Hi everyone,

I don’t know why I’m writing this, I guess I needed to get this off my chest and any advice would be good.

My wife and I are in conflict over contraception. I want us to use natural family planning, she wants to use oral contraceptives. We haven’t done either of these before or used any kind of family planning, we both know we want to have children, we also both want to not have a child for the next few years.The reason is because we will be going overseas and volunteering with a Christian humanitarian group that operates in conflict zones (we may be going to Iraq). The work will be quite dangerous and some volunteers in the past have died, for obvious reasons the group does not allow its volunteers to take children with them. We both have felt God’s calling to serve Him overseas in these conditions and we have both spent time doing humanitarian work in the past (not together) in some of the more dangerous parts of the world.

I am against cocs not because I am a Catholic but because there is a chance that a baby could be killed. I read that 5% of the time the pills do not stop ovulation and there is a possibility that they make the endometrium hostile to the baby. I have read this (the 5% likelihood) on Christian sites and on non-Christian ones that the probability of that happening is ‘extremely low’ but still there. It is definitely not a risk I want to take, and have told her that as well as what I have read. She doesn’t believe these stats and believes those who say that the risk of ovulation and possible death of the fertilized egg is less than 99%.

I told her that I am not for the pill but I can also not force her not to take it. It would also not be right according to Scripture to deny having sex with her. I don’t know what I can do. Divorce is wrong and is a sin. I love her and I know she is a woman who does love God who has courage and a heart of gold for the least of these and she loves Christ. I believe she has been misled in this instance. She said she is willing to take full responsibility for the possibility that a fertilized egg may not implant due to the pill. I told her that I think it is a risk I am not willing to take, but I will allow her to take responsibility. I don’t think there is much else I can do.

I made her agree though that when we do have sex, I will be using a condom… I know it is not perfect, but it lowers the chances that there would be an abortion. I also made her agree she will take the pill very carefully and regularly while she is on it, so the chances of ovulation are at their lowest. She definitely wants to avoid that as well, and she said she will and I believe her. I want to do as much as I can to not allow an abortion to take place, but aside from denying my wife sex or leaving her (which both are condemned by the Bible, especially the second), I don’t think there is anything I can do. I will be praying to God that He does not allow a child to be conceived and if He does, that it is not aborted.

What do people think of this situation? If you could pray for us, I would really appreciate it.

We may never do evil, even when pursuing something we believe to be good.

Contraception is a moral evil. In all circumstaces.

The pill is safe, your wife is right. She just has a big responsibility of not missing a single day. Some people prefer the shot. It can last up to 3 months. Also, don’t be afraid. God knows your heart. God know you only seek to do his will in this world. Don’t let any kooks tell you you’re evil for not wanting to bring a child in a war zone.

Hi vladdy, I don’t mean to sound harsh, and I understand the Church allows parents to postpone pregnancies (using natural family planning, NFP) given different circumstances, usually after they have had perhaps more than one child
but why marry if having kids in the first few years of marriage is a no-no for both? Couldn’t you guys have lived as brother and sister during the volunteer mission and marry once baby-time had rolled around? Maybe I’m out of line asking this, and if such is the case, I fully trust 1ke will tell me so (;)), and I hope I don’t come across as condescending or judgmental, I’m sincerely inquisitive. You may also tell me to mind my business.

Going together to the parts of the world we are planning to go to with a person of the opposite gender is impossible (because of the culture) unless you are married. We could not go as brother and sister since we have different last names and it still probably would not be allowed. Chances are we will be living separately for a large part of the time, and may not be even seeing each other on a daily basis.

I agree that contraception that is potentially abortaficient is wrong. Aside though from taking all the precautions I can to reduce the chance of an egg becoming fertilized, what can I do???

Thanks rturner76 for the advice. When you say the pill is safe, do you mean it is safe ie it will not allow eggs to fertilize (ie babies to form) and kill them? Do you have any info that shows that a COC pill does not end the life of fertilized eggs?

We believe that our going to serve God to do the work we will be doing (my deepest apologies to you and everyone for being so vague, but our workers have been thrown out often and it’s necessary to preserve secrecy), I have felt His calling to go, she has been in another country but doing similar work and has felt Him calling her too. So we intend to go.

However, I don’t feel oral contraceptives are still right to take and am not happy with the choice. However as her husband I can’t force her or not treat her with love or withhold sex. So I have told her my views on this and allowed her to take full responsibility, and will do everything possible on my part to help ensure that no life is made that could be at risk of being destroyed, and pray. It’s still not a good situation, but it’s I think all I can do at the moment.

The culture of recreational sex is made possible through artificial contraception.

The culture of recreational sex has porn addiction, sexually transmitted disease, unwed mothers, fatherless children, and abortion as its natural consequences. All these are the symptoms of a culture which views sex as a recreational activity and all these therefor find their root cause in contraception.

Catholics ought to know better. Contraception is a great evil in our society and the church rightly says that it is one of the three intrinsic evils along with rape and abortion.

I will pray that you have a change of heart and stop using contraception.


I am not sure this is 100% correct. also can you please clarify, your profile says you are Evangelical and yet you mention in your OP that you are Catholic. This is important because if you are Catholic then you are definitely only allowed to use NFP. There is infact scripture where God is angry with someone for "spilling his seed on the ground " to avoid pregnancy.

Aside from that you can also say to your wife that because you love her you do not want her to put harmful carcinogenic chemicals in her body that may cause her cancer, stroke , blood clots and the like. The poster who said the pill is safe is simply uninformed as to the truth of the pill. You can easily google this information

“A new study ( 2006) from the Mayo Clinic has concluded that there is “a measurable and statistically significant” connection between the pill and pre-menopausal breast cancer, re-enforcing the recent classification of oral contraceptives as Type 1 carcinogens.
The report, “Oral Contraceptive use as a Risk Factor for Pre-menopausal Breast Cancer: A Meta-analysis,” was authored by Dr. Chris Kahlenborn of the Altoona, Pa., Hospital’s internal medicine department and others.
The study, is available online through the Mayo Clinic or at the Polycarp Research Institute”

Finally the notion of ‘fasting’ can include fasting from marital relations for a period for certain reasons…living and working in a very hostile area to children and the missionaries may be one of them but you would need to consult a priest on that one. You could post the question to Fr Serpa here on CAF.
I do believe that St Paul advocated that married men who are working for the sake of the gospel should abstain. Sorry I am bad at scripture verse quotation…perhaps someone else can find them.

From the Catholic point of view, I would suggest that the problem is that your plans and your states of life are incompatible.

Catholic missionaries and charitable workers in other parts of the world have traditionally been religious (priests, nuns, monks). Their state of life is conducive to this type of activity.

You are finding that married life (which includes openness to life) and working in this type of work are incompatible, and the precise reason why that is the case.

It is not uncommon for people who love God to consider this type of work, but it must be considered in the context of your state of life (husband, not monk!). You are supposed to protect your wife, and the two of you are supposed to work towards children, if God grants them to you. The Catholic Church teaches that NFP should be used only when there is a grave reason, but yours is an avoidable reason.

I would suggest reconsidering your professional plans rather than your family pkans.

Why do you assume that you will be able to conceive in a few years when it becomes convenient?I know some people who postponed pregnancy till the time was "right " only to find difficulties in conceiving.And the years roll on quite fast when you are dealing with infertility.If I were you I would rearrange my life so that pregnancy takes priority> you can’t “have it All” as the saying goes. so you have to choose what you want most.A career with celibacy or NFP.Or a child with a different career maybe with a support group in the U.S Believe me if infertility raises its ugly head you will be sorry you postponed it and all women’s fertility has a sell by date as you know .I watched a close relative deal with infertility after postponing for few years .never for a moment thought there would be problems , well she is forty one now and the anguish has been intolerable at times so if I were you I’d do pregnancy first and then follow from there.


Thanks Tim for the email. When you say contraception, do you mean using the pill or using the condom? I’d only use the latter to avoid the possibility of an abortion from taking place.

A few questions,

Are you Catholic? There seems to be some confusion here. If you are, you are technically not supposed to use condoms, and this method has its own particular problems.

Is this work absolutely necessary for your livelihood, or have you already made several binding travel or work arrangements (e.g., tickets, visas, leases, etc.)?

If there is a God, then I believe that he looks at the big picture and considers one’s particular circumstances. Do you what you feel is right. You know much more about your life than people on a forum, some of whom could be trolling. I personally don’t have an issue with the Pill, but I’m not Catholic right now either. So just to be safe within the rules of the forum, I have to tell you that these words are merely my opinion. This is not scripture.

You have misunderstood me.

ALL contraception is a moral evil. What you propose-- using condoms-- is also gravely wrong.

My advice to you is to honor God in all things, not just some things.

Thanks StFrancis. I think I have to disagree on the incompatibility of being married and working to help people who are being victimized by violence and war.

We are called to work for justice and to minister to the least of these. We are also called to be peacemakers. Sometimes doing these things involves putting oneself at risk.
My wife and I are both aware of the risks our work may entail, and we are aware of the fact there is a possibility of one or both of us getting arrested, badly hurt, or not coming back. We know of people who have done this type of work who have had such things happen to them. The group I have went with does not have a lot of volunteers. There aren`t too many people- single or married- who sign up, yet lives of people have been saved through the actions of the group.

I think contraception is wrong when it may endanger someone`s life… in this case the life of the unborn baby. It is not wrong to serve God as a married couple while doing work He approves of, when you could serve Him as a married couple raising children… something He also approves of.

Hi Maryam,

I am not a Catholic, I don`t think I said that I am anywhere in the post, if I did though I apologize for the confusion.

The scripture about a person spilling his own seed was in reference to Onan, who was told by Judah to get his brothers` wife pregnant and then did the opposite. It is not a command to everyone. I am not as good as I should be with Scripture either, to be honest I googled this.

Genesis 38:9-10
Then Judah said to Onan, “Go in to your brother’s wife and perform the duty of a brother-in-law to her, and raise up offspring for your brother.” 9 But Onan knew that the offspring would not be his. So whenever he went in to his brother’s wife he would waste the semen on the ground, so as not to give offspring to his brother. 10 And what he did was wicked in the sight of the Lord, and he put him to death also.

I talked to my wife about the health risks for her. The abortifacient is for me the biggest issue because unlike her, the fertilized sperm has no choice.

In 1 Corinthians Paul talked about husband and wife depriving each other of sex by agreement for a limited time, for prayer and fasting. This would not mean several years.

1 Corinthians 7:5
5 Do not deprive one another, except perhaps by agreement for a limited time, that you may devote yourselves to prayer; but then come together again, so that Satan may not tempt you because of your lack of self-control.

Thanks for sharing that, Janne. That is good to know. We are not cloe to that age and we do have plans to have children long before we get there. We can`t do the pregnancy first, we will first go, but thank you for the advice although we are not close to that age.

Thanks Et Cetera. Your words are encouraging. I hope though that you do put your faith in God and know Him for who He really is, not just as a hypothetical concept. He shed His blood for you. Also, sometimes doing what we feel is right can be a big mistake. I am trying to rely on what I know about God from the Bible and trying to apply His word. I am not a Catholic either, although Catholic are my brothers and sisters in Christ. I pray and hope for you that you get to know Him as well.

Hi Bezant,

No, I am not a Catholic. The work we will be doing is for God. We will not be getting paid for it, it is something He has called us to and we will go. We will be making sacrifices, and I will be leaving behind a job that may or may not be there when I return. I am putting my faith in Him.

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