NFP Awareness Week is July 25-31, 2010.
This week comes along every year, and reminds us to appreciate the gift we are given in our marriage. Many couples are not aware of the blessings of Natural Family Planning, and I feel sad for them. I feel lucky that I was exposed to the truth before it was a "threat" to me. I do believe, however, that no matter when someone is exposed to NFP, they can turn from their contraceptive mentality to use the truth of God's gift of love in marriage.
I was in a bible study at my church, and at the time, was not dating anyone to consider for marriage, so marriage and children were far from my mind. One of the women in class handed everyone a cassette tape when they walked in, and nothing was said about it. I was cleaning my apartment one day, and popped the tape in to play as I was cleaning. Everything she said made perfect sense to me, and I am thankful every day for the gift that woman gave to me that night. That tape was "Contraception, Why Not?" by Dr. Janet Smith. She speaks very candidly about love and marriage and sex, and why it makes perfect sense for married love to be without contraception.
When I started dating my husband, I told him upfront that I had no intention of having sex until marriage, and he tells me now that he was impressed and relieved when I told him that. It takes a lot of pressure off a relationship to know that it is just not an option until the wedding night. Not to say it isn't difficult - it is definitely a struggle to wait, but SO WORTH IT! I didn't immediately talk to him about contraception, until it became apparent that we were moving toward marriage. At that point, I told him I had a tape I would like for him to listen to. Actually, if I remember correctly, I had him listen to another tape first that wasn't just about contraception, but incorporated the Church's teaching. Then I had him listen to the Janet Smith tape. When I asked him what he thought, he said that it made perfect sense to him too, and we moved forward in our discussions. I had already talked to my gynecologist a little bit about NFP, but not in great detail. He had given me copies of charts, but I didn't have the full course until shortly before our wedding, when I bought the home study course from The Couple To Couple League (http://www.ccli.org/). We later took a course from a teaching couple (after our first child was born, and we wanted to postpone a little while longer). Ironically enough, during that course, I became pregnant with our second child. ;-) Like I said, we were hoping to postpone, but we also knew that we were "taking a chance" by being a little bit "slack" on following the rules.
We believe that God has blessed us in His time, with the 2 children we have, and will use our openness to life to bless us with any other children he has planned for us. We hope that you will allow Him to fulfill His plan for your married love too. You will be forever grateful, as we are!
Happy NFP Awareness Week!