UNDERSTANDING BIRTH CONTROL IN THE CONTEXT OF GENESIS 38: 8-10
Birth control before Western civilization was incongruous in African milieu. A prosperous family was determined by the number of children teeming in the compound. Any family with few numbers of children was pitied. However, in the recent time, the reverse is now the case. Many couples who have plenty children wish to have less than they have. Economic hardship and other social problems are the causes of this regret. It is apparent that families with large number of members find it more elusive to survive the economic drought and some moral evils more than families with optimum number of members. As couples may not afford to relinquish their sexual obligation to each other, there have been various attempts to control more procreation of children after partners have had desired number as their economic capacity can carry. These attempts gave birth to methods of controlling birth rate. However, some people still contend that controlling birth is inimical to divine order, hence an immoral act. Using Narrative method of biblical exegesis, the researcher seeks to throw more light on main need for birth control from the exegetical finding of Gen 38:8-10. The text is narrative of Onan’s use of withdrawal method when he had sexual intercourse with his deceased brother’s wife and the subsequent precarious aftermath that led to his sudden death. The researcher contends that if couples would be knowledgeable about the major intention of using birth control methods, there would be conspicuous reduction of mass poverty among many families in the future.
Keywords: birth control, couple, sexual relation, understanding, context, Genesis 38