Saturday we spent our day in the cafeteria of Corpus Christi for God's Plan for a Joy-Filled Marriage. I'm not going to lie, I was dreading Saturday like you would not believe. In addition to having to spend my day off in a basement cafeteria, I had to sit in a crowd of soon-to-be's and listen to a bunch of jesus freaks.
Man was I wrong.
We got to the school and I was surprised to see at least 35 other couples, 2 of which I knew from high school. We grabbed a workbook and another book and had a seat near the front. I was shocked to see a pretty average looking middle-aged couple rocking out to a little Jack Johnson running the show. They began the whole shpeal and I was relieved because it was actually interesting and I wasn't terribly offended or bored out of my mind. They gave us the history of marriage in the catholic church, told stories about their own marriage and where things went wrong, and approached the whole day in a pretty relaxed manner. The whole thing was supposed to last until 4pm and then planned on getting us out at 1:30...score! We flew through the workbook and had several opportunities to ask our future spouses questions and reflect on our own answers.
The part I found most interesting was the brief tidbit about natural family planning. I was actually intrigued about the whole process and the science behind it (although our speaker was the mother of 7, through NFP, I was more interested in the process than why she would choose to have that many kids in a time like this). One of the things she said that really struck me was about birth control and how it's just another thing to put women down. Here I was thinking that birth control was another way to make women free and give us control and the point she made was so true.....it takes the onus off the man, objectifying the woman even more. Now, I don't want to get into an argument or great debate with anyone over this but it was the first time I'd have heard a statement like that and I actually found some validity in it. How true is it that by taking birth control, we're giving the guy more opportunities to ask for/want sex because the possibility of getting pregnant is no longer there? It's actually taking the control away from us (although, let's not kid ourselves here, who has the ultimate say in what goes down?).
This was something that really got me thinking....and when I got home, I looked up the science behind NFP. It requires you to take your temperature every day for a month and track changes in your mood, discharge, and blood flow and from that, you can have a better understanding of when you're ovulating and when you have less of a chance of getting pregnant. So if you know you're ovulating, you know that sex is off the table, in the event that you don't want to have a child. I think it's really interesting, but don't think I could stick by something like that....so I'll continue to use the patch until we're emotionally and financially ready to deal with a little bundle of joy.