Dear Aunt Dara,
I searched “Christian advice” on Facebook and your Facebook account came up. I need some Christian advice! We just had a baby 6 weeks ago and we'd like more, not right away but in about 6 months to a year. The doctor said not to get pregnant for 18 months after giving birth, but that seems very excessive. Would going on birth control be considered a sin? We are very financially stable, own our own home, have savings and are both in good health but I worry what if I get pregnant straight away as we had baby Alison first try (seriously). It isn't in our life plan to have a small family and I need to hurry up as I have a family history of early menopause and I’d hate to assume I had more time then realize I don't. So if I go on birth control for 6 months, would that be a sin or should we just ditch birth control and see what the Lord wishes us to do?
Dear New Mom,
Congratulations on the birth of Alison! I pray that God will bless you and your family, however many or few children that He gives you. There are a few things that you didn’t mention that might have some bearing on the decision that you make regarding when to have your next child. You didn’t say how many children you would like to have, how old you are now, and at what age the women in your family typically achieve menopause. These things should certainly be a factor in spacing your pregnancies. You also did not mention the reason or reasons that your doctor advised you to wait 18 months before becoming pregnant again? Is this just your doctor’s standard advice for his patients, or do you have particular health concerns that the doctor thought might worsen if you become pregnant again too soon?
You asked if it would be a sin to go on birth control for 6 months. Christians have differing views on birth control. Some Christians believe that using artificial means of birth control is a sin, and others do not. If you are a member of a particular church, what does your church teach regarding birth control? If you are unsure, I encourage you to ask one of your church leaders. What are your personal beliefs regarding birth control? Do you think that using birth control is a sin? That you are asking this question is evidence that you have doubts about God’s approval of birth control. Whatever you do, do not violate your conscience. Romans 14:23 tells us that if we have doubts regarding if something is permissible, but yet go ahead and do it anyway, we are sinning.
You have a lot of serious things to consider. Pray about this matter thoroughly and then apply wisdom to make your decision based on what you believe God wants you to do. If you choose to follow your doctor’s advice by waiting, but you believe that using artificial birth control would violate your conscience or displease God, ask your doctor to instruct you on natural means of birth control.