What Every Married Couple Should Know About the Truth of Sex and the Lie of Contraception 13

Fr Jason Smith

Fr Jason Smith

Words are not the only way we communicate, the body itself speaks a language.

A smile is, for example, one of the most obvious and effective means of non-verbal communication. It is so important Dale Carnegie notes that:

“The expression worn on your face is far more important than the clothes worn on your back.”

Eye contact is another powerful means of non-verbal communication. We use phrases that show this such as ‘He had that gleam in his eye’, ‘If looks could kill…’, ‘She gave an icy stare’, ‘He gave me the evil eye’, or my all time favorite, ‘He married her for her looks, but not the one’s she’s been giving him lately.’

Arms, legs, hands, eyes, posture—every part of our body communicates a message; but, to our point, it is within marriage where the body’s most powerful means of language is found. Let’s take a closer look.

On their wedding day spouses look into each other’s eyes and verbally express vows saying they will give themselves completely to each other, without holding anything back, while embracing each other’s life giving potential. What they express in words on their wedding day, they express in their bodies whenever they make love.

Almost every modern language refers to the conjugal act with the same expression: making love—and that is what it is meant to do. That great sharing between the husband and wife in love is meant to nourish, strengthen and increase the love between them and be so strong that this love might produce another human being, a child, who is an actual living example of that love and a means to increase their love together.

What happens then when contraception is inserted into the communication between a husband and wife making love? It changes it radically; in fact, we can say it makes their bodies lie.

In an act that is meant to be the physical expression and renewal of married love, contraceptives say something different: “I want to have sex with you but I hold a part of me back from you; I don’t want to give you what makes me fully a man or fully a woman, fully a husband and fully a wife.” In this sense the act of  loving becomes a lie at worst and at best far less than what it is intended to be: An expression of their unconditional love.

The lie of contraceptives extends further. Hormonal contraceptives for women were never designed to improve their health as the risk of side effects show: premenopausal breast cancer, decrease in libido, weight gain, trouble with emotions and mood changes, blood clots that go to the legs and brains and can cause death, not to mention a decrease in sexual attractiveness caused by infertility—things a loving husband would never want for his wife.

Not only are contraceptives unhealthy for the body, they are unhealthy for relationships too. Since the introduction of the “pill” divorce rate has doubled to more than 50%.

Thankfully, pregnancy can be avoided while respecting the language of the body. We are not always obliged to speak. In fact, sometimes love demands that we remain silent. A love that knows when and how to remain silent and has the strength to do so is a powerful and unconditional love indeed.

The fruit of this is seen in couples who practice Natural Family Planning, where the divorce rate is at less than 4%. Perhaps this is because it helps couples to live the truth of what sex is: empowering, unifying, life-giving, renewing, freeing, a gift, and the foundation of married life—those are the words used by these couples in this excellent video from the diocese of Phoenix:

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  1. After 28 years in a happy marriage and 8 kids later, I completely agree with you and thank you for this post, Fr. Jason. I especially appreciate your paragraph on the side effects of the pill since women who typically experience those symptoms blame everything but the contraceptive pill they’re taking.

  2. Pingback: What Every Married Couple Should Know About the Truth of Sex and the Lie of Contraception - CATHOLIC FEAST - Sync your Soul

  3. I like your post with one exception though.

    “Hormonal contraceptives for women were never designed to improve their health as the risk of side effects show:”

    I agree that for minor health issues women shouldn’t rely on contraceptives to improve their health and that the side effects causes more problems than the pill helps their condition. Where I disagree is with severe health problems such as endometriosis. From experience at least prior to my getting married when I took birth control pills for my endo it did help me a great deal with alleviating my extreme pain. There may be other options. Not sure whether there are better options though.

    But I do agree with you that the birth control pill has been detrimental to the institution of marriage and has created a number of societal problems since its inception.

  4. Pingback: Women, the Catholic Church, and the Therapeutic Use of the “Pill” | Catholibertarian

  5. I’m very glad to see this topic be written about and explained so well. The video is great too. Hope to see this topic covered more going forward, so it gets to our young people. With the current interest in natural, organic and every thing healthy I think this teaching has a good chance of being heard and accepted more now than in the past. Thank you, Father Jason!


  7. I am a Protestant pastor’s wife with some dear devout Catholic friends, and I must say… it is so encouraging to see the precious attention given to children and marriage in their lives and their theology. We may not agree on everything, but it blesses my heart to hear others agree with us that children, marriage, and marital love are some of God’s most beautiful acts of grace and goodness toward us; things worth protecting, things that should be taken with prayer and conviction. Praise be to God, our Father, our Lord Jesus Christ, and the Spirit that unifies His people!

  8. Thank you so much for covering this. I covered this topic as well here:


    To some extremely polarized views via email (majority positive, and others giving me a rant about carbon footprints and population control). I really appreciate your coverage as this is an uncomfortable subject which is destroying marriages and turning wives into nothing more than playthings used to relieve sexual tension.

    For if you cannot love your wife, how can you hope to love God?

    • Thanks for your comment and for the link to your article. And thank you for your openness to God’s will in your family’s life and for sharing the deep meaning you find in love with others. God bless!

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