Behold, children are a gift of the LORD, The fruit of the womb is a reward.
I have held off writing this post because I really didn't want to offend anyone if this topic is uncomfortable for them. But over the past few months I feel I've had to answer this question for a lot of people and am at the point where I would like to set the record straight so that people stop thinking we've got goals of becoming the next "Duggar Family". YES, we believe in birth control. I know, you wouldn't think so many would ask me this but I have to answer that question A LOT. I don't mind when it's family & friends, it doesn't offend me and I'm not so private that I feel uncomfortable answering it...especially if our experience can help another couple. But when strangers in the grocery store are asking, that's a little frightening. And trust me, they do! When I was pregnant for my 4th I was in Rite Aid and I had the 3 kids with me and an older gentlemen with his wife stopped me and asked, "you know they sell stuff to prevent that don't you?" and pointed to my very pregnant belly. I was so annoyed that I said, "Really? I had no idea, where can I find that stuff?" Then I walked away. It wasn't the most gracious response and to this day Ben and I have yet to come up with a clever way to answer strangers when they do this to us.
But when it comes down to the question, "Do you believe in birth control?" or "Does your religion believe in birth control?" then I am always happy to put the mystery to rest. First of all my "religion" is the word of God, the Bible. Period. In our years of prayer on this matter and a willingness to do whatever God asks, Ben and I have not been persuaded that it's a sin to use birth control. The Bible is not clear on the subject. And there are many people that I respect and look up to that are on both sides of the issue and I do not think one is right or wrong, we are just persuaded differently. Ben and I believe this is a decision that each individual couple must come to together after meditating on God's word and prayer. No church or Pastor should be making that decision for people. That's just my opinion.
We always have to chuckle when someone just assumes that because we have 5 kids then we must not believe in birth control because who in their right minds would WANT 5 kids. Haha. I won't lie, we have had 3 "surprises" and when I say that I mean they were surprises to us but definitely not to God. He will have His way regardless of our efforts but I do believe there is wisdom in a little bit of planning. Our decision to use birth control the times that we did were not without prayer on the matter. When you have 5 babies in 6 years, that's overwhelming. It's mentally and physically challenging and especially when you live far away from family and don't really have a lot of help. After Jena was born we were so thrilled with our family but at the same time felt that we had a lot on our plates and the wisest thing for us to do was to take steps to prevent another pregnancy. I don't want to take any credit or glory away from God. He is faithful to give us what we need each day and we are so reliant on Him to help us raise this family, but that does not mean it's wrong of us to want a break from having babies. Our hearts have always been willing to raise another baby if that is what God wanted from us. I don't necessarily think the issue is whether or not couples use birth control but rather where their hearts are at in regard to what God will ask of them.
So there you have it...the mystery is solved. And to answer the question that almost always immediately follows the birth control question...."will you guys have anymore?" our answer is, "only time will tell". Because in our efforts to "plan" our family God has done better so at this point we will continue to make decisions as wisely as we can with God's will in the forefront and a heart ready for Him to change our plans if that is what He chooses.