argue that kids feel the subtle undercurrent of resentment much more than the adults who think they are hiding it… and given that todays society does present opportunities for women to excel as independant people… I suspect its very easy to feel ripped off if you miss out on that.

    #1 reason to plan a family in my book is so you dont spend years taking out your resentment for missing out on a career on offspring who had no choice in the matter.

    I’m sorry this is so strongly worded Bec, and I certainly hope its clear that none of my frustration is directed at you… in fact I’m really stoked for you that you are able to navigate through what seems to me to be a minefield of conflicting values.

    August 7, 2007
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  3. Kate (Rohan's wife) said:

    Hi Rebecca

    For what its worth, even though I ended up dissatisfied with the Pill, I reckon its a pretty good option in the first little while of marriage. I also don’t think its a sin. We have freedom to choose. Even though Rohan and I have gone down the path of the Billings method now – I think to be honest, if I had a daughter, I’d probably say the pill made things a WHOLE lot easier, simpler and a lot more freeing when we first got married and were…umm… figuring out how everything worked if you know what I mean!

    And when we decided to to go a la natural, we were fully prepared and understood the consequences if we were not disciplined with it! I guess my passion for NFP methods stems from the fact that no-one in my circles seems to consider it a legitimate option these days.

    Above everything else let’s enjoy the gift of sexuality and intimacy in our marriages. it is lots of fun learning together, and also full of embarrassing moments that will make us smile for years to come. give yourselves plenty of time to learn and figure things out together.

    August 7, 2007
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  4. said:

    Hello lovely Kate!! Long time no “see”!!

    Bec…
    I really, really appreciated your post (haven’t got to Geoff’s yet).

    There was quite a good Zadok paper recently on the pill, which made me really unsettled…it raised a whole lot of issues I would prefer not to have brought to my attention. :lol:

    That said, I haven’t considered the theological ramifications of contraception. I’ve read a couple of things, but at this point in time, I really haven’t felt the Holy Spirit moving me to delve into the issue more deeply, and to be honest, I feel like there are more pressing issues to sort out. I also firmly believe that God has called me into my field of work, and I receive constant affirmation of that from others. I guess that my only theological arguments for using various forms of contraception (yep! I’m paranoid enough to ensure there’s more than 1!!) are ones based around stewardship – God’s given me the ability to make a difference right here and right now, and having a kid would throw a real spanner in the works.

    There’s also the fact that I just don’t think our relationship is ready for it. We need to hang out together a bit longer before we bring another little person into complicate things.

    And finally – I’m sorting through a whole range of questions about whether, and why/why not I want kids. That’s not something that is easy to discuss in Christian circles – how often do you hear Christian couples say they’ve made a conscious decision not to have children?

    It’s funny, but I found my latent mothering instincts kick in last year when I was in Vanuatu (and I’ve experienced that in the Solomons too!) I think there’s several reasons for this: firstly, the bond between women is SO much stronger than it is here; secondly, I know stacks and stacks of inspirational women who are balancing kids with careers, just because of the social structures; and thirdly, as you’d be aware, kids in those societies belong to the land and community, not so much to their parents…there’s something I find really reassuring about that too…p’raps it’s because you’d be raising kids in a community, not on your own (and I know that us church people like to think that we’re good at “community”, but frankly I think we’re appalling at it!!)

    Erm…sorry for the rant. I’ve been thinking about this a bit recently. :D

    August 8, 2007
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  5. […] Just thought (particularly if you’re an RSS Subscriber who tends not to visit the actual site) that it might be worth drawing attention to the very valuable, insightful (and at times quite personal) comments on the “Theology of Contraception” post. It’s been impressive to see the quality of responses there: I didn’t realise this would hit quite on such a rich vein of opinion. So if you haven’t read them (or read them back when there was only a few comments there instead of 21) I advise a perusal. You can also check out Bec’s contribution over on her blog. […]

    August 9, 2007
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  6. said:

    I agree with Kate – the Pill is not a sinful thing. However, it does muck around with fertility, and I know of women who have found themselves unable to conceive as easily as they thought they would after using it. Important to do all the research on it so you can make an informed position. I personally prefer less chemically invasive means as I don’t like my own physiology being mucked around with. I am sure your sister will be a wonderful resource for this topic!!!

    August 9, 2007
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  7. said:

    erm, I meant informed decision. Oops. ;-)

    August 9, 2007
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  8. said:

    As it’s 2 months till Tim and I tie the knot, we’re looking into our options also.
    Bec, I’m with you when you say you do not believe using the Pill is a sin. To be perfectly honest, I don’t even think that it crossed Tim or my mind to even question whether or not we would use birth control – it was basically considered a given that when the time comes, we would eventually be using some form or another. At no point have I even had anyone question my intentions of jumping on the pill. My parents and churchie pals never even seemed to bat an eyelid about it, so I definitely applaud you and Geoff for thinking about this here.
    Though, quick chat to my GP and he does recommend that you avoid being on it for longer than 5 years, as they have found links between prolonged use of the pill and difficulty conceiving later on.

    Like you Bec, Tim and I have a bit of a short term plan, in regards to career, experiences and eventually children, so I personally do not believe that there is anything wrong with desiring to wait for children and taking precautions to ensure that they pop out when your truely ready to give them your best [well…you’re as ready as you can be].

    The way I see it is, God never desired for us to be robots, he gave us a will and a brain with all the functions to make decisions, preferably informed decisions. God also gave us sex, it was his ultimate gift to a husband and wife. He also gave us our bodies, with and inbuilt reproductive system, which our bodies know instinctively. While God makes the final decision on conception, the systems procedure is automatic, it has a natural response and reaction. Therefore when considering sex, we really must consider that, knowing the facts of our natural bodily reactions in such a situation, pregnancy is a very real consequence. One which we must weigh as mature and responsible grown ups. Perhaps the most amazing thing about sex is that God didn’t simply create it as a means of procreation, but also as an enjoyable and pleasurable experience…he actually wants us to enjoy ourselves. For husband and wife to grow in depth and intimacy with one another.
    Now I know I’m not ready for kids yet, so I know that if I was looking down the barrel of sex without any form of contraception, theres no way I could really enjoy myself, without being plagued by the fear that I could end up pregnant anytime. So if Tim and I had chosen the ‘no contraception’ option, then our relationship would probably fail to develop that healthy intimate, sexual connection as I know that both of us would be hesitant to risk pregnancy so early into the marriage. Which after so long, to be honest, would be incredibly dissapointing :P
    While I am a bit of a free-spirit, I can also appreciate some control and security in my life…God knows that, because after all, he’s well versed in my personality traits, so I know he can appreciate my desire for direction, goals and vision…infact Gods the one who encourages us to have one. I do not believe that children are really any different, it is a HUGE commitment, a HUGE change and one which should not be taken lightly, it is probably the most significant thing any of us can ever do. To bring a child into the world.

    I am a teacher…I see so many kids from homes which are ill prepared for them. I want to be ready for my kids.

    I can appreciate that others choose to go with the ‘whatever happens, happens’ method, but Tim and I have not chosen it for us. Being parents is one of the greatest honours God will ever place upon us, so when it does happen, we want to do it right. We want to be able to be the parents our kids really need, we want to be unselfish and plugged in and I do believe that some more years, with growing maturity and a deepening connection to each other, will get us to a place where we can offer our kids a stable, loving and happy home.
    We choose to wait a few years for kids. It is both an unselfish and selfish decision; Selfish because we want time with just the two of us, and unselfish because we know that we’re too selfish to truely be great parents right now.
    God has not yet told us otherwise, the pill is our choice and I have this sneaking suspicion that should God decide that alas, no, he wants us to start having kids straight away, then he could definately just make me conceive regardless of contraception. Our Gods bigger than anything man will ever concoct.
    Just trust, he’ll point you in the direction which is right for you. Tim and I are definitely at ease with out decision, while I’m sure others wouldn’t be…but thats okay. I don’t believe their is any general right or wrong…simply choices and accountability.

    Great Topic Bec and Geoff…
    Much Love
    Jess xoxo
    P.S. Apologies for the long rambling comment, I hope that I got to my point in the end…I only skim-read through it, so it’s possible that I actually didn’t :p oh well…

    August 10, 2007
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  9. […] means (you’ll have to hunt the archives for that one!) but as I’ve written about contraception briefly before, it’s probably fair to mention that I’m now on the pill. Theoretically I […]

    November 17, 2007
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