The sexual desire was created by God, and it is good. However, like every good thing, it must be kept in its proper place. Marriage is the only proper place for sexual relations, and if they take place outside of the marriage, they are sinful. In this connection, please also study the message titled "Sex Before Marriage".
We will find the answer to the birth control question when we find from the Bible the purposes of sexual relations in marriage. Soon after God had created Adam, God said, "it is not good that man should be alone, I will make a helper fit for him". Or, in other words, God saw that Adam needed a helper to be a more complete person. (Genesis 2:18).
The notion that the bearing of children is the only God-given purpose for marital relations is wrong. The Bible stresses the true purpose; that God made man and woman to complete one another and to fulfill each other's needs. The following reading from the New Testament, I Corinthians 7:2-5, summarizes these teachings. "Nevertheless, to avoid fornication, let every man have his own wife, and let every woman have her own husband. Let the husband render unto the wife due benevolence; and likewise, also the wife unto the husband. The wife hath not power of her own body, but the husband: and likewise also the husband hath not power of his own body, but the wife. Defraud you not one the other, except it be with the consent for a time, that you may give yourselves to fasting and in prayer; and come together again, that Satan tempt you because of you lack of self control." This passage very clearly teaches that the purpose of sexual relations is to fulfill the natural biological urge and thereby avoid fornication.
Thus, the doctrine that the only God-given purpose for marital relations is for the purpose of having children is wrong. Opposition to birth control is based on this false assumption. Many good people who have misunderstood the teaching of the Bible on this point, have mistakenly assumed that Genesis 1:28 applies to Christians today, when it says, "Be you fruitful and multiply and fill the earth and subdue it." This, however, was, obviously, a command given to Adam and Eve, not to all mankind today. Not every command given to every individual in the Bible applies today; we are not to build an ark because Noah did, neither are we to stone adulterers because the Jews did. No Old Testament command applies today, because the Old Testament was fulfilled and replaced by the New Testament at the death of Christ. Study Romans 7:6; Galatians 3:23-25; Hebrews 9:15-17.
Those against birth control say that since the bearing of children is the only God give purpose for marital relations, it is a sin to have such sexual relations while purposely avoiding the possibility of bearing children by using birth control. God plainly teaches, in the passages mentioned, that husband and wife should fulfill one another's sexual needs. This necessitates regular marital relations. God has-given us the good sense to know how to accomplish this without necessarily having children.
If some precautions are not taken, a couple will normally produce about one child a year. Too many children creates other problems about which the Bible speaks. The Apostle Paul says in I Timothy 5:8, "If a man provide not for those of his own house, he has denied the faith and is worse than an infidel." There are two ways a man could fail to provide for his own. One would be not to work. The other would be to generate so many children that he could not provide for their needs. If we insist that couples neither deny themselves sexually nor take precautions against conception, but simultaneously insist that the children be supported, we are (for most couples) insisting both on an impossibility and upon a contradiction of plain Bible teaching. The only alternatives the opponents of birth control give mankind is either abstinence, with its pressures toward fornication, or 20 to 25 children for the average couple. The Bible denies both of these.
It is sad that many people have been caused to suffer because of an arbitrary religious conclusion that does not reflect the teaching of the Word of God. This should be an encouragement to each of us to study the Bible for ourselves; this is how God has always intended that His word be studied.