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Myrrh23
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« on: March 12, 2008, 07:27:32 AM »

Hey Guys! Grin


As parents, do you intend to teach your children how to use non-abortive contraception, in case the abstinence lesson fails? If your children did end up having sex outside marriage, how far would you chastise them? Thanks!

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« Reply #1 on: March 12, 2008, 08:07:39 AM »

Tough question...

When my daughter was growing up, I was not yet a practicing Orthodox, so there was no intent back then to enlighten my child in faith, except to bring her to a small Ukrainian Orthodox parish in Seattle where she was expected by her mom to learn Ukrainian poetry and dance (well, and also to endure the Divine Liturgy Smiley ). Yet, she somehow was growing up very un-receptive to temptations of un-chastity. During her last two years of high school, she had a couple of romantic attachments - but her mom and I never felt any trouble. She was always at home at night, always concentrated on her studies, never lost her head, never participated in any wild orgies etc. We never "taught" her contraception or something, but there was no need.

If she were different and I were Orthodox... I think I would probably *not* teach her artificial contraception. I agree that it's not quite the same to use a diaphragm or a pill versus to go ahead and abort a fetus. Non-abortive contraception is certainly a "lesser evil." Still, I somehow do not see myself as an Orthodox parent participating in a lesson about how to put a condom on a banana, etc. I am afraid that this trivializes marital sexual union, and delivers a message that it's OK (at least safe) to have sex outside of marriage. Being a part of teaching kids that, I would not feel right.

As for "chastising," I really don't know. Perhaps I would not "chastise" my child if I knew that she was having sex as a teenager, but, rather, do everything that was in my power to turn her attention to something different (like... hmmm, studies?), and to convince the other party, the "boyfriend," that what they were doing was not worth doing. 
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« Reply #2 on: March 12, 2008, 01:47:51 PM »

Teenage sex is a symptom of a greater issue. Whether it be a lack of love and affection at home, sexual abuse, wanting to "belong" or something else. Teens have sex because they are not being listened to, or because they don't know enough.

In theory I will teach them about ALL forms of birth control. Note; ABOUT all forms. They need to know how everything works and DOES NOT work in order to understand how to make proper choices. And then I will teach them about the physical, psychological and spiritual impact of the various methods of birth control and from premarital sex.

I was sexual active as a teen for a variety of reasons. And I ended up getting pregnant at the age of 13 or so and miscarrying in secret. I have a large wealth of experience to draw from when I talk to my kids about what happens when you engage in premarital sex. Conversely my husband was a virgin up until our wedding night. We both had our problems as teenagers, both active and inactive sexually.
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calligraphqueen
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« Reply #3 on: March 12, 2008, 05:32:10 PM »

I think I will have my dh teach about some things as the boys get older. However even non abortive contraception removes and element of intimacy-an intimacy that was purely designed for the marital relationship alone.
I had such a broken home life and screwed up father figure that I ended up getting pregnant and having my oldest at 19. I have a lot I can share with my kids as to how not worth it pre marital sex really is. It might seem like it is, especially for boys that are looking for release-but that will be a prime teaching ground right there. Females aren't to be 'used' just for that purpose, modesty and sobriety needs to be taught in visual stim and activities. For the girls I will teach that the outcome of pre marital sex is NEVER worth it for them. 
I think my heart would break if one of them started messing around and or got pregnant, but I would have to deal with it. I hope to harp, thump and beat upon their consciousness the pain that comes as a result since I have BTDT. Embarrassed
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Myrrh23
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« Reply #4 on: March 12, 2008, 05:55:53 PM »

What about NFP? Does NFP really work as well as some people state? Is NFP too much a pain in the butt?
I remember a Roman Catholic guy who calimed to have practiced NFP for six years with his wife, and only got her pregnant when they slipped up observations....
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« Reply #5 on: March 12, 2008, 06:19:32 PM »

 Grin nope. Not unless you are a dyed in the wool single OV'ing perfect female person.

It is a LOT of work, really absurd at times, and if you ov more than once a month (they only recently realized we could do this, and I have done it since I was 12) you can't track the second ov with the NFP methods. that is why we are up to 7 Cheesy
Nothing works but abstinence for us, and I would suspect our kids to have inherited at least a little of that superpower.
Supposedly there are little personal 'computers' of sorts that help you track that stuff with less freakish methods, but I haven't tried them personally. I might suggest to my kids they try those newer items, but be ready for a 'surprise" should they not work.
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« Reply #6 on: March 12, 2008, 07:12:00 PM »

NFP doesn't work for us very well. I ovulate at freakish times. Fortunatly I am currently not ovulating at all due to breastfeeding, the LAST THING I need right now is to get pregnant so that I give birth while he is deployed. I think I would lose my mind if that were to occur. I am able to give birth without any pain meds, but that is due nearly in whole to how good a birth partner my husband is. And thus far I have avoided even really getting the "baby blues." I think if I gave birth and raised a newborn in addition to the rest of our brood even for a couple months during his deployment it would definetely make any post pardum depression skyrocket to dangerous levels. Or if he were to die over there....

We most certainly want more children, but not until he is back from Iraq. We use NFP in addition to a barrier method so that the times we can have intimacy is are greater. With NFP I am "fertile" according to fertility signals about 20 days of my 35 day cycle, put in their my average period of 7 days, and well, there is not really anytime or opportunity for anything. And my temps are not reliable since I breastfeed all night. I also have the occasional freak second ovulation.
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« Reply #7 on: March 12, 2008, 07:14:09 PM »

I remember some really enthralling posts on CAF about how many Orthodox view condoms and NFP as the same basic concept. One method keeps the sperm from the egg-condoms, one method keeps the egg from the sperm-NFP.
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« Reply #8 on: March 12, 2008, 07:58:30 PM »

I just could not keep up with it as I get fertility back within 3 months of birthing, DESPITE nursing constantly and only. Out of 7 children I got lactational perks only once, and only for 6 mo.  Might be the endo failure, tis hard enough to nurse, but I do it anyway.
I just wish there was something MORAL and FOOLPROOF besides abstinence. I understand the need for that outside of marriage, but within marriage-that just sucks!
I wouldn't mind more children, though I have done my part on earth (even considered adopting) but with Heather's Rett we just can't take any more stress. No, not that I see children as just stressors, but Heather's Rett has altered to stage 3 and she is seizing more frequently. (today in fact, sucks big time) Nursing and being up all the time now would just about do me in, and nursing on Daddy just doesn't cut it.  Yes, a few have tried. OH how I love those faces!
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Myrrh23
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« Reply #9 on: March 12, 2008, 08:37:01 PM »

So, as Orthodox Christians, would you all be in danger of Hell if you used condoms? What about getting the tubes tied, for man or woman, because you couldn't afford any more children? I've been told that if you can't afford any more children, either pray like there's no tomorrow to God to not get pregnant or abstain.... Sad
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« Reply #10 on: March 12, 2008, 09:20:03 PM »

I think that depends primarily on what "type" of Orthodox you are, and what a discussion between you as a couple and your priest results in.

I know that Roman Catholics figure you are damned if you use anything other than NFP. But then, most of the Catholic friends I have use the pull out method for birth control.
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« Reply #11 on: March 12, 2008, 09:30:45 PM »

Well I am an 18 year old Orthodox who is a virgin. My Parents never taught me about contraception they just talked to me about the sanctity of life and marriage and how important those things are through their actions. As for chastising them after a certain age children need to make mistakes and learn.
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« Reply #12 on: March 13, 2008, 07:35:39 PM »

So, as Orthodox Christians, would you all be in danger of Hell if you used condoms? What about getting the tubes tied, for man or woman, because you couldn't afford any more children? I've been told that if you can't afford any more children, either pray like there's no tomorrow to God to not get pregnant or abstain.... Sad

A friend of mine is Greek Orthodox, and I'm converting to Greek Orthodox.  My priest told me that Orthodoxy is not against birth control as long as it doesn't cause abortions.  My friend's priest allowed him to use birth control because he already had three children and not enough money to go around.  My friend tells me it's different from priest to priest.  A poster on another forum said the Greeks are more lenient.  You can also find Orthodox posters who say that birth control of any kind is NEVER okay.

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« Reply #13 on: March 13, 2008, 08:05:37 PM »

. But then, most of the Catholic friends I have use the pull out method for birth control.

And y'all sit around and discuss this?!?  Well, I hope they don't care too much to distinguish between "a" method of birth control and an "effective" method of birth control.
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« Reply #14 on: March 13, 2008, 10:13:32 PM »

I have found this attitude with the Greeks, and it may be common among those that immigrated here to the US and were in a hurry to 'look American' once they got here. Do nothing to stand out, so to speak. Education became the focus, at a loss to the faith according to many Greek I have spoken to. We convered to Greek as well and this is what I have gotten bit by bit from parish members.
Our priest told us the same basically, Orthodoxy doesn't police the bedroom it's up to us to hear the truth then live it even when it's not convenient.
Staying up all night with sick kids, changing diapers and constant nursing duty aren't convenient, but it doesn't last. Then you get senior pics, driver's licenses and graduation!!
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« Reply #15 on: March 13, 2008, 11:44:48 PM »

My friends feel that they would be in sin to use a barrier method. They actually call it "pull and pray." LOL
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« Reply #16 on: March 13, 2008, 11:59:23 PM »

My friends feel that they would be in sin to use a barrier method. They actually call it "pull and pray." LOL

Now I've heard everything.  Roll Eyes
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« Reply #17 on: March 14, 2008, 01:20:14 AM »

My friends feel that they would be in sin to use a barrier method. They actually call it "pull and pray." LOL

And I thought that method was just for horny teenagers with poor judgement; but I guess it's for people with poor judgement in general. Roll Eyes
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« Reply #18 on: March 14, 2008, 07:51:04 AM »

A friend of mine is Greek Orthodox, and I'm converting to Greek Orthodox.  My priest told me that Orthodoxy is not against birth control as long as it doesn't cause abortions.  My friend's priest allowed him to use birth control because he already had three children and not enough money to go around.  My friend tells me it's different from priest to priest.  A poster on another forum said the Greeks are more lenient.  You can also find Orthodox posters who say that birth control of any kind is NEVER okay.



Right. That's exactly what one can read on the official GOA Web site. Their article about marriage and family says, essentially, that *traditionally* the Orthodox Church has been radically against any kind of birth control, equating all methods of birth control with abortion; very recently though, beginning from the ~1950-s or 60-s, some voices within the Church began to talk about the difference between non-abortive contraception and abortion.

Generally, as far as I understand, the approach of our Church to family planning is not dogmatic but "pastoral." When you are not married, you do not engage in any sexual activities, so there simply is no issue at all. When you are married, you can have issues, but then, instead of thinking by yourself, go to your priest and ask for his guidance and blessing.
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« Reply #19 on: March 14, 2008, 10:18:45 AM »

Generally, as far as I understand, the approach of our Church to family planning is not dogmatic but "pastoral." When you are not married, you do not engage in any sexual activities, so there simply is no issue at all. When you are married, you can have issues, but then, instead of thinking by yourself, go to your priest and ask for his guidance and blessing.

This is one of many things I appreciate about Orthodoxy.  You never have to feel like you're approaching life alone or that you're automatically supposed to know what to do.  Orthodoxy has some clear cut answers on some things, but when in doubt talk to your priest. Birth control is often a subject to be approached on a case by case basis.  Some families would be ok with eight kids... some might be too strapped both financially and emotionally to handle more than one. 
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