Friday, July 18, 2014

Why I don't use birth control {in an analogy}

If any of you know me very well, you know I am not much of an instigator or a lover of controversy. I like to keep things easy to digest, light-hearted and agreeable to the masses.  For the most part, I think it is very hard to convey emotionally charged ideas in the perfect context, tone, etc. over the internet so I usually avoid it.

I guess today I'm feeling differently.  Maybe it's because I was so annoyed at much of the media's misrepresentation of the Hobby Lobby verdict recently (<< this link is fine, on the other hand).  

Or maybe it's because of Buzzfeed's post on Wednesday that brought the question "why we use birth control" to the table. 

Or maybe it's to join this conversation about why some of us choose not to use birth control.

[Update: Here's another great list from a Buzzfeed Community post!]

At any rate, here I am.  I understand I am probably preaching to the choir since I know many of my readers are in the same boat as me. But here I go anyway.  I just have two huge disclaimers: 

1. I do not think you are a bad person if you use birth control. We are all trying to make the best decisions for ourselves and our families, and decisions around sex are very very very very very personal.  Again.  We Are All Doing Our Best To Figure Life Out.

2. I am NOT perfect.  One of the main reasons I don't like talking about this is because of this fact.  I have realized in very real ways that our lack of perfection steals our courage.  

So, I am here to answer one question and one question only: 

Why do >> I << choose to not use birth control?

I could give tons of reasons but I really just want to add to this conversation by giving an analogy that I feel best explains it for me.

Remember these analogies back in grade school?  Weren't they great? Am I stalling?

Ok, so you know how there are these diet pills out there that claim that you can eat whatever you want, and if you just take this pill, you won't gain weight?  We usually laugh at them, right?  Let's imagine that one day they actually make something that Actually Works.  It is truly a miracle of science.  

The drug encapsulates all of the extra calories you don't need and passes them through your system instead of letting your body absorb them. And like I said - let's imagine that this actually works, and better yet - nobody laughs at it anymore and it becomes socially acceptable for everyone to use.  Would I use it?

For the same reason I am confident I would not take this pill, is why I don't use birth control.  I feel like our bodies are made in an amazingly ingenious way.  We are hungry, we eat food, it nourishes our body, we find enjoyment and pleasure in it, we sustain life.  But there are rules to eating - natural consequences that we all know about.  I can't eat donuts all day or I will feel sick.  If I never eat a vegetable I will have vitamin and mineral deficiencies and my body won't work to it's potential.  And if I eat more food than I need to fuel my activity I will gain weight. 

This is not a perfect analogy, but I feel like it is very similar to sex - with it we build a strong relationship and bond with our life-long partner, our families are blessed by this strong relationship (not to minimize what else goes into a good relationship), and the entire human race is sustained when new life is formed.  But there are rules with sex also.  A woman's reproductive system usually runs on a 28-35 day cycle.  If we have sex on a day that we are fertile, it is very possible and likely we will create a life. And if we have sex on an infertile day it is very likely we will not create a life.  These are natural consequences.

Therefore, I am the type of person that likes to let the world work as it was meant to because I believe the world was made in a very specific, beautiful, smart way that has my best intentions at heart. I think that going against how the world was made can lead to some serious consequences.  I get sick from eating too many donuts because hey - I shouldn't be eating so many donuts.  And I would have a hangover after drinking too much and hurting my liver.  And I would likely contract an STD if I had sex with 30 people (even if I used a condom.)

I think natural consequences teach us things.  They teach us prudence, temperance, justice and courage...and I want all of those things.

Lastly, as I think about teaching my daughter about the natural consequences in life, I can't help but feel silly at the thought of telling her when she's 16: honey, I really hope and suggest you wait to have sex with your future husband, but if you don't wait, at least use a condom to hopefully! avoid the consequences. 

Let's imagine for a moment that I do tell her that, and the birth control fails (which happens alllll the time - do you remember where I used to work?) and she gets pregnant.  

Will I feel even sillier because her whole life I was telling her that if she hits a dog it will bite her, and if she refuses to eat what's on her plate she'll go hungry, and if she doesn't study she'll fail her class, and if she doesn't change the oil in her car the engine will fail, and if she is late for work too many times she will get fired?  Yes. I will feel incredibly silly that I taught her about consequences except in this one little tiny instance - in that thing that has eternal consequences.  Creating a life won't just effect your whole entire lifetime (in a really awesome and beautiful way).   It is of eternal, awesome, consequence when you create a life - that has a soul - that will live forever.  

Sex is a big deal.

I think that's how awesome and important it is to pay attention to how we are made, and respect it.


  1. Good post! Especially about how we teach children about consequences in other situations.

  2. A good analogy is just the most satisfying thing, and you really hit on the perfect one!! The diet pill is such a great comparison!! Wow. So impressed with your logic and this is an awesome response to that flippant, ignorant buzzfeed thing.

    1. Kallah, thank you so much! And I totally agree about good analogies! :)

  3. This is about the dumbest thing I have ever read in my life.

  4. I read that Post and got it fine and informative. Palet Teamps