After re-reading the theology of family planning at silentvoices.org (see the direct link in Part 2 below), I don't think I have much to add! So I've decided not to waste time re-doing the hard work they've already done, and just direct you there, to your Bible, to your significant other, and to your brothers and sisters in Christ to research God's view of family planning. :) I've been thinking long and hard about what to post in Part 3 now. I want to share about three things: God's love and forgiveness, my current struggle to trust God with family planning, and the great wisdom of God.
I don't have it all together. On a topic as touchy as family planning, I just want you to know there is no condemnation here for those who are seeking to follow Jesus. If you have made choices you regret, there is abundant love and grace in the arms of Jesus! Tell Him you realize you were wrong, turn away from doing wrong, and follow Him! If you aren't sure what decisions to make, let Him make them for you. "Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight." (Prov. 3:5-6).
That said, I have a confession to make, which some of you have heard before. I am so much more nervous to get pregnant with baby #2 than I was for #1. The Lord must have given me a gift of faith before #1, because I had very few fears or worries before or after we got pregnant with J. I trusted that God would provide, and that we were in His will. I am having a hard time trusting God, now that I can "count the cost" of having a child. I have no clue how things will change once we have two kids. I have no clue if we have enough money, or energy, or mental ability. I am so worried about me, it's just ridiculous. God provided when we had one meager income, one tiny apartment, and a very new marriage. He will provide again. Please pray with me that God will help my husband and I to trust Him with our next child (if another one is His will), and that He will provide!
The most important thing I have learned as I have studied God's views of family planning: "the foolishness of God is wiser than man's wisdom, and the weakness of God is stronger than man's strength" (1 Cor. 1:25). God always knows better than I do. And he definitely knows better than the ways of the world. I've found myself examining the different facets of my life to see if I am following man's "wisdom" or God's Wisdom. Am I lusting after things, success, power, or recognition? Or am I desiring the incorruptible treasures God longs to share with me? Am I trying to do life all by myself, my own way (or trying to be someone else)? Or am I giving my life over to God, seeking His narrow path? (1 Jn 2:16-18)
This passage showed me so clearly that God's wisdom can definitely plan my family:
I [wisdom] was there when he [God] set the heavens in place,
when he marked out the horizon on the face of the deep,
when he established the clouds above
and fixed securely the fountains of the deep,
when he gave the sea its boundary
so the waters would not overstep his command,
and when he marked out the foundations of the earth.
Then I was the craftsman at his side.
I was filled with delight day after day,
rejoicing always in his presence,
rejoicing in his whole world
and delighting in mankind.
"Now then, my sons, listen to me;
blessed are those who keep my ways.
Listen to my instruction and be wise;
do not ignore it."
Lord, help Your people to turn from man's wisdom to Your wisdom. Help us to live radically different lives that shine Your light and love to the world. Let us not become complacent with traditions, rituals, or expectations, but to seek correction and discipline from You that we might become like You. Let us truly be Your hands and feet, Father. Amen.