I don’t usually just link to other stuff floating around the web, but this piece by Doug Wilson on birth control seems especially balanced and wise.
Here are some of my favorite points:
2. Notwithstanding, the Scriptures say nothing definitively about birth control considered as such. Despite the anti-family bias that created the default assumptions of the world around us, we still have to be careful not to go beyond what is written. We especially have to take care not to go beyond what is written. Slavish following of the world is bad, but so is knee-jerk reaction to it.
7. While the Scriptures don’t say anything definitively about birth control as such, they do teach an enormous amount about the blessing of faithful covenant seed. This is one of the three main reasons for covenant marriage — the begetting of a godly seed (Mal. 2:15). This should be taught and emphasized in the church, and is the only really effective way to counter the world’s anti-child bigotry. If this is effectively done, visitors to your church will think you must teach against birth control, and they will think this because of the large teeming population at the three foot level that they can see during fellowship hour.
8. More is involved in raising up a godly seed than to have a man with dogmatic convictions about birth control, matched only by his unwillingness to feed, read to, educate, pay tuition for, bestow upon, and love the results of his dogmatism. There are no promised covenantal blessings for the self-absorbed proprietors of stud farms.
11. As each married couple make their decisions about this, and as pastors help them, they should take care to make careful distinctions with regard to motive, as well as a sharp distinction between principles and methods. We must learn to distinguish between a couple postponing fruitfulness for no reason other than that the worldlings told them they should spend some time surfing together in Argentina first, and a seasoned married couple with six kids who stop having them because their covenantal hands are quite full. It appears that the former do not understand the creation order at all, and that the latter don’t have any problem at all understanding it. To focus on birth control in isolation interferes with such essential distinctions from being made.
Whether you have a quiver full of kids or are newly married, you’ll do well to read the whole thing.