Tuesday, April 29, 2008

BC Series: Continued
What If Question #1 :
What if my spouse and I don't hold the same convictions on this issue?

I hope that you have been following along at Phyllis's Blog as she has unpacked most (or all) forms of Family Planning, giving you information on each one, both what they do physically to your body and how each are approached morally. Please take time to read through the blogs or print them out to read later...they are so informative.
Now I am going to attempt to continue the series addressing a couple of questions that have come up over our discussions.
One of the most common fears when addressing the issue of Family Planning is that your spouse will not come to the same conclusions as you and that it will cause a major rift in your marriage. This fear is completely understandable because of the nature of this subject.
As I attempt to outline some suggestions on how to handle these particular situations, I humbly say that these suggestions are by no means an outline to getting your spouse to think your way. In fact, it is far from that. I pray you will seek the Lord with an earnest heart asking that He would make your heart and motives pure.

1) If you are the one who is convicted about the morality of the family planning method you are using and your spouse sees nothing wrong with it....

*Pray for Unity- My first suggestion is that you pray earnestly for unity (even before the subject is brought up if possible). Seek the Lord and his direction on how to approach discussions about this issue. The enemy would love to steal and kill the intimacy of your marriage so wage war in prayer.
* DO NOT NAG- This can go either way I guess, but I am specifically talking to wives here. Proverbs 27:15 likens nagging (or quarrelling) your husband with a dripping faucet! Give them time to adjust to new thoughts and ideas. Do all you can to be humble when presenting your convictions.
* AVOID MANIPULATION AT ALL COST!- I believe this is the most harmful approach, but sadly most people will manipulate with out even knowing they are doing it! On this point I must say that my husband and I have had SO many friends who marital problems stemmed from one of the two of them manipulating the other. (examples- a wife making a husband feel guilty for not wanting to have sex during the most fertile time. A husband making a wife feel intellectually inferior in order to get the end result they desire) There are practical ways to avoid manipulation. First I would say, remember you are not necessarily right. Hear out, with a good attitude all of what your spouse has to present. Avoid writing it off just because it is not the same opinion as yours. Secondly, and along the same lines, admit that your spouse is mature and can think logically and can come to right conclusions. Third and probably most important, do not communicate to them with the sole purpose of getting your way, be willing to communicate and come to an understanding.
* Present Solid Facts- Do not assume your spouse is going to come to the same conviction as you by reading some random persons blog. Search the Scriptures, do your research and present to your spouse hard facts and evidence of what you believe. You do not want to degrade the intelligence of your spouse by expecting them to be convinced by some random outside source. I am not saying, these blogs, and other random sources won't be helpful to begin the conversations, but do have more for them if they would like more.

2) If you see nothing wrong with the morality of your Family Planning and your spouse has different convictions...
* Be willing to listen- if you were the one with a strong conviction you would want your spouse to hear you out as well.
* Be kind- Choose your spouse over yourself until you can come to a conclusion you both agree on.
* Value your spouses view- Be willing to read what is presented. Do your own research not in effort to prove them wrong but with an open heart, valuing the seriousness of the issue to them.

I realize that this subject is so hard to address. Every one's situations are different and every ones spouses respond differently to situations. I understand that many people facing the convictions of the morality of certain Birth Controls do not have spouses that value their opinion and many do not have spouses who honor the Lord and His Word. If this is your situation or you know someone who is going through this journey, please feel free to comment additional advice and encouragement! We would love to join you in prayer through this time.

There are so many more scenarios and thing to address regarding this question.
I have asked my husband to guest blog to hopefully address somethings I have missed. Please add to this blog by commenting even more advice and approaches! If you have dealt with this issue personally we would love to hear your testimony!


Phyllis said...

Great job of outlining your thoughts in a helpful fashion! Thanks!

I was thinking that an additional step, if unity just isn't achieved in a timely fashion, is to consider going as a couple to talk to another couple or an elder/pastor at your church to talk through your perspectives. Sometimes just having a third party can help us talk through things in a more reasonable and helpful fashion. If your spouse is not willing to go talk to another party with you, then it seems helpful to go yourself... if for no other reason than to have accountability and prayer as you approach the issue in private.

As Amber mentioned, every person's marriage is different, and communcation between one set of spouses can look very different than communcation between another couple. That's why Amber's suggestion to focus FIRST on praying for unity is so helpful. Also, making sure you have read through (and possibly even printed off) the articles we've linked to... and doing some of your own additional research... is really key as you approach your spouse.

thehirschgang said...

hey Amber-
Loving this. It's good for us to have more info to share with those who ask us why we do what we do and to refer them here. Have you seen our blog? We're expecting #4! It is so exciting!
Also, I'd love to talk with you about vaccination alternatives. We've chosen not to do vaccinations right now, and delay them, and do some herbal medicines instead, but I'm always looking for others input and suggestions.
Hope you're doing well!

Vonda said...

Now all I have to do is get married...know anyone?

The Self Cottage said...

you are so wise! i love you...hey, i got your msg last night so thanks so much for letting us know...can't wait to see you saturday morning...

The Self Cottage said...
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