Natural Family Planning: the Healthy, Holy Choice

“Organic” is in: plenty of us make sure to buy only free-range chickens, shop in the organic sections of the grocery store and purchase eco-friendly household products, promising to subdue the effects of global warming or climate change.  So why is it that many women don’t give a second thought to the chemicals they ingest everyday to ensure that pregnancy will not interfere with the marital act?

I often wonder why environmentally conscious married couples aren’t lining up to learn more about the natural ways that they can achieve and avoid pregnancy.  Not only does Natural Family Planning (NFP) ensure that women don’t have to fill their bodies with synthetic hormones but it also compels husbands to partner with their wives in taking responsibility for deciding when to engage in sexual activity. 

How many women actually read the warning labels on their birth control packages?  The lighter side effects consist of nausea, moodiness and weight gain while the more serious side effects (directed at women over 35) include blood clots, strokes and cancer.  Why would we risk such side effects when there are healthy, effective alternatives?

NFP also fosters self-mastery and reminds couples that sex is meant for both union and procreation.  It opens up the lines of communication between husbands and wives.  It encourages couples to talk about the outcomes of their sexual union and hopefully motivates them to enter into conversation with God as they plan their families.

Think about it: parents are co-creators with God.  They are stewards of their children and over creation. I encourage you to take time during Natural Family Planning Awareness Week, July 25 to July 31 (the dates coincide with the anniversary of the encyclical, Humane Vitae — July 25 — and the feast of Sts. Joachim and Anne, the parents of the Blessed Mother) to learn more about the spiritual and environmental benefits of NFP.

For information on classes being offering in the Diocese of Arlington, visit here.  For a an indispensible on-line pamphlet that outlines the amazing benefits of Natural Family Planning visit here or to read personal stories about the ways in which NFP has changed the lives of married couples visit here.

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