“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! :)