3 Lo, children are an heritage of the LORD: and the fruit of the womb is his reward.
4 As arrows are in the hand of a mighty man; so are children of the youth.
5 Happy is the man that hath his quiver full of them: they shall not be ashamed, but they shall speak with the enemies in the gate.
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), “Family planning allows individuals and couples to anticipate and attain their desired number of children and the spacing and timing of their births. It is achieved through use of contraceptive methods and the treatment of involuntary infertility”. It is important to examine God’s plan for the institution called “family” and to understand the reasons for us to also plan our families.
1. The biblical view 2. Reasons for family planning
THE BIBLICAL VIEW The biblical view on family planning can be traced to the importance that God places on fruitfulness and child bearing. These include the fact that: 1. God’s command is that we should be fruitful and multiply (Genesis 1:28). 2. Children are great blessings from God (Psalm 127:3). 3. Children are weapons of defense (Psalm 127:4). 4. Children are ones pride and joy (Psalm 127:5; Proverbs 27:11). 5. God cherishes children as tools for propagating His kingdom (Mark 10:14-16). However, God’s plan of fruitfulness and multiplication does not call for the suffering or neglect of any child in this world (Jeremiah 29:11).
REASONS FOR FAMILY PLANNING
God has given man the grace for increase and procreation. However, wisdom demands that man should consider the need to cater for the children God gives which must include provision of food, shelter, education, etc. The reasons for birth control may differ from one family to another. These include:
1. Priorities and Necessities: This is to meet other pressing needs such as shelter, career, education, economy, etc (Proverbs 16:9). 2. Resources: Adequate provision is needed for every child. It is a sin to raise children you cannot cater for (1Timothy 5:8). 3. Health, especially of the mother: If and when the life of the mother is at risk, birth control should be considered (Ephesians 5:28-29). 4. Pleasure: This may be to give room for marital/sexual intimacy (1Corinthians 7:3-5). 5. Government policy: Many nations have policy on the acceptable number of children for each family in order to regulate their population. If believers in the Christian family have reasons for family planning, they should consult with the appropriate professionals in that field for proper counseling and recommendations.