Marriage and Family Life

Natural Family Planning

Safe and effective

Natural Family Planning (NFP) is a safe and effective way to plan your family. It also provides an organic philosophy to family planning. Organic not only in a green, carbon emission-reducing sense or because it reduces a reliance on artificial hormones and devices that may be bad for your health. Rather, NFP is green and organic in the sense that it gives couples the space to discern the direction of their family life in the knowledge that they are working with their bodies in the way they were designed to work.

For Catholics though, those are just some of the advantages of using NFP. It is really about more than that. What it comes down to is a way of how marital vows can be lived out in a truly authentic sense. The Church has a great vision for marriage and family life and some of that is expressed in what it asks of married couples through the sacrament of marriage.

Sex and NFP

From the beginning, God created men and women with a complementary spousal nature. This means that either of the spouses is enabled to live for the other person through the total gift of self. In everyday married life, this is expressed through the countless selfless acts of love that occur. These vows, that were once expressed verbally, become integrated in married life through actions. The sexual act is the culmination of the expression of that love and that is why it is so important that total self-giving be preserved in that act. NFP provides the means for that to happen.

Systems of NFP are based on knowing and understanding the cyclical nature of fertility and infertility that occur in a woman. Having this knowledge, the couple are empowered to choose either to avoid or to achieve a pregnancy. This approach, which promotes total self-giving, preserves the link between the procreative and unitive aspects of the sexual act.

This may seem idealistic, but ultimately, when lived out, it provides couples the means to respect the life-giving potential of the sexual act and adopt an openness to life that in itself breathes life and love in a marriage.

A new attitude?

So what is NFP really about? In the end, we are dealing with a question of perspective and attitude.

It is about an attitude which says that spouses give themselves freely, totally and exclusively to each other and have a culture of openness to one another and to life. It is about fostering good communication and having a sense of taking equal responsibility and make decisions mutually in family-planning.

It is about respect and understanding sexuality and the idea that children are blessings and  a manifestation of married love.

It is about making your marriage about the kind of all encompassing love that makes your heart skip that beat, your breath catch and the energy to wake up every day to live out your marriage with love and devotion to the person next to you until death do you part.