Thanks to Micah at Truth and Charity for this post.
Pop Quiz! 1. Sex or babies: pick one. Just one.
Answer: If your decision was easy, you picked sex, and you should really continue reading. If your decision was difficult, you probably realized you can’t pick babies without picking sex. Kudos on paying attention in 5th grade biology! Read on.
2. What’s missing from the statistics below?
-In 2007, the US Census Bureau tracked single mothers at 80% higher than their 1980’s counterparts.
-In 2011, 62% of young (20-24) recent mothers were single.
-36% of US births are now to single mothers, up 5 points from 2005. That rate is as high as 68% for African-American women and 43% for Hispanic women.
Answer: What’s missing from these statistics? Men.
3. What do the two previous questions have to do with one another?
Answer: Cause and effect.
A lot of people these days forget their 5th grade biology. Decades after the rise of the modern contraception, it’s possible to hear someone wonder aloud, “How did I get pregnant? I must have missed a day on my treatment schedule.” Sixty years ago, the answer would have been, “Oh right, I had sex!” Today, the Pill and other contraceptives have so strongly divorced sex from babies that babies are often assumed not to come from sex, but from a medicinal failure.
Contraception was revolutionary – it promised sex without the babies – but it was also destructive, leaving it its wake the decline of marriage and the decay of the family. As more men realized they could have sex without babies, premarital sex and extramarital affairs became more normal. Accordingly, cohabitation and divorce both increased. When couples did occasionally conceive, solutions were available: abortion and abandonment.
I don’t want to imply for a moment that all these social ills are solely the fault of men, but I do want to point out that the rate of single fathers is not skyrocketing. Though the number is on the rise, men make up only about a quarter of all single-parent homes. It is the mothers who are taking responsibility for their children. This family model is a result of contraception, but nature would not have planned it this way. In nature, sex is bound up with babies. Maybe not every sexual act will result in conception, but no one can say its nature’s plan for babies to come from another source. Sex exists to make babies.
Enter NFP, a pro-man approach to a natural sex life. We men are supposed to be builders, providers, and leaders. Natural Family Planning helps us fulfill all three. First, we build our families. Women get all the credit, nurturing life in their wombs. Yep, neat trick. We are called to be the fathers of dynasties. The average man produces 1000-1500 sperm cells every second. (That’s between 86,400,0000 and 129,600,000 a day.) We have endless potential within us. NFP can be used to help you conceive the first step to your dynasty.
Second, we provide for our families. NFP can be used successfully to avoid pregnancy when a just cause calls for it. Unable to provide adequately for your family? NFP might be for you. Prolonged illness in the family? NFP might be for you. Natural Family Planning can be incorporated into the stewardship with which you run your family.
Third, we lead our families. We live in a time when men are lacking true leadership, but that need not be the case. Whether by making responsible decisions regarding the spacing of children, or using fertility tracking to practice generosity in bringing children into the world, men live out NFP with their wives with discipline engage their need to be leaders.