- Karol Wojtyla, Love and Responsibility
then you probably should walk away now :-) You've been warned. Lol.
Nathan and I have been married for 3 years this summer and I still can't get over the goodness of God's order and design for man and woman in marriage. You know, from the very beginning God was trying to tell us what's up, “So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them. God blessed them and said to them, 'Be fruitful and increase in number; fill the earth and subdue it...'” (Gen. 1:27-28). I imagine this whole thing going down at the first WEDDING CEREMONY... Adam and Eve standing in awe of the gift of each other in the presence of God... and this was his HOMILY – this was his BLESSING on them.
I tell Nathan all the time, because I love to talk about contraception, remember? lol... that I can't imagine what our marriage would be like if contraception was part of it.
Here's what I can gather on contraception inside of marriage...
treats pregnancy as a disease that should be avoided at all costs
harmful side effects (many contraceptives are actually listed as harmful carcinogens)
prone to failure / leads to spouses condemning each other
can turn sex into a habit
can make conception and sustaining a pregnancy difficult in the future
messes with hormones for both men and women
is known to decrease sex drive
opens the door for infidelity / a spouse can be unfaithful without repercussions
sends the message to your spouse that you want all of them (what gives you pleasure) EXCEPT their fertility
I could go on and on and on....
So we're all just supposed to get married and pro-create like rabbits, right?!?!? Here's what my favorite late pope, JP2, has to say to that...
Here's where the Church hands us the gift of Natural Family Planning! To use NFP a couple must take an upclose and personal look at the woman's cycle. A truly beautiful ART to master -for both the man and woman. This raw, organic approach to having a family can be such a blessing and answers the skeptic's rebuttal: “God not only said to procreate, but to SUBDUE the earth... responsible parenthood!” Yes, we ARE to subdue the earth and take care of what God has given us. NFP empowers a couple to prayerfully discern whether it is a good time to conceive a child or not. If not – couples can abstain from sexual union during the fertile phase.... and “God-willing” postpone pregnancy until the discerned time. I say “God-willing” because without contraception in the way there is ALWAYS a chance that God can act. An NFP couple allows God to trump EVERY TIME! They are OPEN, in a sense, because they have not closed the way with artificial instruments.
Natural Family Planning allows a couple to...
communicate more about each others' bodies
pRAY and DISCERN together about their marriage and family
keep the passion alive by taking breaks from sexual activity to work on other ways of loving
avoid harmful side effects, both physical, emotional, and spiritual – NFP is natural goodness
build virtue together
increase their LOVE and RESPECT for each other
frees a couple from being bound by sexual desires and allows them to be GIFT OF SELF
embrace ALL of the other with no reservations or barriers in the way
ETC. ETC. ETC.
- Aristotle , 366 B.C., Nicomachean Ethics
I love and respect my husband so much for being interested and taking the time to learn my body's unique rhythm. I feel like he is MAN for me as he takes care of my WHOLE person, especially by denying his own sexual desires to honor God inside of our marriage.
And can I just say that I LOVE the joy we share each month at the idea of conceiving another child. Because we are “open” there is always a little excitement at the idea of God working through our union to bring about HIS will! The other night we had a conversation that went something like this...
“Oh it was good. I woke up from my nap with the kids and felt nauseous though.”
**Nathan cocks head slightly with a playful grin as he bends over and starts talking to my STOMACH!....**
“Hello, little baby!!! Hello hello!!! I LOVE YOU!”
WARNING: THIS IS NOT A PREGNANCY ANNOUNCEMENT ...
Just a good way to share our JOY of being open to life with you :-)
I'm going to close with one of my favorite paragraphs from G.K. Chesterton's, Orthodoxy:
God creates because he LOVES to LOVE. If we are indeed made in His image, perhaps it is the same for us. Husband and wife, united to the Father, LOVE to love! And since LOVE is creative it brings forth new creation... and we LOVE 'em up – one baby at a time!
THEN COMES MARRIAGE...
THEN COMES CREATION GOODNESS!