If you have a moment check out Mary Alice's new article at Busted Halo. Mary Alice discusses the "why" of NFP--and does so beautifully. I hope and pray that some hearts are changed by her words.
And while we are on this topic, I want to add a little bit about why me and my husband teach NFP.
Mr. Red and I began our own NFP journey in college. Like most young women who don't belive in artificial methods of contraception, I was a nervous wreck that NFP wouldn't work and I'd be barefoot and pregnant in the kitchen with 10 children. Once I realized that NFP actually worked, we were relieved and then excited to share the good news with other couples.
We didn't decide to become NFP instructors, however, until we started helping with the pre-cana at our local parish. At any pre-cana, divorce is on the minds of those running the workshop. Seeing how Catholic engaged couples have a similar divorce rate to the national average (over 50%!), and couples that practice NFP have less than a 2% divorce rate, we saw NFP as a basic self-help principle to creating more stable lasting marriages.
And that gets me to the point of my post, and the heart of what Mary Alice has already written. If NFP was really just Catholic contraception, these divorce rate numbers wouldn't make sense. While NFP is just as effective as the pill or other chemical contraceptives, it is fundamentally different than these other methods of contraception. NFP alters the way we think about our sexuality and it alters the way we think about our marriage. It radically changes our hearts to love and to listen to God's call for our lives. And this is the reason that many couples who practice NFP have larger families. God has changed their hearts and given them the grace to welcome a larger than average number of children into their family.
The Church doesn't condemn the use of contraceptives in our marriage because She wants to be mean and make our lives difficult. Rather, the Church wants our marriages to succeed, and our lives to be holy and full of love. The Church in her great wisdom has laid out a blueprint for success in marriage. We teach NFP because we want other couples to have a successful, love filled, and blessed marriage.
Thanks Mary Alice for engaging this really important topic. You are a wonderful example of the beautiful openness to life in marriage. Prayers for you as you prepare to welcome your newest addition.