Natural Family Planning (NFP) is an umbrella term for various methods of charting a woman’s natural signs of fertility in order that the married couple may achieve or postpone pregnancy. NFP methods are inexpensive and can become a normal part of a couple’s daily routine and assist the woman in general health awareness. NFP works with a couple’s fertility, not against it.
It’s about love. It’s about life. It’s about freedom. It’s about gift.
“Growing up in the secular world, the message is pretty much use birth control or have babies. Except that the message implies that babies are a ‘financial burden,’ so you’d better be married with a solid career and own a house before you have kids. This message limited me to being open to life because it was the mindset I’d been conditioned to believe until I found my way to the Church. My journey to the Church began when I met my husband. Together we decided to practice the sympto-thermal method of NFP, however, this decision did not come easily.
I grew up to the tune of ‘NFP doesn’t work, you just get pregnant.’ My family fell away from the Church shortly after my First Communion, so when I was prescribed birth control for acne as a teenager, I never thought twice about it. Given all this, I felt very hesitant when we began our marriage preparation and the topic of NFP came up. I did not initially know that taking birth control when you are married and sexually active was a sin. Everyone I knew was on it. I took the online NFP class for the sympto-thermal method through the Couple-to-Couple League, but I was not very open to it. How could I give up that kind of control over my body? After talking about NFP in one of our meetings with the priest, I thought, ‘Maybe we should try it…’ But I quickly rationalized that we were not ready for kids, so it must be a terrible idea. I went in circles like this for a few months. All the while, I prayed to God to show me the way. As I started to shyly have conversations with a few people, I began to research NFP and was surprised by what I found. [Read More]
“We are happily married, young parents, method-hopping newbies when it comes to NFP. Despite having method-hopped, we’ve experienced great graces in our marriage from embracing the Church’s teaching on love, marriage, and family life. Lorenzo and I both experienced the spark of faith which kindled into a fire in our hearts in high school when we helped lead retreats at our home parish (this is also where we met, got to know each other and started dating!). We are far from perfect, but hanging out at church and spending weekends putting on retreats together was a pretty great place to start our relationship.
Our relationship was long-distance pretty much until the day we got married. We began dating my senior year of high school, went to separate colleges, got engaged after I graduated, and then worked 2000 miles away from each other the year we were engaged. During that year, I served as a missionary in Kansas City, and Lorenzo started his dream job with Catholic Charities in the Diocese of Arlington.
After falling in love with Jesus in high school, we knew that we would not use birth control in our marriage and that we wanted to practice NFP. [Read More]