large families

Question from Deb on 9/14/2007:

I will start by saying when I was away from the church for years, I didn't use NFP. I am intrigued by it now and am trying to learn more for my children (teens)as they mature into adults. One point about NFP that I constantly hear from friends or aquaintances is they all seem to have large families or if they don't, they wish they did, they just can't. I must admit, on TV, EWTN, in my neighborhood, large families abound with NFP. Sometimes on shows supporting it, you hear 6 kids, 8 kids, 10 children! I love children but some families just can't do that and it's very scary to them. How do you show 98% accuracy if someone isn't trying to not have children and "just spacing" a year or so? I ask because I think that fact or how it looks to the public is the one reason a lot of young couples wont do it. Thanks for any information or guides.

Answer by Fr. Matthew Habiger - NFP Outreach on 9/18/2007:

Dear Deb,

Some couples use NFP rigorously because their physical condition requires that they avoid a pregnancy. The method, in and of itself, is very effective when used correctly. These couples would want children, if that were physically possible.

Many couples using NFP eventually come to make a remarkable discovery. They begin to understand that their fertility as a great gift, and the child as God's greatest gift to them. They come to these realizations because NFP forced them to examine the values of secular society which are heavily anti-natalist, materialist, and overly consumerist. The secular world views the 2nd, 3rd, 4th ... child as an intruder into their comfort zone, instead of a gift; a liability instead of an asset, an unwanted commitment instead of a unique and irreplaceable source of joy,

NFP couples with large families chose to have their children. They discovered God's plan for marriage, spousal love and family, and came to realize how richly satisfying this plan is.

You may have noticed that people at large are not always very perceptive. They don't see beyond external appearances and arrive at authentic values. Of course, the same can be said of Catholic couples who are still contracepting, and saying NO to the children God wishes to give them.

Cordially yours,

Fr. Matthew Habiger OSB

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