Part of the reason I wrote Emily’s Hope (www.fullquiverpublishing.com) was to share my journey of love and loss. The other reason was to share the Church’s teachings on sex and marriage.
My husband and I are teachers of NFP, or Natural Family Planning. NFP is a safe, healthy, effective and morally acceptable method of birth regulation. We have been teaching NFP for 25 years for the Couple to Couple League, who last year required all teachers to complete an extensive re-training program. We teach this method because one of the best ways to promote NFP is to teach it.
Embracing the Church’s teachings in this area was not easy for me. And this particular issue caused our first heated argument when James and I were engaged. Like many Catholics, I wanted the “freedom” to be able to use whatever I wanted in the area of contraception. Since we were living 500 miles apart at the time, James and I debated back and forth for many weeks. In a letter to me, James wrote, “The way I picture it, when we consummate our marriage, it should be you, me and God. That’s all. Why should any contraceptive company and their business plan and their advertising strategy have anything to do with our intimacy? When I think of me using a condom, it means that I’m actually holding back a part of myself. And if you were using a diaphragm or the pill or something, you would be keeping a part of yourself from me. When we give ourselves to each other, it should be a total gift, not a partial one…”
At the time, I remember thinking, “Why is he making such a big deal out of this?” Eventually, it finally dawned on me. It was a big deal. James wasn’t trying to convince me to give in to his sexual appetites. On the contrary. He was trying to help me to understand the truth that artificial contraception separates a couple and is not good for marriage.
NFP is safe, morally acceptable and effective. In 27 years of using NFP, we have never had an unplanned pregnancy. NFP is healthy and allows a couple to understand their bodies and fertility better. It encourages communication between the spouses. NFP is also ecologically friendly and does nothing to harm the environment.
For more information on NFP check out the following websites: (www.ccli.org, www.serena.ca , www.creightonmodel.com/, www.woomb.org/)
Copyright 2009 Ellen Gable Hrkach