Question: "What does the Bible say about permanent forms of birth control, i.e. a tubal ligation or vasectomy?"

Birth control can be a controversial subject among Christians because the Bible does not clearly condone or condemn its use. Neither does it address permanent forms of birth control such as tubal ligation or vasectomy as these procedures were unknown in Bible times. It, therefore, becomes a matter of the heart and of a husband and wife's personal convictions.

The first thing we must recognize is that children are a gift from God (Psalm 127:3-5). They are not burdens to bear, but blessings to receive with joy. From a biblical perspective, every married couple should "expect" to have children and at least be prepared for the possibility. The inability to have children was considered a curse, and the ability to conceive a joy. No one was ever recorded in the Bible as being unhappy about bearing children.

Permanent birth control (i.e., a vasectomy or tubal ligation) may be appropriate for some couples who feel they should not have any more children. There may be health, financial, or relationship issues to consider. The decision for permanent birth control should not be made based on selfish ambition or vain conceit (Philippians 2:3-4), but out of a desire to live in ways that are pleasing to God.

Many people feel we should desire to have children just as we desire to receive all of God's blessings. At the same time, because the Bible does not forbid contraception, either temporary or permanent, it cannot be sufficiently argued that it is wrong in all circumstances. Through our personal relationships with God, we can seek God's will to determine the size of our families.