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The Transformed Wife is Uninformed: More quiver-full errors

I have written before about the many Biblical and rational errors of the anti-contraception, quiver-full movement, but it's a bit like spitting on a forest fire because as we all know, a lie travels around the world faster than the truth can put on its pants.

The following comes from the mommy blog, The Transformed Wife, in a post entitled "INVENTORS OF EVIL THINGS – A CONTRACEPTIVE MENTALITY"

[Incidently, I posted this rebuttal to The Transformed Wife's Facebook post, and she quickly deleted the post and appears to only be allowing comments favorable to her position. There's some intellectual honesty for you.]

I have attempted to address the most grievous factual/Biblical errors:

“Right before marriage, we are asked what contraceptive we’re going to use as if getting pregnant on the honeymoon would be a terrible thing.”
  • Getting pregnant on the honeymoon is not ideal for most couples. Having a couple of years to establish your married relationship before kids come along is very often a preferred experience. If young people are able to accomplish the incredibly difficult task of remaining abstinent through the first half of their biological sexual prime, they should be able to have a chance to explore a sexual/romantic relationship with their spouse for a period without the demands of a family in the one time in their lives when they will be able to have those experiences. 

“[C]ontraceptive mentality causes us to think of children as an inconvenience and disruption to our lives.”
  • Children are an inconvenience and disruption in our lives. If not, then we’ve been lying to teens when we give them that exact reason for not having sex and risking unwed pregnancy. Children are such a disruption in our lives that two people working together are optimal to manage their care and rearing. They are also a wonderful blessing that far outshines the difficulty of raising them. Both can be true.

“Do you notice that they are “inventors of evil things”? What are some of those inventions of evil? I believe birth control is a big one.”
  • That’s funny, I was going to argue that given the epidemic of obesity in our society, donuts were the evil Paul was talking about here. Seriously, Romans 1:30 is not simply a blank check into which you can insert your pet peeve and claim Biblical support then for your position. That is a terrible hermeneutic.

“With birth control has come promiscuity like we have never seen before.”
  • Fact check: False. While chemical birth control accompanied a time in the 60’s where we became much more open about our promiscuity, it is false to state that promiscuity is more prevalent today than ever before.
    • The Greek and Roman world was far more promiscuous than today. I won’t go into the details here but check it out yourself – just not right after eating breakfast.
    • Contraception is no new thing. Condoms made from animal intestines go back to at least the 1400’s, chemical abortifacients in some form have been around for centuries, and the Bible even documents the use of withdrawal as a form of birth control. What changed with the pill was a combination of ease of getting it, using it, and a shift in American culture towards open promiscuity.
    • Promiscuity is no new thing in American life. It is estimated that in the 1700s as many as one in three American women were pregnant when they got married. ( While that changed with the moral restraint of the 1800’s Victorian era, 19th century writers like Mark Twain talked about the phenomenon of camp meeting babies that would come about 9 months after a preacher came through town because while the parents were looking after their immortal souls, their kids were out in the woods making bad choices together.

“Just a few generations ago, the typical family size was six to eight children. This was before birth control was widely being used in America. No one thought anything about having a large family.”
  • This statement fails to take into consideration other cultural changes that have affected the ideal family size.
    • As recently as 1910, as many as 10 percent of babies died in infancy. Childhood was a vulnerable time when one flu epidemic could wipe out an entire family. One reason people had more kids was that more were dying before adulthood. 
    • Families have changed. Children used to be the unpaid workforce for the family, especially in rural settings. 
    • As the standard of living and cost of providing education and healthcare has risen, it has become extremely difficult for a single man working outside the home to maintain his family’s standard of living above the poverty level. People that come from massive families who struggled economically often would rather have a few children for which they can provide well, than have 15 children who live in poverty.

“He desires godly offspring from us and children who walk in truth. Live lives of faith instead of fear. Trust God to be your provider…”
  • This entire paragraph is a series of spiritual platitudes strung together and masquerading as Biblical thinking.
  • Christians are called to be wise and plan well for the future, and while children are a wonderful blessing from God, blessings out of proper context can also be great challenges. A single mother who has a child is also no less blessed to have a child, but no one would argue that she shouldn’t have made different choices in how she became a mother. 
  • God will provide for us, but nowhere in Scripture are we told to make choices that we know will cause economic hardship while writing in God’s providence to keep our budget in the black. That is foolishness, not faith.
  • It is not fear to consider your ability to provide for a family and then aim for a family of a manageable size. That is the same wisdom that we use in any other life-altering choice.

“As arrows are in the hand of a mighty man; so are children of the youth. Happy is the man that hath his quiver full of them: they shall not be ashamed, but they shall speak with the enemies in the gate. Psalm 127:4, 5”
  • In its proper literary context as a poem, this verse is an observation, not a prescription for having big families. Even in its immediate context, it’s not a prescription. The Bible talks about the blessings of having a big farm and lots of land. I have neither, but that doesn’t imply a moral imperative to go out and get them.

Parting words: If you want to have a massive family, and you feel that is God’s plan for you, then do it. However, don’t misrepresent the facts and Scripture to make your view seem more spiritual, and don’t target other believers as somehow being less spiritual for their sincerely made different choices.

Remember: In essentials unity, in nonessentials liberty, in everything charity.

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