I knew that Sacred Scripture condemned the use of contraception in the account of Onan spilling his seed (Gen. 38:9-10). But I wasn’t aware until just recently that Scripture also supports the use of natural family planning:
Do not deprive each other, except perhaps by mutual consent for a time, to be free for prayer, but then return to one another, so that Satan may not tempt you through your lack of self-control. (1 Corinth. 7:5)
I feel pretty silly for never knowing that!
The marital act is meant to be both unitive (Gen. 2:24) and procreative(Gen. 1:28). This is what a couple vows to on their wedding day. It is true that, to be faithful, couples must speak the language of their marital vows every time they engage in the marital embrace, but they are not obligated to engage in intercourse if there is a good reason to refrain – such as a serious reason for avoiding pregnancy. See my post NFP vs. Contraception.
Not only is NFP a wonderful tool for keeping marriages strong and more effective in preventing and achieving pregnancy, but it is, as it’s title suggests, 100% natural. I always found it strange that a woman would want to take medication when there is nothing physically wrong with her. Fertility is not a disease or some medical condition, and even if there are serious reasons for avoiding pregnancy does it make sense to take drugs with all sorts of chemicals and harmful side-effects (some women have died from using birth control) when there is a perfectly healthy and natural alternative?
Also, self-control is a good thing. If you’re using birth control so that you can be “free” to give in to your every sexual desire, so that you never have to say no, are you really free, or have you become a slave to your own desire? In order to be a sign of true love, as it is meant to be, the marital embrace must be a free gift of each spouse to the other, not a response to a lustful sexual appetite.
Visit the Couple to Couple League for more information on NFP
God Sex and Babies, What the Church Really Teaches About Responsible Parenthood
A Catholic social science review of NFP vs. contraception
Birth Control Pill Linked to Hardening of the Arteries