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Understanding Use of Contraception

August 27, 2014

marriage

Contraception: What’s the Big Deal?

Sexual union is reserved for married spouses and spouses are to be opened to new life.1 I expressed this teaching of the Catholic Church to a family member one day, and the response I got was “enter the 21st century!” What this family member failed to realize is that God’s teachings are timeless and need not be “revamped” for the 21st century. When God created marriage at the dawn of mankind, He deemed it to be a covenantal relationship between spouses to share their love and to procreate (Gen 1: 28), of which Jesus affirmed during His ministry (Matt 19:6). It is quite clear by Saint Paul’s words in 1 Cor 6:9-10, that sexual activity outside of the covenant of marriage is deemed sinful. That applies to fornication, prostitution, adultery and sodomy.   Saint Paul immediately states two verses later: “Everything is lawful for me, but not everything is beneficial” (1 Cor 6:12). What an astute comment to consider 2,000 years later in the 21st century! As an example, in some countries, it is legal today to engage in fornication, adultery and sodomy, but as Saint Paul points out, it is not spiritually beneficial for one’s well being. Fornication, prostitution, and adultery have become reasons for using contraception. People engaged in this kind of activity are already living in a state of sin and have pulled away from God. They see the use of contraception as preventing unwanted pregnancies. To continue committing one sin, they add on another, that being the use of contraception, and thusly, push themselves further away from God.

Contraception Consequences

When people use contraceptives, they are also saying to God that they know what is better for them than He does. This audacious behavior demonstrates little faith in the divine providence of God to bless the couple with only what they can handle. When they use contraception, they break the First Commandment to “have no other gods before me” (Ex 20:3). For those who are fornicating, committing adultery or engaging in prostitution, while using contraceptives, are putting something else before God.  It’s now a triple whammy of sin. Do you see how one sin just leads you into more sin? Therefore, the use of contraception for the purpose of preventing pregnancy is considered intrinsically evil.

When one enters into the covenant of marriage, it should be with the full intention of complete self-giving to one’s spouse and openness to the gift of new life from God.2 The use of contraception, for the prevention of pregnancy, violates both of these tenets because we do not completely give of ourselves to our spouses and we are not open to new life. When spouses use contraceptive devices, they are in essence saying to each other, “I love you, but not enough to risk having a child with you.” When they make this unspoken statement, they are saying that they are not willing to fully self-give of themselves to their partner. They thusly, diminish the dignity of the other person by claiming that the partner is unworthy of the gift of their own complete self.

Why Not to Use Contraception

Sexual intercourse is…meant to be an act of complete self-giving, which includes giving one’s fertility…Whatever their intentions, couples who engage in contraceptive sex are saying with their bodies that they want only a momentary union of pleasure. Those who are unmarried trivialize the meaning of sex and make it difficult to appreciate sex as an expression of commitment open to children. 3

No good can come from blocking any plans God might have for our lives in the form of bringing new life into the world. If we can’t trust God, who knows the full plan for our lives, to know what is best for us, then where is our faith? Where is our trust? What are we saying about the existence and omnipotence of God? Think on that one for awhile. Who do you trust with the very breath of your life, God, or a little pill?

Footnotes:

1 Paul VI, Encyclical Letter, Humanae Vitae, Holy See: Vaticano, 1968, Print, par 8.

2 Catechism of the Catholic Church, 2nd Edition, par 2364, 2366. Vatican City: Libreria Editrice Vaticana, Print 1997

3Smith, Janet E. and Christopher Kaczor. Life Issues, Medical Choices. Cincinnati: Servant Books, 2007, Print.

This post was shared with Theology is a Verb and Reconciled to You.

 

2 Responses to Understanding Use of Contraception

  • I believe we are failing to catechize our young people, teaching them the counter-cultural idea that sexual intercourse is a priviledge of marriage balanced against the responsibilities of conjugal/family life. They get the wrong idea from secular society that having sex is a “right”, regardless of one’s state in life. This wrong-headedness is part of the trouble behind the crazy idea of “same-sex marriage”, too, in my experience.

    Respect for life (being pro-life) starts with respecting our own lives as gift from God.

    Interested in learning what you (and others) think?

    • Secular society has fostered the concept of autonomy – to do whatever you personally think is right because you want to, rather than seeking God’s will. It is only when we take the time to understand what God deems appropriate, can we make prudent decisions in accordance with His will. What does everyone else think?

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