This is Natural Family Planning (NFP) Awareness week. In its honor, we are rounding up posts previously published here over the last five years and highlighting one each day.
According to recent data from the U.S. Census Bureau, the average size of the American household has decreased by about one person. American culture is definitely voting for the smaller family and material wellbeing over the riches of multiple children. If any culture can materially afford big families, it is ours. Even from an economic point of view, the United States is powerful not because of its standard of living or its natural resources, but because of its greatest resource: people.
The medieval theologians and philosophers, in talking about God, say: Goodness diffuses itself, it wants to be shared by many. If our culture is so good, then why don’t we want to have more children and share it with them?
About two years ago I was with a large group of people, all Catholic but of various life stages and ages, and as we chatted, I threw out the term “NFP.” A friend in her forties asked, “What’s NFP?” At first I was taken aback by her unawareness, but upon reflection, I’m not surprised she had never been introduced to the concepts of natural family planning. In spite of the criticism that the Catholic Church is fixated on sex, the Church hasn’t really talked all that much about it for several decades.
Today we kick off a weeklong series focusing on Natural Family Planning or NFP.