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 making 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: