From the Family Foundations archives
OK, I admit it: Part of me thinks it would be fun to be Attila the Hun. I would pull on my helmet and leap upon my warhorse. As the battle horn sounded, I would brandish my javelin and howl, urging my fierce steed into the front of the attack. Let the Roman chumps work all year to grow food and make wine. Let the goldsmiths and the artists and the monks make fine works of civilization. My warriors and I will sweep down upon them whenever we want, reaping a rich harvest with our swords. How the world will tremble when we sound our horns!
Attila the Huns, with his mounted archers, rolling siege towers and irresistible battering rams, is long gone. But today’s men have more opportunities than ever to exploit, abuse, loot and use — often with relish and abandon. Jesus reveals a different way. He says that we cannot possess even what is our own until we give away for the good of others what has been entrusted to us (Luke 16:12). A man is made not for exploitation but to protect and make fruitful what is good and true and beautiful.
For a married man, of course, this starts with his treasured companion for life, his wife. Contraception and sterilization are exploitative means of obtaining pleasure from his wife while avoiding responsibility. Natural family planning is a way to honor his wife and to respect the integrity of her body and soul. It requires not the subjugation of his wife’s body to artificial hormones or devices but rather the discipline to master his own urges and make them fruitful according to reason and love. As a father, a man is also called to protect his children and to help them develop into the unique and loving persons God intends them to be.
A man’s responsibilities, of course, do not stop with his family. Our society has embraced a notion of freedom so extreme and destructive that it might make old Attila himself blush with shame. Talk about destroying civilization! Today’s selfish notion of freedom is enshrined in the sexual revolution and is founded on the enticing falsehood that we have a right to invent our own standards of right and wrong. Good and faithful men, in conjunction with their wives and families, we must stand up for a real freedom, a freedom rooted in the objective truth that encourages what is really good and protects what is truly beautiful. We are free, in fact, as we become the loving people God intends us to be.
Although not many people have been given the opportunity to understand it, natural family planning is a key component in the battle for the souls of the people of our time. Those few who do understand this must do something about it beyond living it in their own lives. Those who have discovered the importance of NFP are called to teach, promote, donate and pray.
The horns have sounded. The battle is raging. Something far worse than Attila the Hun has already breached the walls. The chance is at hand to pour yourself out to protect and make fruitful what is true, good and beautiful. Someone must do it. If not you, who will?
— Deacon William Turrentine began teaching with CCL in 1985 and has been a Board member since 2007.