This post was originally written in April at the beginning of my training to become an NFP teacher. The loving and fact filled message has been on my mind as I have been challenged on the benefits and difference of NFP v. AC
I went to a NFP class this Saturday and that was the theme throughout the 2 hour lesson. The couple teaching was funny and had some great stories from 47 years of marriage. They had a very simple and straightforward way of explaining how they try to love and respect each other every day.
They talked about Bible references and theology but it all seemed to come down to one thing - respect each other and God's plan for our lives. We are wonderfully made, created in the image of God. Every NFP class has the same statement thrown in at some point: Fertility is normal - not a medical disorder. God gave us the gift of fertility and we need to respect that gift. Trying to artificially suppress that gift is the difference between Natural Family Planning and barrier methods. The Catholic Church's argument against birth control has more to do with changing our body's natural rhythm and possibly miscarrying than preventing conception and most people are not aware of that. Not every loving act is expected to yield a high chance of conception since the woman's body is not always fertile. Normal is a woman that is fertile 6-10 days a month. In relation to that, I learned that fertility treatments are supported by the Church as long as it is bringing the couple back to the normal range and not choosing from six embryos. To simply put the theology - God's plan is perfect so why try to change it?