Is it biblical to intentionally space children? If so, what methods are biblically acceptable?
Mt 4:5-7 – Then the devil took Him into the holy city and had Him stand on the pinnacle of the temple, and said to Him, “If You are the Son of God, throw Yourself down; for it is written, ‘He will command His angels concerning you,’ and ‘On their hands they will bear you up, so that you will not strike your foot against a stone.’” Jesus said to him, "On the other hand, it is written, “You shall not put the Lord your God to the the test.”
Can’t find the verse, please help, someone: There’s a parable told by Our Lord in which He says, “What man starts to build without first calculating the cost and whether or not he has the resources to start what he has finished? Lest his neighbors laugh at him and say, 'This man could not finish what he started.”
In my opinion, deliberately conceiving child after child in spite of unemployment, homelessness, seriously ill health of either parent or children, being overwhelmed psychologically by the intense neediness of several small children very close together, etc., is “putting the Lord your God to the test.” If you should accidentally conceive then it is time to trust in the Lord to provide, or if you actively work to improve your circumstances before conceiving again, that is showing Christian prudence, wisdom, and self-control:
Gal 5:22-24 – But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law. Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the sinful nature with its passions and desires.
As I wrote in another thread, forums.catholic.com/showthread.php?t=193658, the Lord understands that there are times and situations not ideal for bearing children. But in such a “time of distress,” the Lord did NOT say, “Go ahead and engage in contracepted sex.” Rather, the Lord said, “Do not marry,” “Act as not having a wife” (in other words, refrain from sexual relations), and “Refrain from sexual relations by mutual consent and for a time.”
Jer 16:1-2 – This message came to me from the Lord: Do not marry any woman; you shall not have sons or daughters in this place.
1 Cor 7:26, 29 – So this is what I think best because of the present distress…From now on, let those having wives act as not having them.
1 Cor 7:3-5 – The husband should fulfill his marital duty to his wife, and likewise the wife to her husband. The wife’s body does not belong to her alone but also to her husband. In the same way, the husband’s body does not belong to him alone but also to his wife. Do not deprive each other except by mutual consent and for a time, so that you may devote yourselves to prayer. Then come together again so that Satan will not tempt you because of your lack of self-control.
From a deutero-canonical book, Ecclesiasticus, which Protestants would consider apocryphal:
Eccl 3:1,5 – There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under heaven…a time to embrace and a time to refrain [from embracing].
1 Thess 4:3-6 – This is the will of God, your holiness: that you refrain from immorality, that each of you know how to acquire a wife for himself in holiness and honor, not in lustful passion as do the Gentiles who do not know God; not to take advantage of, or exploit a brother in this matter, for the Lord is an avenger in all things, as we told you before and have solemnly affirmed.