July 22, 2013

Why Do You Love NFP: A Husband's Response

In honor of Natural Family Planning Awareness Week, I asked Thomas if he'd write a post from a man's perspective! As a wise Pope said in Humane Vitae - "Among the fruits that ripen if the law of God be resolutely obeyed, the most precious is certainly this, that married couples themselves will often desire to communicate their own experience to others."  That is so true! We have been so blessed and can't help but want to share our experience with others!  
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Why do you love NFP?

When Caitlin asked me that, I didn’t think she wanted a full written response. She did. So here it goes.

Practicing NFP has brought many new and exciting elements to our relationship over the last year and a half. It has taught both of us a huge deal about each other – our goals, our dreams, and our fears. It has given us ample opportunities to discuss our plans for the future and for our family. But most importantly, it has taught us to see each other as God sees us. This last gift, for me personally, has been the most rewarding and enlightening of all.

I’ll admit that NFP scared the daylights out of me when Caitlin first suggested it. No one I knew used it, and everything in the media told me it wouldn’t work if we were trying to avoid pregnancy. After getting the biological facts straight, I still questioned the method. Why wouldn’t everyone use it if it’s effective? The answer is simple – NFP does require that you put yourself second. Guys, if you can’t do that for your wife, you might have a problem on your hands. When you can get over that hurdle, you will only look back to laugh at how crazy you were not to use it all along.

I think it’s safe to say that my wife is like most in that she enjoys getting gifts from her husband. NFP has allowed me to give her one of the biggest gifts of all – total sacrifice and selfless love. Practicing NFP forces you to deny your selfish desires, open your eyes to what God wants you to see, and to love unconditionally and selflessly.

Guys, the best way for me to describe my experience is this: Imagine your wife or girlfriend. Think about how beautiful she is (even when she thinks she’s at her worst.) Imagine all those time that she has brought nothing but happiness to your life. Imagine those times that she’s been the perfect fit for you – whether it’s because she’s equally goofy, would rather play sports than shop, or because she’s just as into football as you are.

Now multiply that love and admiration by ten million. That’s what NFP will do for you. Every morning, you’ll wake up and see the most beautiful, perfect, amazing woman there could ever be, and you’ll go about your entire day making sure you love and respect that woman in every way possible. See, that’s the amazing power of NFP – you become so much more aware of how blessed you are to have this person in your life, and you realize just how important it is to let them know that, whether you’re with them or not. You become so much more faithful to your spouse, and so much more aware of how you view them and all other women.
 
NFP doesn’t take away temptation and lust, but it does help you to reject it before it develops. When you constantly have the most perfect woman on your mind, how much easier is it to say no to the lure of those magazines at the checkout counter? When those temptations arise, it’s as if God taps you on the shoulder and reminds you just how lucky you are. NFP allows you to get those “taps” earlier and often, more forcefully. I’m not saying it’s always easy to avoid temptation, but I can assure you, the closeness you’ll feel with your partner will make it so much easier to overcome it. 

For any guy reading this who’s like me, and your wife/girlfriend is way out of your league, it’s already second nature to turn away from temptation simply because you can’t imagine losing them. With NFP, however, your reasons are less selfish. You turn away from that magazine because it’s a sign that you love and respect your wife and that she’s the only woman you need to see in that capacity.

There’s another reason I see NFP as a gift that I give Caitlin on a daily basis. Simply read the endless list of side-effects on most contraceptive wrappers and you’ll know what I mean. By practicing NFP, I can rest assured knowing that I am keeping Caitlin’s body safe from all those horrible chemicals and harmful, long-term consequences. If you’re not aware of these, check out Caitlin’s post on the subject.

Finally, NFP has caused a dramatic U-turn in how I look at children and starting a family. For me, children were always something I hoped for, but not until I had achieved every other goal on my bucket list. Great job, nice house, overflowing bank account. NFP provided a much-needed reality check and forced me to reorganize my priorities. I think this is tied to the overall theme of NFP – discarding selfishness and thinking more about your partner, your marriage, and God’s wishes for you.  At the end of my life, whether it’s tomorrow or sixty years from now, I don’t want to look back and regret my pursuit of material things in place of the wondrous and miraculous joys that God planned for all of us.
One last word for the guys reading – I haven’t even met my first child yet, but I can’t fathom that a big house, a sweet car, a perfect job, or any other material thing could EVER bring me this much happiness. Oh and on top of that, I know that my wife feels loved, feels beautiful, and knows that I respect her in every way. It’s a scary step to take, but making the jump to NFP is the greatest decision you’ll ever make. 

For more information on NFP, check out this list of resources! Please feel free to ask me or Thomas any questions! :)

20 comments:

  1. This post made me tear up. Your relationship is a model for Catholic couples. Now, find me a man like your husband please!

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  2. This is so incredibly beautiful. What a great idea to get the male perspective! You two are such a wonderful example of a married couple living out God's will in your lives, and how NFP has played a part in that!

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  3. Beautifully written and so true!

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  4. Thomas, this is a beautiful post. Thank you so much for this point of view! You guys are truly an amazing couple. Thank you for opening our eyes to NFP!

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  5. So beautiful!!! Love this post. Just ran across this today, and it is encouraging to see men so in love with NFP! If you need any encouragement this is a great video to watch :)Someone posted this for natural family planning awareness week! http://resources.archkck.org/media/mAR3Lt

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  6. wow. what a witness. mega thanks to Thomas for sharing his perspective.

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  7. I just love this! Thanks to Thomas for sharing!!

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  8. I really enjoyed reading this.
    I can totally tell how in love you are with Caitlin and how much you just want to protect her. It's hard to find men who were so open to God's will, and fearlessly so.

    Andrea
    (I sent this link to my boyfriend!)

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  9. This is such a great post, highlighting not just NFP but how marriage can be full of self-giving love. You are very lucky to have such a loving husband!

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  10. Speechless here. That was beautiful in ways I can't express in words.

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  11. Good thing he's taken, or he would be attacked ;)

    I love when he says he married someone out of his league. Oh my gosh, you guys are so sweet, and I couldn't be happier for you!

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  12. Awesome job, Thomas! Wonderfully written, and I love the points you made! Thanks for asking him to post, Caitlin, I think it's so good for men to see other men talking about NFP in an enthusiastic way. :)

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  13. Wonderful to hear another guy's (another Thomas's) perspective. man-to-man: this ispired me, in a "as iron sharpens iron" sort of way.

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  14. While I think it's great to hear from women about NFP, it's wonderful to hear from the guys every now and then! I think more men would be aware of/on board with NFP (especially before their girlfriend/fiance/wife brings it up) if they heard about it more often from other men. Thanks so much for sharing this. :)

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  15. Agree with every single commenter above! You guys ARE the most beautiful married couple I have ever known or heard of. Your relationship seems so perfect ....because you both are in love with the Almighty and have surrendered your lives to His holy will. There is nothing more beautiful and true. I wish more guys knew about NFP and realized just how much it changes one's life.

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  16. this is Ann; lovely, thoughtful piece! {cannot figure out other options yet}

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  17. this is ^Ann ^again; can Caitlin reference the book, "Natural Family Planning, The Complete Approach," at another of her blogs? I cannot figure out how to comment there at an older one? Blessed JPII said that NFP must be taught in a moral context and this book has a great nutshell-question-and-answer chapter on Catholic teaching about it; take a peek at www.nfpandmore.org it also has the ecological breastfeeding information that many do not grasp well but wish to do! Education helps! Best wishes w/this lovely site

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  18. Awesome, awesome post! Great idea to invite your husband to present his view, Caitlin :) And Thomas, you sound so much like my husband, its lovely!! It is so refreshing to hear of such an honest and pure love of a man for his wife. I can tell God is at the center of your marriage in the way you two are so selflessly in love.

    God bless you two and that baby!!

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