Already I feel strange writing about this, but I'm inspired by the openness of Jonathans Health Bar. Have you ever had a conversation with a male friend about birth control and pregnancy? Of course not, but maybe you should have. Maybe at least with Dad. Perhaps you will say that conversation should occur off the record and behind closed doors, but you're reading the blog of a married man, and I am no longer afraid.
I am going to try to present this in a non-polemical way. Of all the couples Rose and I know from growing up, college, etc., there are less than half a dozen who even think partly like we do. So, I'm not trying to win any arguments. I simply think people should know about these things and think about the implications of what they do. If after that you still disagree, that is fine and lets go have a beer.
A thought for consideration: until 1930 every Christian church condemned the use of artificial methods of birth control or "child spacing." That is not an argument, though it is often brought up by those in favor of natural methods (or no methods) as such. It should simply make you wonder why and how it came to be universally accepted so quickly. Forms of sterilization have existed since ancient times, so though we are unique in the ease of access, use and effectiveness, modern man is not the first to encounter this issue.
More thoughts for consideration:
Read the labels on the pill. Every chemical birth control method has major side effects for someone, and those side effects are nasty, and studies are beginning to wonder if they do not make you universally more prone to certain cancers. No one seems to really know yet. Are you sure you want to rick THAT in your system, or your spouse's system, even if it doesn't seem to be having any effect?
A woman's hormonal cycle is a huge part of her psyche. One of the most common problems with chemical controls is that it makes women depressed. How many women fight that and don't say anything ... or don't stop to realize what is going on?
According to studies, the only 99% effective methods are pill, IUD and Natural Family Planning style natural method. All of these are really more like 100% when used correctly (note that the NFP method is effective because it combines all of the methods of naturally identifying the fertility cycle, thereby leaving no room for question).
Natural Family Planning requires the participation of both people. It is a beautiful thing to really understand the natural cycle of your wife's body and to let your love life reflect that (I'm not only talking about sex). It also helps a husband who is not naturally sensitive to the fluxes in a woman's emotions have some data to work with.
In terms of life philosophy, Rose and I obviously hold to using invasive or chemical measures as an absolutely last recourse, when any natural method does not work. People react to this is as anywhere from silly to immoral, but mostly that it is not worth the time and effort. Natural methods have an effect on your life. Labor and childbirth are really, well, laborious. You don't get to have sex like a playboy. You don't get shots just because everyone else is. You don't eat just because you have a craving. But a life lived out intentionally, sacrificially, is a life well lived.
So, whether you are male or female, married or single, I encourage you to consider this issue, educate yourself (which can on a basic level be done with the help of nothing but Google), and do so before these choices are forced upon you, because you certainely won't know what to think when The Event (whatever that may be) is upon you.
That actually wasn't so bad.