Isn't it interesting how we talk a lot about love? It seems to be almost a daily discussion. We love the newest restaurant, the grades we got on our final exams, the coffee we stopped and got after a long day at work.
We use the word love so much, we have become desensitized to its ramifications. What about love in a romantic relationship? What is the response when someone asks:
Don't you love me?
What does true, authentic love look like in a relationship? Can you have a loving relationship with someone and still use birth control?
About six months ago, Buzz Feed had a photographic journal piece on women who had decided to not use contraception or birth control. How does this decision show love? And why is contraception blocking love?
Love is Patient
Love realizes that a good thing at the wrong time is the wrong thing. It recognizes that a person is never a sum of their parts, but rather a whole child of God made in His image. Love is giving up control of every aspect of our life and placing it all in the hands of God.
Contraception can't wait...for some things. It can't wait for the pleasure of sex. The opportunity to express supposed devotion and all-in commitment. But it can wait for other things. It can wait for commitment. It can wait for children. It can wait for authentic love.
Cameron Diaz said in the movie Vanilla Sky, "Don't you know that when you sleep with someone your body makes a promise whether you do or not."
Love is Kind
By the definition, authentic love wills the good of the other as other. Love is free, total, faithful and fruitful. It gives everything at all costs, no matter what and is open to life.
Contraception demands a high price (more on that, keep reading), is limiting, puts barriers on love and denies the gift of life to both parents.
It is not proud. It does not dishonor others.
Authentic love looks at how humanity is created (Male and Female) and sees that it is good. It does not chemically alter a woman's body, a woman's thoughts, and a woman's hormones.
Studies have proven that the pill can change how a woman looks at a man. It can change who she sees as attractive, but even greater health risks. Women who rely on a birth control that combines estrogen and progestin have a 41% increase of having a stroke, 50% higher chance of getting blood clots, 29% increase in heart attacks, 22% increase of cardiovascular disease and a 26% increase in having breast cancer.
Lindsay Abrams from The Atlantic would have us believe this: "The rest of us can marvel at the hormonal quirks wrought by birth control and perhaps resolve that they're a small price to pay for preventing unintended pregnancy."
Really? Because I think that being able to see a man for who he is without a pill mentally altering my thought capacity is a pretty large price to pay.
Contraception encourages use of another for self pleasure. It says "I love you so much. I love you so much that I want to be physical with you now. I want to sleep with you - even if that means increasing your medical risks, your future children, and your future spouse. Can't you tell that I love you?"
Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth.
Love sees contraception and birth control for what it is. It recognizes the truth that contraception harms a woman's body even while claiming to help women in general. In exchange for 'regular' cycles and 'freedom from the risk of pregnancy,' the pill increases women's chances of breast cancer. A study in India found that after a prolonged use of oral contraceptives, increased the users risk of breast cancer from normal level (1.2%) to 11.9%. The reason? Dr. Umesh Kapil told Times of India, "Breast cancer is caused by repeated exposure of cells to circulating ovarian hormones, and long term use of birth control pills, which contain estrogen and progesterone, may contribute to the elevated risk."
It always protects
Contraception has removed the aspect of responsibility from the act of love.
Instead of protection, the pill and other forms of contraception provide the ability for objectification. For using someone for what they can give instead of loving them for who they are.
I know. I know about the countless doctor appointments whose goal it seems is to convince you that the only way to cope is contraception.
But I also know about the joy that comes from authenticity. And the help available from incredible resources that don't have anything to do with the pill or 'safe sex.'
Is it hard? Sure. Is it worth it? I'm convinced that true, authentic love for my future spouse (whether that's a man or Christ) is worth it all.
Love Never Fails