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What does the Bible say about permanent forms of birth control?

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Question: "What does the Bible say about permanent forms of birth control such as 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 the Bible address permanent forms of birth control such as tubal ligation or vasectomy, as these procedures were unknown in Bible times. Birth control, permanent or otherwise, is a matter of the heart and of a husband’s and wife’s personal convictions.

In any discussion of permanent birth control, we must recognize that children are a gift from God (Psalm 127:3–5). Children 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 in ancient times, and the ability to conceive a joy. No one in the Bible is ever recorded 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 to utilize permanent birth control should not be based on selfishness or vanity (Philippians 2:3–4) but on a desire to please God and follow His will.

Many people feel we should desire to have children just as we desire to receive all of God’s blessings and that we should not limit family size through permanent birth control. However, because the Bible does not forbid contraception, temporary or permanent, we cannot say 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.

Recommended Resource: Christian Ethics: Contemporary Issues & Options, Second Edition by Norm Geisler

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What does the Bible say about permanent forms of birth control such as a tubal ligation or vasectomy?

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