Written by Jim Volpe. Originally published in Family Foundations.
In marriage, two people become greater than they would be separately, joining together and leading to an abundance of life and love. It is a pleasure to work together and volunteer my time with my wife as we help other couples to have joy filled marriages through NFP. While teaching side-by-side, we not only fill in for each other when one of us is sick or caring for a child, we also demonstrate in our relationship that our marriage is a gift that we would like to share with our students.
Through our years of working together, I have been able to overcome reservations and share important fertility information with women and men who had never heard it. Hopefully, I have also been a model to men so that they can be comfortable in learning more about their wives even if they are awkward or are not initially comfortable with these topics. In this way, they grow further as a husband by facing a challenge, not exactly fighting a dragon to save a princess, but by fighting their own reservations and growing in knowledge so they are better able to serve their wives and understand their daughters.
I still think discussing mucus with my wife should be uncomfortable for me. Teaching other couples about how to read mucus for fertility charting, should even be more uncomfortable. But with my wife at my side, we share our experience and knowledge that we learned together. Our journey together gives us the confidence to share it with others, so they can become knowledgeable on their fertility journey as a couple. When we were teaching in person, we were able to give witness of this trust and ease in all our interactions about all things NFP. With new technologies allowing us to now teach online classes, my wife and I have been remotely teaching large classes across the country. We still schedule time with each student couple so that we can meet them as a couple and mentor them in marriage while checking that they have learned the NFP material.
Although the CCL class material is wonderful, there is more to the charm of CCL than just the STM method that is taught. I often tell students that I choose to teach with CCL because it is the best overall and general teaching about NFP that I have found, for the average couple. The Sympto-Thermal Method (STM) is a great basis for gaining a general understanding of fertility. I talk happily about our students who choose other methods, especially the Creighton Method and its support for overcoming infertility, but I always come back to CCL and the STM. I appreciate how CCL’s STM method focuses on knowing all the signs of fertility and how they work together to give a full picture, which is better than the few data points that were recorded. I am thankful that teaching as a couple has enabled us to be a witness to a joyful marriage to other couples for over 18 years, with many more to come.