Now, I know that some of you might be thinking...
But isn't NFP only for married couples?
Or, perhaps you're thinking...
Well, if a couple doesn't need to postpone pregnancy, they shouldn't practice NFP, right?
Let me tell you something cool: many NFP handbooks (I've read various handbooks for the different methods) define Natural Family Planning (NFP) as fertility awareness. Married couples can use NFP when they periodically abstain from sex to avoid conception (they can also use it to try and achieve pregnancy). But NFP itself (also known as FAM, or "fertility awareness methods") is for any woman.
- By monitoring her fertility signs, a woman learns about herself. And it's really, really important to learn about yourself. Don't you want to learn about the amazing ways in which God made you?
- The woman also further understands her sexuality. Again, this is super important. So much awesomeness about who we are (and God's plans and designs) is revealed in our bodies (which are sexual).
- Fertility signs can helpful in indicating health problems in other areas. Hence, even if you aren't trying to avoid pregnancy, use NFP! Being very attentive to how your body works is a big deal. Knowing your fertility goes right along with your overall health concerns. So do yourself a favor and learn about your fertility signs, regardless of whether or not you're trying to conceive a child.
For couples, using NFP can help a couple freely love each other through periodic continence, if they have decided to try and avoid conception. No condoms, no artificial contraceptives, no selfishness. Instead, there's free, selfless, sacrificial love. Periodic continence can be really hard at times, which just adds to the overall beauty of the sacrifice.
Since it's NFP Awareness Week, I encourage you to read up on the methods of NFP. If you're a woman, I encourage you to begin learning about your fertility and becoming aware of it each day. And all of you married and engaged couples out there-I encourage y'all to be open to using periodic continence and NFP instead of contraceptives, if (out of prudential considerations) you've determined to try and avoid pregnancy right now.
Other posts which may be of interest to you:
Why NFP is awesome for single women!
Marriage is not a checklist
If sex is natural, why do we make it artificial?
The Women Speak on NFP series, from Carrots for Michaelmas
I hope that you all have an amazing day! Let me know if you have any further questions about NFP!