Sunday, March 22, 2009

Marriage and birth control


I am of the same view as Islam about marriage being recommended for any adult. I really don't understand the view of Christianity that the first and best thing is celibacy... I don't support it. I always see it this way for any religious situation: If everyone was perfectly obeying God, the world would be at its ideal. Would the world be ideal if everyone was practicing celibacy? I think not, there would be no next generation and we would be extinct!
For birth control, I am similarily not so much in accord with the Christian view that generally does not accept it to be used, while Islam generally permits it under certain circumstances. I think it is necessary sometimes and for certain people, for the better of their lives and their other children's lives or their future children's lives. It's a tough call to make sometimes though.
I think of my situation. I cannot imagine myself with another child, really. There's the aspect of it that we're not in a place in our relationship where I'd want to add to it, but also financially, it would be too difficult for me to stop working. Also, I find my life just right with my daughter and I wouldn't want to add another child to it. I'm actually thinking that I might be a one child type of person.
On with birth control. I am obviously on it now, not wanting to get pregnant, but these thoughts of mine of not wanting another child ever... I'm wondering how that would fit into Islam. I feel 100% comfortable with my reasons for being on birth control NOW, but I wonder about later on, when possibly things will have settled down. And only my feeling of not wanting another is left as a reason for me to be on birth control! Will I choose to let things happen as God wishes and not use birth control, or will I continue to use it?
I will see when the time comes. Thanks for reading my current thoughts!

7 Comentários:

Sarah said...

The Christian celibacy thing comes from Paul, and it may have been because they were missionaries whose lives were too dangerous and busy for families, or it may have been because they thought the world was going to end very soon and so there was no point. Jesus is not recorded to have married, but of course we don't really know... I guess for the New Testament writers to propagate a story that he was divine, a wife and children couldn't have entered that picture - too complicated!

I think this does have some interesting effects. I don't think modern-day Christians hold lifelong celibacy as an ideal, but they definitely don't see marriage as essential, the way it is in Islam. There isn't this organised approach to finding a partner like in Islam. This is partly just a cultural thing but is also underpinned by a belief that God might want you to be single, and therefore being too proactive in looking for marriage might be going against God's will.

I think my views are like yours. I think being single and unhappy is likely to have a negative impact on faith, and is not recommended. I don't think marriage or children are divinely mandated, but think that most people want them and should feel free to have them.

On the contraception issue, it's really just Catholics that somehow manage to disapprove of it. I mean population control will happen through either contraception or starvation/wars/etc, and I'm inclined to think contraception is the better option!

Amber said...

I agree with Sarah that, for more practical reasons than anything else, the missionaries in the early days were urged to be single. And, as she said, they really did expect the world to end in their life times, so marrying and having children didn't make a whole lot of sense. As far as Jesus, well, there's a large chunk of his life that was unrecorded, and, can't remember where I read it, but I found a very good essay reasoning that he almost had to be married, to be taken seriously at that point in time.

While the Catholic's are the most vocal about it, there is a large group of other Christians that view contraception as subversive to the will of God. I've run across quite a few of them on the net, even some who have had vasectomy's reversed to get back in line with what they now believe.

Interestingly, the Orthodox church allows for married priests, and the Western church also has that option, but the Pope has...removed it? And made celibacy mandatory for priests and other religious. I forget when that happened, but in the past, clergy were permitted to marry. Even Peter was married.

One of the things I like about Islam is the concerted effort to get people married, and hopefully into good marriages. I think it's something that we've lost, in the tide of modernity and people being encouraged to wait and find their own mate through love. Love's great, and necessary, but it can die off, or turn sour. You need something else to base a life long relationship on. Hmm...if only I could con someone into arranging my marriage, I'd be all set. :)

I honestly can't believe that God wants anyone to be single. It's lonely, even when you're surrounded by friends...and I think it does hurt ones faith. I find myself questioning, sometimes, if I'm on the right path, why haven't I found my mate? Why am I still alone? Am I doing something wrong? And then I remember that I'm not a social butterfly, and don't date, and, you know, would really benefit from a society that would *arrange* a marriage for me!

Sarah said...

Amber - point taken, there are individuals with different views on contraception. In fact in all religions it seems to be fairly common to view children as a blessing from God, and therefore limiting the number of children is like rejecting a gift, or perhaps rejecting a responsibility.

Most religions would say that medical interventions that save lives are in line with God's will. Yet this could be seen as interfering with the natural course of events as much as contraception, or as much as euthanasia, both of which are a bit controversial in religion. So it seems that we tend to think God's will is for people to live as long as possible and to reproduce as much as possible! Interesting to reflect on.

Candice said...

Amber, thanks for commenting. I also don't really accept this love and passion as the right way to go about finding a life partner. I like Islam's approach of an interview-style... Getting someone who is compatible on paper and of course meeting them and then letting the love and passion develop.

Amber said...

Sarah,

Well, that's to be expected, really. Without children, a society would die. So, any religion would have to call them a blessing, in order to help encourage the faithful to have children and raise them in that faith, to increase the numbers in that way, as well as through conversion.

Yes, medicine is acceptable, so long as it just prolongs life, not ends it. We're a contrary species. :) We want to innovate, but we balk at a lot of the paths that such innovation can lead us down.

Don't you hate it when you post and forget to make a point?

I also meant to say, in the original post, that while I'm all for having lots of kids, you need to be able to afford them. Both fiscally, and mentally, and physically. Some people can only handle one child, some can handle more. I don't think that people should just be having kids, believing that God will provide. It's irresponsible in the extreme.

Candice,

*nods* Love grows best slowly and with familiarity. Too many people make decisions based on their emotions, as opposed to who would actually be the better spouse.

Asiya Abdullah said...

Candice, I totally feel you on this one. My husband and I have 4 children, all of them 2 years apart. We had planned them to be a little more spaced out, but Allaah didn't plan it like that! Alhamdu lillaah.

Anyways, like you, I cannot imagine myself with anymore children. I hate to say things like that, with so many people having problems conceiving. Our reasons are not financial at all as we live a very simple but comfortable life alhamdu lillaah...plus, islam teaches us that the child's provision is written for him, and we as parents are only a means to transport that provision to him from Allaah. Our reasons actually have to do with being able to raise them up as good muslims with good morals and behaviors, inshaa Allaah.

Candice said...

Asiya Abdullah, thanks for your comment! And thanks for making my situation seem like your's, but you have 4 children, wow! :) I only have one! You can comfort yourself by the fact that you have well done your share to keep the Muslim population growing.

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