Opinion | Sexuality

How Natural Family Planning Shaped My View of Sex

A more intensive method of birth control reminded me that it’s God who’s in control.
How Natural Family Planning Shaped My View of Sex
Image: yohutch / Flickr

If I had found out I was pregnant within the first year or so of my marriage, I probably would have cried unhappy tears and grimly braced myself for the end of life as I knew it. I was fresh out of college, ready to change the world, and not prepared to have kids.

During that year, my husband and I were using natural family planning (NFP), a method of tracking a woman’s fertility signs and abstaining from sex during fertile phases to avoid pregnancy. NFP is commonly considered a traditional Catholic practice, although today a growing number of evangelicals, leadership and lay, are leaning towards it as they rethink contraception. I had suggested we do NFP simply because none of the other contraceptive methods felt right to me. In the process of taking a class and doing NFP, however, the practice took on deeper significance as a type of spiritual discipline.

I think of a spiritual discipline as an intentional way of creating space for God. Different people may find that different spiritual ...

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