Question and Answer

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.

About Q&A

"Questions and Answers" is a weekly feature of the OPC website. The answers come from individual ministers in the Orthodox Presbyterian Church expressing their own convictions and do not necessarily represent an "official" position of the Church, especially in areas where the Standards of the Church (the Scriptures and the Westminster Confession of Faith and Catechisms) are silent.

The questions come from individuals like yourself. If you have questions about biblical and theological matters, you are invited to send them by e-mail by using the "Pose a Question" link on the OPC home page or by clicking here.

At least one new question is posted each week, so there should always be something new here for you to read. (For those people who would like to look at previous questions and answers, they will continue to be available as well.)

The purpose of the OPC website's "Questions and Answers" is to respond to biblical and theological questions. Matters of church discipline, disputes, or debates go beyond the scope of our work. We recommend that you present your concerns in these areas to the appropriate judicatory. In most cases this will be to a local pastor, elder, or session. We do not want the website to replace personal involvement in, or commitment to, the local, visible church.

While we will respond to every serious questioner, we are not bound to give a substantive answer to every question, should we deem the question to be beyond the scope of our purpose or our own ability to answer.

You will receive an answer by e-mail. Please be patient as many of our respondents are busy pastors. The response to your question may take up to two (2) weeks. Some of the questions submitted will be chosen to be posted here, along with the corresponding answers.

Note that the "Questions and Answers" posted on the site have been edited—all personal references are removed, Scripture references or from some source may be added, and sometimes portions are expanded—to make the questions and answers more useful to a larger audience.

Return to Formatted Page