“The future of the world passes through the family” Familiaris Consortio, 79
With many summer weddings on the horizon it is a great time to reflect on the Church’s teaching on marriage. In particular it is a wonderful time to revisit what the Church teaches about family planning and why it is key to experiencing the ‘joy of the gospel’ in marriage. (Part I of a three part series on Marriage.)
Top 10 reasons to consider Natural Family Planning (NFP):
1. It is ‘natural’; therefore, like healthy foods or exercise it complements a healthful and ecologically conscious lifestyle
2. It is effective and reliable. All methods of family planning, with the exception of total abstinence, have a percentage of unplanned pregnancies—modern scientific NFP has about the same percentage as the birth-control pill. (This is not your Baba’s NFP!!!)
3. It is respectful and promotes equality. NFP puts the responsibility for family planning on the couple as opposed to just the woman. NFP requires that both partners respect the life giving power of the other, and responsibly choose when to have children.
4. It is an intelligent response to the need to plan our family. (The Church believes children are a blessing but does not teach that couples should have as many of kids as physically possible, rather it teaches that we should have families that we can ‘responsibly’ parent.)
5. NFP helps us as men and women to understand and value our bodies and God given fertility. A woman’s fertility is not a disease that needs to be medicated. A man’s fertility is not dangerous such that there needs to be a barrier to protect a woman from it. (No, NFP does not protect against sexually transmitted disease but lifelong committed faithful monogamy is one of the best protections in that regard.)
6. It is inexpensive—requiring the one time cost of initial teaching, which varies depending on the method, and the minimal ongoing cost of charting materials.
7. NFP inspires virtues of self-control and love. Yes it does require a period of abstinence during fertile times (about 1 week/cycle) if a couple wishes to avoid a pregnancy but this is great practice in putting your partner first in all things.
8. NFP is never toxic to new life-– in the womb or outside–and can be used throughout all the stages of human life.
9. NFP can be a useful tool in diagnosing physical disorders.
10. Using NFP builds healthy relationships. Studies have shown that NFP is not only good for our bodies but it actually can make us happier, help our communication and enhance romance. For details and reference materials please check out the links on the Family and Life Office Website.Click here Please keep an open mind and heart on this issue—perhaps the God who created our bodies as men and women and the Church that proclaims His truth on earth has gotten it right after all! DPL
Did you know…that until 1930 all Christian churches denounced contraception and here is a list of the important and perhaps surprising people who have spoken out, warning of the negative effects of contraception for women, marriage and society as a whole:
- Mahatma Gandhi
- S. Elliot
- John Chrysostom
- Pope Francis
- John Paul II
- Paul VI
Check them out online. You may be surprised at what you find!