Listen: 71 Question 3

Family planning can be understood as a couple of things.  Family planning can mean those who have abortions.  It can also mean those who take extra measures for the wife to become pregnant.  Let’s consider them both.

It is clear from the scriptures that life begins long before delivery of the baby.  From the very beginning, from conception, the baby is alive and the Lord knows them.  Let’s look at a couple of verses to show the truth of this statement.  King David wrote in Psalm 139:13-16, “For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb.  I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well.  My frame was not hidden from you when I was made in the secret place, when I was woven together in the depths of the earth.  Your eyes saw my unformed body; all the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be.”  David understood that even before birth, even as his body was yet unformed, the Lord knew him.  Listen to the words of the Lord to the prophet Jeremiah in Jeremiah 1:5, “Before I formed thee in the belly I knew thee; and before thou camest forth out of the womb I sanctified thee, and I ordained thee a prophet unto the nations.”  These two portions should be enough to convince us that even in the womb, the child is alive and known by God.

Exodus 20:13 expressly tells us that, “Thou shalt not kill.”  The word kill here really means to murder, or to take a life unlawfully.  To end the life of an unborn baby is murder.  No matter how you look at it…it is murder.  So many pregnancies today are unplanned and unwanted.  So many young girls are having babies, so that it is literally babies having babies.  Still, it does not justify murdering a baby because it is inconvenient.  The Bible gives a dire warning to any who would end the life of an unborn child.  Exodus 21:22-25 teaches us that, “If men strive, and hurt a woman with child, so that her fruit depart from her, and yet no mischief follow: he shall be surely punished, according as the woman’s husband will lay upon him; and he shall pay as the judges determine. And if any mischief follow, then thou shalt give life for life, Eye for eye, tooth for tooth, hand for hand, foot for foot, Burning for burning, wound for wound, stripe for stripe.”  I hope that all can see that abortion is murder and is a serious offence to the Lord.

On the other hand, what does the Word have to say about those who cannot naturally become pregnant and use artificial means?  Would this be against scripture?  The Lord delights in children.  We read in Psalms 127:3-5, “Lo, children are an heritage of the LORD: and the fruit of the womb is his reward. As arrows are in the hand of a mighty man; so are children of the youth. 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.”  Children are a blessing from the Lord, and such be treated as such.

It is sad when families that desire to have children cannot have them, either due to problems with the husband or the wife.  In the scriptures and even today, there is sadness associated with women who were not able to bare children.  We read about Isaac and Rebekah in Genesis 25:21 which says, “And Isaac intreated the LORD for his wife, because she was barren: and the LORD was intreated of him, and Rebekah his wife conceived.”  Isaac prayed that the Lord would bless his barren wife and He did.  Often, the Lord would intercede for those who could not have children and bless them with children.

We live in a day of great medical advances.  It is now possible for couples to have children who could not have done so several years ago.  Through varying types of artificial insemination, couples are now able to have their own children.  We read of the wondrous grace of the Lord in Psalms 113:9 where it says, “He maketh the barren woman to keep house, and to be a joyful mother of children. Praise ye the LORD.”  I see no reason to doubt that the Lord can work through these wondrous methods and cause barren women to be joyful mothers of children.  This doesn’t interfere with the Lord’s sovereignty in child bearing.  The Lord is still Lord over all.  He can allow or prevent an artificial pregnancy just as easily as He can allow or prevent a natural pregnancy.