I almost missed out on NFP Awareness week. Thank you to Leila @ Little Catholic Bubble, for spreading this good stuff. Read her post for some very prophetic words from Pope Paul IV about what would happen to our culture if we embraced contraception. It's all true and so sad what we have become in the name of "convenience".
One of my first posts was about Natural Family Planning that was heavily influenced by the wonderful Dr. Gregory Popcak. It was entitled, "NFP, Say it Loudly, Say it Proudly." What I said then, I still day today. Even if people think you have come from another planet, they should still be aware of this "alternative" lifestyle they are missing out on.
I won't lie-- practicing Natural Family Planning is really hard at times. Especially when a women is breastfeeding, her cycle has not come back yet, and there is no way God is calling to them to have another baby at this time! Who cannot deny the convenience of contraception? However, when it causes couples to take each other for granted, treat each other as objects for one's own gratification and disrupt God's plan in a marriage, how can we not step up try our hardest to make NFP work? It's a lot of work, sure, but what's at stake, is not frivolous stuff. It's a human life, a respectful spouse, and communion with God that cannot be found when one says NO to God's plan for their marriage. How I wish there was a magic button to press when trying to figure out my ambiguous fertility at times, but maybe that's all part of God's plan too. Dr. Popcak explains in his book, Holy Sex, how periods of abstinence can be fruitful to a marriage. It agree whole heartily! It has made my husband and I closer than before. Sometimes periods of abstinence can make a couple feel like their dating again or it can be a chance to grow in a particular virtue, as Dr. Popcak points out.
But just in case you go thinking that NFP will be really hard and allow little time for the marital embrace, this is not the case 90% of the time. Ask couples who have been doing it all their life. Sure, you may end up with more than the average 2 or 3 kids, but you can be sure that it was God's plan all along. I guess that's probably the biggest hang-up that I get from people when I share the awesomeness of NFP. They don't want any more kids. It's hard to get around that except that if they would try asking God what He wants, they might find out that this martian who just landed in front of them is speaking the truth after all.
Disclaimer: The number of kids is irrelevant. I do not cast judgement on how many kids people have and it's only between the husband, wife and God that can know what is best for their family.