A new child is one of the most amazing gifts that a couple can receive. The child serves as a sign of his parents’ love and becomes a lifelong adventure for the couple as they learn to form and nurture him. The grave nature of this obligation means that it is important for a couple to exercise responsible parenthood even in regards to fertility. While the easy solution within our society is to use contraception in order to bar fertility from the union of husband and wife, that action has consequences that are far more serious than a couple would ever expect. In 1968 in his encyclical letter Humanae Vitae, Pope Paul VI warned that if the use of contraceptives became widespread, marital infidelity would increase, men would lose respect for their beloved, and immorality would increase especially among the youth. Looking at the trends over the past 40 years, his predictions have been strikingly accurate.
The solution for married couples is surprisingly simple although often not widely discussed. That is why this week has been nationally declared Natural Family Planning Awareness Week. NFP is a way for couples to regulate fertility based on the natural signs in a woman’s cycle. It is 99% accurate and is helpful for couples to both avoid and achieve pregnancy. Through NFP, husbands are able to elevate their wives by understanding her body and respecting its design. It promotes sincere communication and allows the couple to revere the gift of life through every stage of their marriage. Statistically, couples using NFP stay together. Studies show that the divorce rate for NFP couples is under 5% compared to the 50% national average. Women also do not have to face the physical consequences of a pill designed to make her body work improperly. Take advantage of this week by learning more about NFP. Perhaps it is something to consider for your own marriage or to share with couples that you know.
Here is a link to more resources from the Diocese of Sioux Falls: Respect Life Office.
May God bless our marriages and families!