Natural Family Planning Rocks: Part II
My husband and I took NFP classes before we were married, and although we have never had to use NFP to avoid pregnancy, we have used it to achieve pregnancy and are both very knowledgeable about the subject. I get questions all the time about NFP so I decided to write about it. This is part one of a two part post. In this first part, I would like to share my feelings about the use of artificial contraceptives in marriage and then in the second post, I want to share why NFP is so great and why it's not the same as birth control. I probably won't do this justice but here is goes...
God and Sex: God made sex, plain and simple. He made it for one man and one woman and he made it for two purposes: bonding and babies. The man and the woman come together to form the strongest bond in this world and God comes in with His creative power as a sign of the two people's love for one another (just like in the Trinity). You can't separate bonding and babies because God put them together. When a man and a woman bring contraception into their marriage they are essentially saying, "we want to bond and come together as man and wife, but we don't want to allow you (God) to work in this act". Furthermore, the marital union is supposed to be a full and selfless giving of oneself to their spouse. How can one give them self fully and withhold their fertility at the same time? It's not possible. A couple using contraception is essentially saying, "I love all of you, except your fertility" or "I want to give myself completely to you, but not my fertility."
The Pill and Our Fertility: Think about this: the use of the pill (or any chemical contraceptive for that matter) is the only time a woman will take a pill when she isn't sick. In fact, she is taking a pill to stop something that is working correctly! I once heard an analogy relating the use of contraception to bulimia. Bulimics throw up their food after eating to keep themselves from gaining weight; a natural occurrence from eating food. No one would ever say this is a good action to take after eating. So too, couples who use birth control stop a natural consequence of an action from occurring. Pregnancy doesn't mean something went wrong, it means something went right. It means that our bodies are working just as they ought to. Our fertility is an awesome gift from God, not something that we should suppress and damage through the use of contraceptives.
What if God isn't done: I know many couples who are "done" having children. My thought on this is always, sure you may be done, but what if God wasn't/isn't? Many of these same couples have been sterilized, thus closing themselves off forever to another child. I realize that at certain points in life it is prudent to avoid pregnancy, but to say no to more children forever seems extreme. How can one possibly know that in future months or years, Christ wouldn't have wanted a couple to have more children? Of course all the couples I know who have been sterilized would say that their family is "complete". To them I would say this: picture your family without one of your children. Would it be complete to you? How can we be sure our family is complete in God's eyes if we have shut Him out of that part of our lives. Completion of one's family is for God to decide, not for us. As long as we are fertile, we must be in constant discernment as to what Christ wants for us as parents and for the expansion of our family.
I will end with these questions: Who is planning your family? Is it God or you? Can we really claim to be Christian and close ourselves off to God's greatest and most miraculous gift? God the Almighty allows us as Christians to share in His creation; to bring forth souls into the world for His glory. This is a responsibility and a gift we cannot take lightly.
Part II to come.
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