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medium_4332692163One of the most beautiful things about the Fertility Awareness Method (or, Natural Family Planning) is that it allows the couples to continuously discern what God is calling them to do.

Each month, each week, each day, there is an opportunity for God to be very present in their marriage and family discernment.

All contraceptives close the door on God, but many of them, unfortunately, also keep the door closed long after the couple decides they’d like to open it…

It leaves little, if any room, for discernment — which, I know, is a word that makes a lot of people uncomfortable.

But we are called to responsible parenthood. And the means to that particular end is through discernment — and not just a one time discernment, but a continuous one.

“In marriage, responsible parenthood means family discernment instead of family planning. That’s why I’m never totally sure how to answer people when they ask about our family size. “When are you having a third? Are you ‘two and through’? Are you going to try for a girl? Surely you need a break, don’t you? What’s your plan?”

I was recently just asked that, myself — “What’s your plan, when will you have children?”

Well, there is no plan, really… Just a lot of discernment.

I like what one woman had to say about that:

“Reality check: It’s not about my plan. The two kids I have now weren’t my plan, they were God’s plan. My husband and I just followed His directions. I never planned my kids. My husband and I prayed. We tried to open our hearts. We followed the Church’s teaching regarding contraception. When we felt the call to be open to life, we answered it. We were never trying to have a baby or get pregnant. God’s will has nothing to do with having or getting. It’s about giving our will over, and receiving what the Lord gives us, whatever it might be.”

You can read more about responsible parenthood here.

photo credit: brianmedia