When I was first learning the Creighton method of Natural Family Planning, one of the very first things I learned about is called SPICE. It stands for Spiritual, Physical, Intellectual, Creative and Communicative, and Emotional.
These are all aspects of our sexuality, and learning about SPICE was all about learning how to express and share our sexuality, as spouses, with one another — which is especially useful at times when we couldn’t be together — during a time when we would have to abstain from being together (think: postpartum, while trying to avoid pregnancy, while trying to conceive but your hormones aren’t right yet, etc.).
There are plenty of times throughout a marriage when the spouses are called to practice chastity, and during those times, it can be difficult to still connect and communicate the love that you normally would. Learning SPICE, and practicing SPICE, is supposed to help fill in those gaps.
Holly over at In Touch Fertility writes about SPICE. She says:
“We must communicate our love to our spouse not only through our words but through our actions. We make daily sacrifices to put the needs of our spouse above our own. If we mutually do this for one another, we grow closer to what we are called to be, a united reflection of God’s love. The Creative/Communicative aspect deals with how we communicate this sacrificial love to our spouse. How do we let our spouse know that they are a gift and that we love, honor and cherish them as much today as we did on the day we made our marriage vows?”
She also has some suggestions for how you can be creatively communicative about your love towards your spouse. I think her suggestions are helpful for all parts and times of marriage — not just when you can’t be together, but even when you can; and both of these circumstances can be made better by some of these suggestions.
Communication — and creative communication at that — isn’t just the most important part of a relationship, but it’s where intimacy begins and grows.
If you’re using NFP, and you’re struggling, you’re not alone. I can relate — so many other women who use NFP can relate, and Holly can relate too.
photo credit: John Hope Photography