"After I started studying NFP I learned it allows people to experience free, total, faithful and fruitful love while also allowing the responsible spacing of children." -Pilar
Taking a stand early on
PILAR: A few years before I met Adam, I read the book Theology of the Body for Beginners by Christopher West, which is based on St. John Paul II’s reflections on God’s plan for the human body and the marital embrace. I learned that God intended for sex to be a selfless act between spouses and that selfless sex allows us to experience the love we long for in the depths of our hearts. I was really inspired by this book. I knew I wanted to fully give myself to my future husband. That meant sex the way God intended it: free, total, faithful and fruitful sex. Only God has the power to create life as a result of the marital act, and this book taught me that contracepting is saying that God’s presence is not desired. I also knew I wanted to be responsible about the number of children I had. I didn’t want to have 17 kids! After I started studying NFP I learned it allows people to experience free, total, faithful and fruitful love while also allowing the responsible spacing of children.
ADAM: I had been raised Catholic but had not been taught anything about NFP. I was skeptical about NFP because the only people I knew who had practiced it were close friends of mine, and they had four kids and one on the way! Because of this, I associated NFP with having a lot of kids. I didn’t learn until later that their family size was planned and NFP helped shape their positive outlook on children.
PILAR: When we first started dating I told Adam about my decision to practice NFP and that I couldn’t be happily married while using contraception. I associated contracepting with using each other’s bodies for pleasure. I wanted sex within marriage to be so much more than that.
ADAM: What I’ve found is that the periods of abstinence aren’t as much of a burden as I feared, and they do help us to focus more on emotional intimacy within our marriage. For example, when we have decided to abstain we spend more time sitting and talking to each other after dinner is over. We drink wine and play something on the Wii. We take our dog on extra long walks. One time we even had a date where we made a pizza from scratch. We are able to get more value out of the time we spend with each other.
Another benefit is that we look forward to our physical intimacy with the same eagerness we looked forward to our honeymoon. We don’t believe we have less sex than couples who contracept; we simply time it differently. This is a small sacrifice in comparison to the many other benefits of NFP.