January 09, 2020 Q & A

Use of Condoms


Is the use of condoms sinful in the Bible? Is it sinful for a married couple to use various styles when they are sleeping together?


Dear sir:

Since I am not Dr. Ruth, I will try to be brief and biblical!

The questions you raise should probably—if you are comfortable doing so—be addressed to your pastor, since there are many and varied opinions among Christians on sexual matters. But there are certainly two overriding issues to consider, and I will focus on them.

First, in relationship to God, what is honoring to him? What will demonstrate trust in him as in the case of birth control generally, and what shows love for your neighbor, namely, your wife? Regarding the first, God is sovereign in giving or withholding conception, as we see from Scripture (e.g. Gen. 30:2), therefore, do you start with an attitude that believes he intends to glorify himself in the giving of children? Regarding the second, we cannot say that we love God if we do not love our neighbor (1 John 4:20–21). Are you obeying God in the love you have for your wife and the ways you express that love? These are hard but important questions.

Second, the unity of the marriage depends on you and your wife being of the same mind by discussing even intimate things and then respecting her and showing that you treasure her. She is not simply a sexual partner but “bone of your bones and flesh of your flesh,” to be treated always with love as an image-bearer fully dignified and honored (Eph. 5:25–33). Therefore, your questions lead me to ask another question: are you and your wife on the same page, agreed, and setting aside your own interests for the interests of the other (Phil. 2:4–11)?

Finally, there are excellent Christian books by Cliff and Joyce Penner and others who deal with sexual questions. A biblically faithful pastor may have some in his library that he could loan you, but these are the questions and ideas with which I would begin, and I will pray now that the Lord will guide you.



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