Catholics Do What?, Contraception, infertility, Marriage, motherhood, NFP, Parenting, PPD, Sex

NFP in real life: hard, but worth it {an interview with the Denver Catholic}

July 24, 2017

Jenny Uebbing, who writes at Mama Needs Coffee, recently asked her readership, “What do you want/need from the Church in order to live NFP?” and the resulting comments were numerous … and eye-opening.

Many people are seriously struggling with living it out.

The difficulties are as varied as the people themselves: Crosses in all shapes and sizes, including infertility on one end of the spectrum and super-abundant fertility on the other, making it hard to space children apart. Long periods of abstinence, medical problems, feeling isolated from instructors, finding trained doctors or other like-minded people are just some of the other common hardships.

“People are so hungry for support from the Church, who they’re trying to be faithful to,” Uebbing said. “And a lot of people are feeling that the Church doesn’t see them in this particular struggle, or have anything to offer past marriage prep short of an emergency intervention when they’re on the brink of divorce. There’s no middle ground.”

….

(Read the rest over at the Denver Catholic)

5 Comments

  • Reply Claire July 25, 2017 at 5:45 am

    Excellent article, and you nailed it when you said that avoiding pregnancy shouldn’t be the default, but that couples should be trusted to form their own consciences when discerning just cause for avoiding/postponing. My only complaint is that I wish there had been more said about the struggles of couples who use NFP to address infertility/miscarriages.

  • Reply MK July 25, 2017 at 7:47 am

    Beautifully done, Jenny! It was eye opening to me, and I agree, there really need to be more resources and knowledge within the Church about all of these things, to support couples during these struggles. If they figure the priests or their parish/archdiocese/diocese know little about this, they probably will be too timid to approach anyone formally to discuss.

    You also brought up an interesting point about how we jump from marriage prep, as a Church, to emergency intervention when a couple is considering divorce. I happen to be very close to a couple who is in the latter stage right now, sadly. We’ve been praying for them, and I think they like many average Catholics don’t even know there are resources in the Church to which/whom they can turn, or where to go next. They just turn, as your article points out, to secular society’s solution – either secular counseling or divorce, or both. It’s been hard to watch even others around them who are Catholic – especially older folks who I feel like should know better (?) – almost or actually advocating for the secular solutions. I feel like I’m up against a huge mountain to get past all of this noise, although I know prayer will help!

    That said, if you or anyone has suggestions for this couple that I could share…I am clearly not an expert, either (thankfully, in my own life)! I would REALLY appreciate them 🙂 Thank you!

  • Reply Melissa July 25, 2017 at 4:36 pm

    Alright here is a practical question that I am hoping someone can help me with some ideas. I was really inspired by the articles and all the comments from your survey, and I reached out to the NFP office in my archdiocese to become a representative at my parish (you can become a representative couple to help “meet the needs of your parish in terms of NFP”…whatever that happens to mean for your particular parish.) I have been married six years, have three kids, and am only now in a phase of postponing pregnancy for a while for really the first time- AKA i am not super experienced, I just happen to care about this a lot. I have since found out that apparently our parish has quite a few couples, some of them who have been married 30 ish years who practice NFP, speak on NFP and marriage in marriage prep courses ect….but there is no so-called “community” as far as NFP or married couples goes. I AM feeling like our parish needs more of a sense of community, and resources for the families actually living this out, and not just for the engaged couples, but I am balking at the idea of trying to organize this when I have so very little experience myself, and also I have NO idea where to start. I’ve reached out to a few couples who I am hoping to get together to talk to but then….what? Haha. If there was a good starting point for getting something going in our parish, what would it be? I need to go back and read some of those comments again because I know there were a lot of good ideas there. Anyway this was long and rambling, but my priest is on board, and I know there are other couples on board, but now we need to actually figure out WHAT TO DO haha
    Any wisdom from anyone would be appreciated here, because i am obviously clueless

  • Reply Kathleen July 26, 2017 at 5:50 am

    Great article, Jenny! My very prolife doctor is telling me he is very nervous about me having more kids after this current pregnancy with #5. I am still very young and disorganized, but I chose Christ, I chose his Church and so we will choose NFP .. When I got married I thought we wouldn’t need NFP because we wanted a billion kids but God is showing me that he may have other plans and I am so grateful that NFP come so far in the last 30 years… For the first time ever, I heard my pastor talk about NFP in a homily.. so refreshing to feel supported by the Church!

  • Reply Anna July 27, 2017 at 10:56 am

    Jenny I enjoyed you article very much! I struggle with using NFP with a husband who is only agreeing to it because its what I want. I loved how you made the distinction between Protestant chastity and Catholic chastity–they are so different! thanks so much! I needed to read this!

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