Thursday, January 5, 2012

ZenTiger A different way at looking at contraception

There is a different way at looking at contraception, and it is articulated well in Pope John Paul II's work called "The Theology of the Body". I found a blog post that makes a few good points around this topic that is worth reading, if only to understand the spiritual dimension to this subject. And a quick scan through our blog tag of "Contraception" indicates we've discussed this before in different ways.

[Contraception] changes the thinking about children as gifts from God and truly belonging to God, to something we can control and get for ourselves, like commodities, so that in some manner we even think about our children selfishly.

It changes the image of the marriage from God-centered, because God is literally centered in and active in the midst of the marriage due to the openness of the couple to Him in their most intimate acts of union, to exclusionary self-centered and human-centered. It closes off the unitive act to the presence of God - spiritually deadening the sex act by closing it off to Divine life and action.

This is not to say that Catholics believe that every sexual act must result in the creation of a new child. For Catholic couples who for good reason need to limit or space the birth of children, the Church offers Natural Family Planning (much more than just the rhythm method), which teaches couples to live and love with respect for the natural cycles of female fertility.

Couples who have transitioned from artificial birth control to NFP testify that it has dramatically improved the quality of their marriage relationship, as they are now constantly communicating with and respecting each other. I heard a man, a married deacon, speak recently about how transitioning to NFP completely changed the way he thought of and related to his wife, and helped him become a much more sensitive and loving husband.

It also changes, for the better, the way couples think about their children, about the meaning of their marriage, and about God, fostering a much more selfless, open, and loving attitude toward all of life in general.

NFP has proven to be more effective than the birth control pill, and has zero adverse health effects. Incidentally, it has been observed that the divorce rate among contracepting Christian couples is as high as the general populace, over 50%. The divorce rate among couples who practice Natural Family Planning, however, is only 2%.
Full article here: Contraception and Theology of the Body

I was amazed at the claim on the low divorce rates, and a quick search found an article on that study, but it still sounds incredible. It would provide very compelling support for the idea that contraception can get in the way of a deeper relationship, (not saying this is a blanket rule) so I will probably dig around further to see if I can get access to the full study or other studies looking at this.

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