Tuesday, April 11, 2006

Debating Birth Control, Part 2

To Ashleigh and other readers who are wondering about the finer points of difference between NFP and artificial birth control -- when both husband and wife have a heart attitude of openness to children -- I'd recommend a little book by Sam and Bethany Torode called Open Embrace: A Protestant Couple Rethinks Contraception. It's a comprehensive look at what makes NFP different from all the other methods. And they do a much better job of discussing this complex issue than I ever could in the space of this blog.

I'd love to hear back from you when you've read it. You can also read a shorter article by them on Christianity Today's website.

I think I'll get my copy out and reread it, too.


At 7:34 PM, Blogger Ashleigh said...

Thanks, Candice. I'll have to read the book.

At 9:31 AM, Blogger Ted Slater said...

According to wikipedia, avoiding pregnancy by use of "Fertility Awareness-based Methods" requires abstinance from sexual intercourse for at least 8-10 days each cycle.

I wonder how that can be reconciled with 1 Cor. 7:5, which seems to give but one reason for abstaining from sex within marriage: "Do not deprive one another, except perhaps by agreement for a limited time, that you may devote yourselves to prayer; but then come together again, so that Satan may not tempt you because of your lack of self-control."

That verse seems to say that the only reason to refrain from sex is for prayer, not for NFP....

I'm not trying to "catch" you, Candice. Ashleigh and I are just trying to get our arms around a biblical understanding of family planning....

At 12:21 PM, Blogger Ashleigh said...

Just to add to the conversation on the issue of "artificial" birth control vs. NFP, here's another article on the subject from Christianity Today.

At 7:13 PM, Blogger Tidy Bowl said...

My own two cents':
My thoughts go back to the earlier discussion, the interpretation that men and women are Biblically mandated to have children. I love kids, and after I am married, I fully intent to adopt at least one child (hopefully more). However, due to a devastating genetic disease which runs in my family, I am really wrestling with my own calling to bear children.

Don't get me wrong - I've always wanted kids, and ever since I was little I've imagined myself bearing those children. However, as the devastating effects of this disease have manifested themselves in my own life, I have questioned the wisdom of putting my own children through the same trials I have had to endure.

I know that if I bear a child, there will be almost a 50% chance that he or she will have this disease. Adoption seems to be the answer.

Regardless of my decision, I know that I will adopt a child someday. I've had the opportunity to meet children in orphanages overseas, and my heart has been broken by their need and desire.

I apologize for being so vague about my family's disorder, but it is very personal.


At 12:41 PM, Blogger Naomi said...

What are NFPs?

At 8:49 AM, Blogger Jess said...

NFP is referring to Natural Family Planning, a method some couples use to monitor internal signs in the woman's body to determine fertility levels. Some people then abstain during 8-10 days out of the month while the wife is fertile, and some people use this information to use barrier methods during those months. I guess, theoretically too, some people use that information to try to get pregnant. I'm still not convinced as to why NFP is any better than any barrier method, because it seems like it's also "taking control" of one's body to some degree... If the reasoning is, don't use a barrier method because you either trust God (don't use birth control) or you don't trust Him (not using birth control)... but then those same people abstain for 1/3rd of their married lives in order to avoid babies and control their bodies... seems a bit strange to me. So I'm just not sure about all this. It seems like you kind of have to say, either it's OK to use b.c., or it's not... but NFP falls under b.c. to me.

I'd love to see someone really address all of these issues.


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