“We knew what the plan was: let Shaun take as many courses as possible, get out of the Air Force, move, finish degree, get a job. So of course there was no room for kids.”
Isn’t this so common?
“I asked her to go on birth control immediately. She didn’t want to but I wanted her to… more… so she did. Her being on BC was vital to my success,” writes Shaun McAfee, about his wife, Jessica (emphasis added).
Shaun, a Catholic convert, blogs at shaunmcafee.com. He titled his post, “Why I Used Birth Control, and Five Reasons I Wish I Hadn’t.”
“I’ve always loved and adored my wife, but I thought this was common practice. This is what it took to get a degree and a job, right? Everyone’s doing it! Why can’t we?” he admits was his thinking (emphasis added).
He goes on to say his entire mentality changed once they did decide to have a child.
REGRET IS NOT UNCOMMON
Shaun is not alone. Many people are coming forward expressing their regret over using birth control in their marriages. I am not surprised.
Birth control contradicts marriage. Thus, it follows that people will experience discomfort, unease, and regret over doing something that defies their very relationship with their spouse. I will now explain why birth control undermines matrimony.
1. Using Birth Control Contradicts the Primary Purpose of Marriage: Having Children
The entire purpose of using birth control is to regulate how many children are born. Birth control intends to frustrate the natural reproductive process by which children enter this world.
When a couple enters the Sacrament of Matrimony, they are supposed to welcome any subsequent children. After all, the meaning of the word ‘Matrimony’ is ‘the making of a mother.’
The marital vows include an openness to having children. Birth control seeks to break those vows.
2. Birth Control Use Makes Impossible the Second Purpose of Marriage: For the Unity and Sanctity of the Spouses
The most intimate physical act any couple can do together is to have sex. Each person makes himself or herself vulnerable to the other person. Ideally, the love between the couple is so strong that a new human person could result from their union.
Once you enter birth control into the conjugal act, it no longer maintains that intimacy.
“Therefore, in such a case the conjugal act, deprived of its interior truth because it is artificially deprived of its procreative capacity, ceases also to be an act of love,” confirms Pope Saint John Paul II, as I quote him in my eBook, available for free here.
It makes sense, though. Rather than give themselves entirely to the other, as required in the conjugal act, birth control users purposely hold something back—their fertility. Thus, it is not a total gift of self, but a means to use one another for mutual, sexual pleasure.
3. Lastly, Consider How Selfish Birth Control Use Is
“It was selfish. To say that my life is so important that I am willing to deny another child life was easily the worst choice I [ever] made. Who was I to play God?” asks Shaun.
He goes on, “The bottom line is, nothing is worth denying the existence of another person.”
Earning degrees can be rewarding. Building a good career is a great goal. Traveling the world can bring many great memories.
But are these pursuits worth more than your own children? Do you value your bank account more than your own son or daughter?
In short, you are not rich until you possess something money can’t buy.
I will suggest that if you plan to pursue a degree, a career, or frequent flier miles at the expense of being open to new life, then you did not discern your vocation to your spouse properly. As discussed, the purpose of marriage is not to chase worldly pursuits.
In them in themselves, such goals are not bad. But at the expense of fulfilling your vocation as a married person, they should not be elevated so high.
As Shaun realized, “My success was not as important as I thought. Not to mention it was *my* success, not our success. My success would have been much more enjoyable with a child to look down upon and say, ‘I did this for you, not me.’”
So, can anyone relate to Shaun McAfee?
What do you think of my three reasons?
Please leave a comment!