Even though this is a collection of parenting research and experiences, the first thing I want to address is chastity. That means sexual abstinence before marriage and being faithful to your spouse during marriage. If you are single, one of the best gifts you can give yourself, your future spouse, and your future children is sexual purity. Even if you are already sexually active, you can choose to stop and practice secondary virginity.(1)
There are some good reasons to save sex for marriage. It will help protect you from the following:
* STDs (Sexually Transmitted Diseases)
* Doubt and worry
* Deceptive relationships
* Loss of self-esteem
* Abortion trauma
* Emotional disorders
* Unwed pregnancy(2)
Consider these facts concerning STDs:
* STDs are the most common diseases in America next to the common cold and flu.
* 1 in 5 Americans are presently infected with an STD.
* 12 million new STD cases are reported each year – 33,000/day.
* 45 million Americans are infected with an incurable STD.
* 35 – 50 different kinds of STDs exist.
* 20 different STDs are rampant among the young.
* 63% of all STDs occur in persons less than 25 years of age.
* STDs infect 3 million teenagers each year.
* 80% infected with an STD do not develop initial symptoms.
* STDs are contagious even though no symptoms exist.
* New strains of STDs are resistant to treatment.
* STDs often cause chronic pain and permanent damage.
* Some STDs are incurable and can eventually kill.(3)
“Has anybody ever told you that condoms fail up to 15 percent of the time and that no contraceptive is 100 percent effective? Have you ever stopped to think about the risks of playing sexual roulette? In Russian roulette, if the bullet is in the wrong chamber of the gun, you can die. In sexual roulette, if you have sex at the wrong time, with the wrong person, you can get pregnant, contract a disease or even die!”(4)
Is a sexual experience worth your health or even your life?
The following ideas, written by Molly Kelly, may help you be successful as you make a commitment to abstinence before marriage:
* When saying no, be assertive – not only give a verbal message but use consistent body language and a strong tone of voice.
* Be consistent in saying no by wearing appropriate clothes that do not invite unwanted advances; remember, your clothes talk!
* Avoid alcohol and drugs. They mess with your mind and ruin your life!
* Talk your feelings out with your friends, and, in particular, with your date so as to avoid misunderstandings – you’ll gain a greater respect for this!
* Find an effective way to say no and practice to gain confidence:
o NO! Because I do care about you.
o NO! Because I’m worth waiting for.
o NO! We’re too young and not ready for a commitment.
o NO! Because the risks of sex are too great.
* Don’t be fooled by the myth of “safe sex.” No birth control is 100 percent “effective. Condoms fail up to 15 percent of the time. Spermicides, IUD’s, sponges and pills can fail and can cause health problems. Don’t depend on birth control – depend on self-control.
* Explore other interests and direct your energies into positive experiences, like sports or hobbies. These activities will help give you a positive identity and a good self-image, which will help in times of loneliness, depression, and when under pressure for a quick “pick me up” experience.
* Believe in yourself! Young people who are self-confident have less difficulty caving in under pressure or fear.
* Talk to your parents. They want the best for you.
* Try to associate with friends who have the same values and can reinforce each other.
* Peer pressure can be positive or negative – it’s up to you! You have a tremendous influence on your peers. Make it a good influence!(5)
If you are now engaged, you have a wonderful “preparing time” for both your wedding and your marriage. When my husband and I became engaged, I began to search for a natural, healthy, and effective alternative to artificial contraceptives. Fortunately, I found good material and was able to learn the sympto-thermal method of natural family planning. The engagement is an ideal time for a woman to make certain she understands how her own body works! It is helpful to learn how to recognize natural signs of fertility.
As Christians, we believe in the sanctity of marriage. Both husband and wife commit themselves to each other in an equal partnership based on mutual love and respect. Neither is more important than the other. We believe the best place to raise children is in a committed, married relationship between a husband and a wife.
We believe God has designed our bodies in a way that we are able to recognize our fertility. We believe we are to use that knowledge to the glory of God.
We began to practice sympto-thermal natural family planning when we were married in July of 1991. At that time, my husband had two more years of university to complete, so we chose to plan to have our first child after he graduated. Our first baby was born 2 ¼ years after our wedding.
We practiced ecological breastfeeding with each baby. When fertility returned, we used sympto-thermal natural family planning to prevent and then plan each pregnancy. So far, the spacing between our children has been as follows: almost five years, almost three years, and just over three years. Each time, we wanted to wait until we felt the youngest child would be ready to cope with the addition of a new baby.
By taking a little time and effort to learn natural family planning, your marriage will benefit for years to come. We feel that if given an informed choice, more people would consider it as a safe, valid, and preferable alternative to contraceptives.
In order to understand it properly, we strongly recommend that you read The Art of Natural Family Planning (4th edition) by John and Sheila Kippley.
Natural family planning will strengthen your marriage and give you a greater respect for each other. It is so natural and healthy, and it works! I do caution against using natural family planning with a contraceptive mentality. I believe the licit use of NFP requires a serious reason.
If you desire pregnancy, knowledge of your fertility is a great asset. It is recommended for a woman seeking pregnancy to take folic acid before conception to prevent certain birth defects.(6) Chapters 21 and 22 of The Art of Natural Family Planning are helpful if you are seeking pregnancy.
A balanced endocrine system can positively affect menstrual cycles and fertility, making it easier to practice natural family planning. Having balanced hormones can help prevent depression and can help both males and females cope with daily stresses.
Breastfeeding Spaces Children
It is possible to naturally postpone the return of fertility by practicing “ecological” breastfeeding. An excellent summary about how this can be achieved is included in The Art of Natural Family Planning, chapters 23-25. “Ecological” breastfeeding is in contrast to Westernized cultural breastfeeding. I think Sheila Kippley originally coined the term, and the following points are from her book, Breastfeeding and Natural Child Spacing. More details are described here:
* Do exclusive breastfeeding for the first six months of life; don’t use other liquids or solids.
* Pacify your baby at your breast.
* Don’t use bottles and pacifiers.
* Sleep with your baby for night feedings.
* Sleep with your baby for a daily-nap feeding.
* Nurse frequently day and night, and avoid schedules.
* Avoid any practice that restricts nursing or separates you from your baby.(7)
Some women have their cycles return earlier than they want even when following the above practices. In addition to the things listed above, I have taken natural supplements that seemed to help balance my endocrine system. This may have helped extend post-partum infertility until my third and fourth nurslings were more than 24 months old.
Waiting to Have a Baby
Couples often put off having a baby until they are “ready”. That can mean different things to different people. Putting career first or waiting for everything to be “just so” can result in pain and heartbreak. Don’t count on being able to have a baby when you finally want one. You may need to rethink your priorities.
People can be so rude when they come across parents with more than two or three children. Their comments reflect society’s blatant disrespect for children – born or unborn. When people say to me, “You have FOUR children??!!!” my favorite reply is to say, “We’re just getting started!!!” They look at me and wonder if I’m serious. Then, more often than I expect, I have heard people say that they wish THEY had more children. I have even had a couple of women get tears in their eyes as they told me about their husbands’ vasectomies. I have had both men and women tell me that they would like more children, but their spouses don’t. Some people also end up mentioning how much they enjoy their own 3+ siblings or how nice it was for their parents to grow up with lots of sisters and brothers. For the folks who are still concerned about me having FOUR children, I say, “Which one do you want me to get rid of?”
We are concerned about the contraceptive mentality in our society. We believe it is harmful, not only to children, but to women, and men as well. It lowers the value of children, often to the point of ending newly conceived life. It places women in a position to be exploited and used. And it degrades men to the level of animals who have no control over their instincts. Secular society tends to make people feel that sexuality is uncontrollable. We have to stand up and demand more respect. People are not animals. We deserve something better than drugs and devices.
There are very serious things you should know about the birth control pill. It is defined as “an oral contraceptive for women that inhibits ovulation, fertilization, or implantation of a fertilized ovum, causing temporary infertility.”(8) Do you realize what this means? The Pill has an “abortifacient” property that prevents the newly conceived life in its embryonic stage from being transported to the uterus and implanted in the wall of the uterus.(9)
The most serious risks of the Pill to women include blood clots, high blood pressure, breast cancer, cervical cancer, endometrial and ovarian cancer, liver tumors, skin cancer, and death.(10)
“The following adverse effects have also been experienced by women on the Pill: Headaches, migraines, mental depression (even to the point of suicide and/or suicidal tendencies), a decrease or loss of sexual drive, abdominal cramps, bloating, weight gain or loss, and water retention; nausea and vomiting (in about 10% of users); symptoms of PMS, vaginitis and vaginal infections, changes in vision (temporary or permanent blindness, and an intolerance to contact lenses); gall bladder disease and either temporary or permanent infertility, when discontinuing the pill, in users with previous menstrual irregularities or who began the pill before full maturity.”(11)
Does the Birth Control Pill Cause Abortions?
We want to make certain you are aware of the biological fact that abortion destroys the life of a human being. This website contains links to graphic pictures of unborn children following the violence of abortion. Please view with discretion.
WARNING: Very Graphic Images
We pray that your heart will be touched by these photos, and you will be motivated to become actively pro-life. Perhaps you will be used to protect a young mother and her child from the pain of abortion. Keep in mind that for every one dead, there is one wounded.
Perhaps your life has already been affected by abortion. Whether it has been days, or years, the feelings you may be experiencing are no less real. Some women react to their abortions in any of the following ways:
* Fear that others will learn of the abortion
* Surprise at the intensity of emotional reaction
* Frequent crying
* Feelings of victimization
* Preoccupation with the aborted child
* Inability to communicate
* Reduced motivation
* Psychological “numbing”
* Discomfort with children
* Decreased ability to experience emotions
* Disruption in interpersonal relationships
* Sexual inhibition
* Feelings of “craziness”
* Suicide ideation
* Loss of appetite
* Development of eating disorders
* Increased use of alcohol
* Nightmares related to the abortion
* Perceived visitation from the aborted child
* Hallucinations related to the abortion
* Preoccupation with becoming pregnant again
* Self-punishing or self-degrading behaviours
* Physical pain and complications
* Increased risk of breast cancer
If you are having a difficult time coping after an abortion, there is hope. Look for help at a crisis pregnancy center.
United States 1-800-848-LOVE
© 2001-2010 This website and its contents are copyright and intended for educational purposes only. The information, research, experiences, and links contained herein have not been compiled by a physician and should not be considered as medical advice. Opinions expressed in the reference books and links may not in all cases reflect the beliefs of Carol@parentingfreedom.com.
1. Beverly J. Hadland, Hang on to Your Hormones, (Toronto, Ontario: Life Cycle Books, Ltd., 1992).
2. Safe Sex?, (Toronto, Ontario: Grapevine Publications, 1993).
3. Is Sex Safe? A Look at: Sexually Transmitted Diseases (STDs), (Toronto, Ontario: Grapevine Publications, 1992).
4. Molly Kelly, Sexual Roulette – Are you feeling lucky?, (Jefferson City, MO: Easton Publishing Company, 1992).
6. Folic Acid – What every woman should know before becoming pregnant, (Winnipeg, Ontario: The Spina Bifida and Hydrocephalus Association of Canada, 1996).
7. Sheila Matgen Kippley, Breastfeeding and Natural Child Spacing – How Ecological Breastfeeding Spaces Babies, (New York, NY: Couple to Couple League International, Inc., 1999).
8. Random House College Dictionary, Revised Edition, (1982) p. 37.
9. Paul Weckenbrock, R., Ph.D., The Pill: How does it work? Is it Safe?, (Cincinnati, OH: The Couple to Couple League International, Inc., 1993).
12. Dr. Anne C. Speckhard, Post Abortion Stress Disorders, (University of Minnesota).
Teri K. Reisser, M.S. and Paul C. Reisser, M.D., Identifying and Overcoming Post-Abortion Syndrome, (Colorado Springs, CO: Focus on the Family, 1992).
Abortion – Some Medical Facts. Washington, D.C.: NRL Educational Trust Fund, 1996.
Dunn, Royce. “A Protestant’s Confession.” CCL Family Foundations. Cincinnati, OH: The Couple to Couple League, January-February, 1999.
Folic Acid – What every woman should know before becoming pregnant. Winnipeg, Ontario: The Spina Bifida and Hydrocephalus Association of Canada, 1996.
Hadland, Beverly J. Hang on to Your Hormones. Toronto, Ontario: Life Cycle Books, Ltd., 1992.
Is Sex Safe? A Look at: Sexually Transmitted Diseases (STDs). Toronto, Ontario: Grapevine Publications, 1992.
Kelly, Molly. Sexual Roulette – Are you feeling lucky? Jefferson City, MO: Easton Publishing Company, 1992.
Kippley, John F. Birth Control and Christian Discipleship, 2nd edition, Cincinnati, OH: The Couple to Couple League International, Inc., 1994.
Kippley, John and Sheila. The Art of Natural Family Planning, 4th edition, Cincinnati, OH: The Couple to Couple League International, Inc., 1996.
Kippley, Sheila Matgen. Breastfeeding and Natural Child Spacing – How Ecological Breastfeeding Spaces Babies. New York, NY: Couple to Couple League International, Inc., 1999.
Nofziger, Margaret. A Cooperative Method of Natural Birth Control, 4th edition, Summertown, TN: The Book Publishing Company, 1992.
Planning Your Family the S-T Way. Ottawa, Ontario: SERENA Canada, 1980.
Provan, Charles D. The Bible and Birth Control. Monongahela, Pennsylvania: Zimmer Printing, 1989.
Random House College Dictionary, Revised Edition, 1982, p. 37.
Reisser, Teri K., M.S. and Paul C. Reisser, M.D. Identifying and Overcoming Post-Abortion Syndrome. Colorado Springs, CO: Focus on the Family, 1992.
Safe Sex? Toronto, Ontario: Grapevine Publications, 1993.
Shannon, Marilyn M. Fertility, Cycles, and Nutrition – Can What You Eat Affect Your Menstrual Cycles and Your Fertility? updated edition, Cincinnati, OH: The Couple to Couple League International, Inc., 1996.
Silent Abortions. Libertyville, IL: Lutherans for Life.
Speckhard, Dr. Anne C. Post Abortion Stress Disorders, University of Minnesota.
“The Medical Hazards of the Birth Control Pill.” Child and Family, Vol.7.
Weckenbrock, Paul R., Ph.D. The Pill: How does it work? Is it Safe? Cincinnati, OH: The Couple to Couple League International, Inc., 1993.
Wilke, Dr. and Mrs. J.C. Abortion Questions & Answers. Cincinnati, OH: Hayes Publishing Company, Inc., 1990.