The fruitfulness of NFP

| David and Kayla Meier | July 17, 2013 | 0 Comments

2013NFPposterMarriage is a loaded, contested word these days. Everyone seems to have a different idea on what it is, and what it looks like. The Church teaches that three essential factors of marriage are that it be faithful, fruitful, and forever. We may feel at a loss as to how to make that point in our society today; we’ve called the legislators, we are still praying, but we really feel that one of the best things to do as Catholics is to live our own marriages well. To do that, we need to be martyrs, of a sort.

The witness we can give in our culture isn’t so much being martyred in the streets, as in times past, but living life and marriage well. It sounds too simple, but actions can speak louder than words (and definitions).

Married almost three years and using natural family planning since day one, NFP has provided opportunities for us to communicate and love each other as God has asked us to. NFP has demanded that selfishness be routed out of our relationship. This helps us in two ways, by conforming us to the image of God the Father, and maintaining the fruitfulness of the marital act — even in times of abstinence or infertility.

NFP teaches a couple to understand the woman’s natural cycle to determine periods of fertility (and infertility). Abstinence is required during fertile periods to avoid pregnancy. “Humanae Vitae” points out that this is, “using a faculty provided (the married couple) by nature,” in contrast to birth control that, “obstructs the natural development of the generative process.” One isn’t asking their spouse to change anything about themselves. It is this intentional cooperation with one another while growing in patience and understanding of each other that leads to the benefits derived from NFP.

A general rule in current society is that whatever happens behind closed doors is my own business. As Catholics, we believe that we are all one body in Christ. Your choices will affect me, and vice versa. There are many ways we can point out how living contrary to natural law in this area has harmed us as a society — hormonal contraceptives are in our water affecting wildlife, our children are practically being forced to get HPV vaccines, etc. Living according to natural law and using NFP is a clear statement to our spouses that we love them unconditionally. This radiates out into the rest of the marital relationship and speaks volumes on choosing to be fruitful and witnessing a beauty in the marital act, which so clearly shows the complementarity of men and women.

We define marriage by living it. Our martyrdom is living a life set apart, a life that doesn’t conform to society.

The Meiers are members of St. Peter in North St. Paul.

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Category: The Lesson Plan