I’ve had people tell me: You’ve got your boy and your girl. A perfect family!
And it bothers me. Believe me, after 2 kids in 2½ years of marriage, my husband and I would like to take a break from having babies. But who knows how we will feel a little down the road. I think about my husband: he is the 6th of 8 kids. If his parents had stopped having children after two, or three, or even five, then he would have never existed for me to marry!
And that’s what I love about Natural Family Planning. As a couple, my husband and I need to always be evaluating what God is asking of us as parents. A future child will be someone’s future spouse some day, or maybe even the Pope, so God needs to be a part of our decisions for our family. Therefore, in honor of National NFP Awareness Week, I’d like to offer these thoughts.
NFP (Natural Family Planning) is:
-100% scientifically proven, and 99% effective. You can accurately know when you are ovulating to achieve or postpone pregnancy.
-Encourages respect for your whole person, including your fertility, in the marital act.
-Fosters communication between spouses
-Is 100% natural, no artificial hormones or bad side effects (like every other contraceptive device out there). If you buy organic, then you need to be using NFP.
Practicing NFP isn’t always easy. But it’s the right thing to do. And most things that are right aren’t very easy. My dad said something to Nathan and I about NFP when we were engaged that I think everyone should know. He said that Natural Family Planning allows you to become fluent in the language of love (and who doesn’t want that?). When you are abstaining to postpone pregnancy, it’s necessary to find other ways than having sex to express your love, like when you were engaged. Then when you can be intimate again, it’s like your honeymoon all over. In this way, your love is always fresh, new and exciting. After all, studies show that Catholics do have the best sex.
My last reflection is in honor of the 45th anniversary of Humanae Vitae (July 25th). In the encyclical, Pope Paul VI predicted that if we became a culture that used contraception, (birth control, condoms, IUDs and whatever else they’ve come up with),the following 3 things would happen:
1. An increase in marital infidelity and the general lowering of standards (TV, movies, pornography)
2. Men will “forget the reverence due a woman” and will reduce her to a “mere instrument for the satisfaction of his own desires” (HV 17) ie, Rape, prostitution, human trafficking, domestic abuse, etc.
3. Government imposition of whatever contraception they deem useful:
“Finally, careful consideration should be given to the danger of this power passing into the hands of those public authorities who care little for the precepts of the moral law. Who will blame a government which in its attempt to resolve the problems affecting an entire country resorts to the same measures as are regarded as lawful by married people in the solution of a particular family difficulty? Who will prevent public authorities from favoring those contraceptive methods which they consider more effective? Should they regard this as necessary, they may even impose their use on everyone.” (HV 17) HHS mandate anyone?