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NFP is for Real Men

May 16th, 2013by Joshua Danis

lecture hallI recently attended a lecture that discussed just how healthy the practice of natural family planning is for a couple.  The speakers showed the strong correlation between the use of natural birth regulation methods and divorce-proof marriages.  They discussed the benefits of improved communication, improved understanding of a wife’s psychology as it relates to her body, the deepening sense of respect men develop for their wives, and the value of mutually delayed gratification.  All in all, I thought it was a pretty compelling case.

I almost fell out of my chair later that day when I discovered why so many men were rejecting natural family planning.  At first, I thought they might challenge some specific element of the data in the findings.  But that was not it at all.  Instead, many men (and even some women)appeared to be rejecting Natural Family Planning because the costs seemed to outweigh the benefits in their minds. WHAT?!

Never mind the fact that over the course of a marriage, couples who practice NFP report having as many instances of sexual intimacy as their contracepting counterparts.  How could anyone honestly admit to themselves that the benefits of sex-on-demand could possibly outweigh the freedom and joy of heightened intimacy, more stable life-long friendship, and greater self-mastery?

This experience struck me in a whole new way.  I realized that Natural Family Planning is something for real men only.  It is for men like St. Joseph; men who are willing to become lords over their own immediate desires for the benefit of their wives and children.  It is for men who choose virtue in every part of their life; rather than ever embracing an excuse to license in some.  It is for men who can see the simple truth that small sacrifices today pay dividends in a more fulfilled family for years to come.

Natural Family Planning is not something that authentic husbands and fathers just stumble into.  Nor do they half-heartedly accept it at their wife’s insistence.  It is something they examine, grapple with, and then embrace with fiercely committed hearts.

Gentlemen, if this is a new concept to you, I invite you to begin examining it with a question.  First, get to a place where you can meditate and be really honest with yourself.  Shake off the false conceptions of what some tell you a real man should be.  Then ask yourself this hard question:  “What is the difference between loving my wife and seeking my own self-gratification?”  Ponder that for a while, then visit article at www.foryourmarriage.org to learn more.

Joshua Danis

Joshua Danis is the Northern Coordinator for the Family and Respect Life Office. He and his wife also are working together to build their lives as a domestic church.