The contraceptive mentality is a prevailing attitude in our current society which says “I want control over my body and my fertility,” and “Sex is only for fun, not babies.”

This particular issue caused our first heated argument when James and I were engaged many years ago.  (See previous column “NFP: No Holding Back:

Canadian singer and composer, Mark Mallett, writes, “Contraception is like a condom over the heart.” Use of contraception is a mortal sin (refer to the Catechism of the Catholic Church 2368-2370) and separates a couple spiritually and physically during their most intimate embrace.

We are all called to love as Christ loves. Conjugal love is meant to image the free, total, faithful and fruitful love of Christ. Contraception violates not just one, but all four aspects of marital love.

Many people say, “I don’t believe that contraception is wrong, so it’s fine for me to use it.”  However, Christopher West writes in his book Theology of the Body for Beginners (p. 105): “Even if a couple is innocent in this regard (culpability), contraception will still have its damaging effect on their relationship.  For example, if I drink a cup of poison, but don’t know it’s poison, not culpable for my own death.  But it will still kill me.  Whether I think it’s poison or not has no bearing whatsoever on whether it is poison or not.”

There might be times, however, when husband and wife have a serious reason to avoid pregnancy.  In these circumstances, NFP, or Natural Family Planning, can be used to a high degree of effectiveness.  A couple who uses NFP determines when the woman is fertile.  If avoiding pregnancy, they abstain from relations.  Couples who use NFP do not violate the free, total, faithful, fruitful love which they promised at their wedding.

The attitude which says “I want control over my body,” and “Sex is for fun, not babies,” is a poison which is damaging to marriage and to society at large.  NFP is the antidote to that way of thinking.

For more information on NFP:

Recommended Reading and Listening:

  • Good News About Sex and Marriage by Christopher West
  • Theology of the Body for Beginners by Christopher West
  • Theology of the Body for Teens by Jason and Crystalina Evert and Brian Butler
  • God’s Plan for a Joy-Filled Marriage CDs and DVDs by Christopher West

Copyright 2011 Ellen Gable Hrkach