“Love one another as I have loved you.” John 13:34-35

Photo copyright 2014, Josh Hrkach Photo copyright 2014, Josh Hrkach

As baptized and confirmed Christian/Catholics, Christ resides in each of us.

If we consider the love that Christ gave us when He died on the cross was His freely chosen gift, totally given, faithful to the point of death and that gift was fruitful (redemption of mankind that opened up the gates of heaven), and if we consider that we are called to image Christ, then we must love our spouse in the same way.

Our love must be free.

“I lay down my life...No one takes it from me, but I lay it down of my own accord.” (Jn 10:18)

We cannot be coerced to love or forced to engage in relations, even marital relations.  Our love must be freely-given.  Couples who use contraception have the potential of being slaves to their passions.  If one cannot say no to sex, then their yes means nothing.

Our love must be total.

“Greater love has no man than this, than a man lay down his life for his friends.” (Jn 15:13)

There can be no holding back.  Within the context of the conjugal bed, this self-gift must be total: no contraceptives or contraceptive behaviors.

Our love must be faithful.

“I am with you always to the close of the age.” (Mt 28:20)

Christ was faithful to the Father and has been faithful to each one of us.  In the sacrament of marriage, we have made a lifelong commitment/vow to our spouse and we must remain faithful in everything we do.  It is obvious that we ought to be faithful with regard to sexual intercourse, but there are other areas we can be unfaithful that do not include sexual relations (fantasies, flirting, emotional affairs etc). However, since contraception separates a couple during their most intimate act and cancels the meaning of marital sex, how can a contracepting couple speak of faithfulness when they’re violating their freedom, total self-giving and fruitfulness of the marital act?

Our love must be fruitful.

“I came that they might have life and have it more abundantly.” (Jn 10:10)

Christ’s death brought life to us and opened up the gates of heaven.  Marital love must also bear fruit.  The most obvious ‘fruit’ is the gift of children. Couples who contracept are intentionally eliminating the life-giving aspect of conjugal relations and negating the meaning of their act.

Christ trusted in the Father’s plan that He die for our sins.  He didn’t want to suffer, but He knew that it must be done (“not my will, but yours”) for the salvation of souls.  We, as married couples need to trust in the Father’s plan for married love which includes openness to life and, if there are serious reasons to avoid pregnancy, the use of Natural Family Planning.  Even though NFP may be challenging and difficult, it is worthwhile. If we trust God, God is very trustworthy and graces abound for the spouses individually and as a couple.  The couple who trusts in God’s plan will be happy together, will be able to help each other get to heaven and will remain as good examples not only to their children but to all those around them.

As baptized and confirmed Christian/Catholics, Christ resides in each of us.

With regard to God’s plan for married life and love, we need to trust His plan for us and to love our spouses as Christ loves us: freely, totally, faithfully and fruitfully.

For more information:

For more information on Natural Family Planning, visit the Couple to Couple League.

For more information on the Theology of the Body, visit TheologyoftheBody.net.

Copyright 2014, Ellen Gable Hrkach