My husband Chad and I share our story as an NFP teaching couple.
Chad and I met in college. Just a couple of nerds studying math together.
We began dating in September 2007. Around Christmas time that year, Chad took me aside and told me he’d decided to join the Catholic Church.
I was so excited! This was a huge moment for me.
I had grown up Catholic, and it was important to me that the person I married would support me in living my faith and passing it on to our children.
In July 2008 we were engaged, and in August Chad received Confirmation.
Because of my devout Catholic upbringing, the choice for Natural Family Planning was a no-brainer for me. Chad and I studied NFP during our engagement, and charted together for about a year before we were married in 2010.
The decision to become Catholic was one of the biggest of my life, but was also surprisingly easy.
I went to a protestant church for a while when I was young, but then went many years without any practice of religion. I always felt that I wanted to know God better, but often thought I was too busy.
When I met Sara, and then her large happy family, I immediately felt at home. I began to attend Mass with them regularly, and quickly saw that the Catholic Church was the one true Church promised to us by Jesus, the Son of the living God.
As I studied to come into the Church, I realized I had a long road to having the relationship with God that I wanted. I committed myself to following the teachings of the Church as fully as possible, and have come a long way, although there will always be more work to be done.
With this commitment to the Church, NFP is the only choice for our marriage. Knowing what I know now, I would not choose anything else, because there’s no other way for me to show my wife the same kind of love and respect that comes out of using NFP.
There’s no other way for me to show my wife the same kind of love and respect that comes out of using NFP. Tweet this.
Throughout our marriage, we’ve used NFP to postpone and achieve pregnancy, to help us navigate through the tough postpartum transitions, and even to identify health problems.
One big thing I have learned from my experience of NFP is how to communicate more honestly with Chad. When we first met, Chad always seemed so comfortable talking about tough topics. I was completely the opposite: if something is important, sad, or embarrassing, my natural tendency is to avoid talking about it.
Obviously, when we’re practicing NFP, there are a lot of embarrassing things we’re going to have to talk about!
Just getting comfortable talking about sexuality and fertile signs was a big task for me.
And then there’s the part where we have to discuss our decisions about intimacy, and how the possibility of new life will affect our family.
I also had to learn how to respectfully communicate my wants and needs. After the birth of our second child, it was a rough postpartum time for me, and my body was feeling maxed out. I wanted to feel more cared for spiritually and emotionally, so I asked Chad if we could pray before sex. Chad agreed to the idea, and although it seemed weird at first, it really opened up another dimension in our relationship, and made a world of difference in the way we approach each other regarding sexual intimacy.
Without the pathways of conversation opened up by NFP, I would never have been brave enough to make such a strange-seeming request.
According to the Church, every marital embrace should be a total gift of self, with nothing held back. In this way, that act is truly a renewal of our wedding vows, where we promised to give ourselves fully and totally to each other for the rest of our lives.
Natural Family Planning is a way for Sara and me to live up to this call, while still being responsible and having control over the size of our family.
Understanding how my wife’s body works allows us to abstain during fertile times when we have reason to postpone pregnancy. It’s not easy, and takes a good deal of sacrifice and self-control.
I know that if I want to live a healthy life, I need to eat right and exercise, even though it may not be easy. I believe that if Sara and I want to have a healthy marriage, we need to live out our vows to the best of our ability, and try our best to understand and follow God’s plan for marriage, even when it may not be easy.
NFP gives us the way to do this.
To have a healthy marriage, we need to try to follow God’s plan, even when it’s not be easy. Tweet this.
I have been so blessed to have Chad’s full acceptance and support in using NFP.
I take the lead on recording observations, and he keeps daily communication flowing about what’s happening in my cycle and in our intimate life. We interpret our charts together, and together make decisions regarding planning or postponing pregnancy.
His involvement has been amazing for our marriage and our family, and has enabled us to share the vision of Catholic marriage with others.
Over the years, we found ourselves becoming a sort of go-to couple for NFP questions in our community. I, particularly, began seeing a real lack of information among my friends and couples in our community and a great need for support. I found that couples were beginning to learn NFP in the midst of stressful financial or emotional situations, and the stress of having to learn this right now was overwhelming for them.
I had done my best to support these individuals and answer their questions, but realized that if I wanted to help people, I needed to make sure that I was qualified.
I found CCL’s teacher training program, and Chad and I decided to combine our shared love for teaching with our NFP lifestyle. In 2015 we began our journey as CCL NFP teacher candidates.
The practice of Natural Family Planning has been very positive for our marriage. Through it, we have learned self-sacrifice and communication, and continue to grow in love and respect.
We’re very excited to share our experience with you and to spread the word on this marriage-strengthening lifestyle.
We hope you discover the same joy and fulfillment we have through NFP.