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This post is a part of the Catholic Wife, Catholic Life’s NFP-week series. It was originally published Aug. 28, 2014 here.

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There are so many extraordinary benefits of using NFP, and because I believe in those benefits so much, I always want to talk about NFP in a good light.

I want to represent it well. I want people to be able to see the benefits of it from my own experience & from the experiences of other women that I share with them — enough so that they may want to ask about it and learn more about it, themselves.

But by doing that, I sometimes shy away from discussing parts of it that are hard and challenging, because I don’t want someone to be discouraged to give it a shot.

The truth of the matter, though, is that it is hard, and it can be challenging… it forces us out of our comfort zone, it challenges our motives, and it brings us out of ourselves. It’s a sacrifice-based system. And it can be hard to pitch such self-sacrifice & self-denial…

But there is so much beauty in all of that, especially if (more likely when!) it brings you deeper into your faith.

Julie Machado writes, from Ignatum Today:

“NFP… takes a lot of guts. Dealing with any life or death issue takes guts, but being “open to life” is not as easy as it sounds. Teetering on the edge of “to bring or not new life into the world” crashes directly into all our priorities and goals in life. NFP is scary because you are not as “in control” as with contraception. A little mistake and oops, you have a baby. Big deal. It takes a world view completely different to that of our current western mind-set to deal with this teetering on the edge. The Catholic worldview works well with this method, in which God is almighty and totally in control. We should trust Him with our lives instead of failing at trying to control them because He truly knows best. It works well with a “natural/ecological” worldview in which the body is beautiful and it isn’t necessary to pump it with hormones or plastic. It works well with worldviews of other cultures, in which a baby is a blessing and not a limit to your freedom or your lifestyle.”

You can read more here.