When I first saw this billboard I thought “self-control would be better at setting the pace than birth control.” But really self-control and birth control are not in conflict or mutually exclusive.
Planned Parenthood is often criticized for its support of abortion. I’ll leave the subject of abortion and choice for another rant; I have a problem with Planned Parenthood for a different reason. Their billboard is misleading.
Planned Parenthood is right, birth control does let you set the baby making pace. Sex education, including information about birth control, is important. I’m a fan of people using birth control, it’s a useful tool to prevent pregnancy.
The problem is Planned Parenthood’s good birth control message is easily confused as a good relationship message.
Look at that couple, they are so happy. It certainly looks like they have a great relationship. According to Planned Parenthood all they needed was birth control.
Don’t be misled; it takes more than birth control to have a good relationship. I want to rewrite the message to be “intentionality lets you set the pace.” Think ahead about the relationship you want to have and intentionally set the pace of your relationship toward that goal. Many have found the following three steps the best way to develop a lasting, safe, and deeply meaningful relationship.
To have a great relationship:
1. Intentionally develop a healthy relationship without sex.
2. Commit to the relationship by getting married.
3. Enjoy emotional and sexual intimacy and decide about birth control.
When the focus is on building a healthy, trusting, and committed relationships first, relationships develop solidly and are capable of amazing intimacy.
When the focus is on sex and birth control methods first, relationships do not develop well. I frequently see couples in counseling that have serious problems building connection with their spouse due to previous sexual encounters. Pornography and sexual activity that was thought to be “no big deal” make it more difficult to build great intimacy.
Although previous relationship mistakes may have led to difficulty in your marriage, amazing intimacy is still attainable. It’s never too late to intentionally build real intimacy into your relationship; please seek out wise relationship counsel for help improving your relationship.
Please share what you think about the billboard.