An Honest Assessment of NFP

Emily Stimpson is unmarried but she understands human nature.  And so do many of her commentators. This is a fine blog on the challenges, and joys, of NFP.


Regardless, temperance, prudence, and chastity aren’t virtues most people possess in spades anymore. Our culture, where instant gratification and over-indulgence are the norm, has seen to that.

At the same time, rejecting contraception in general requires trust—trust in God’s will and God’s provision. It requires generosity—a willingness to put others needs before our own. It requires a spirit of poverty—detachment from the extras our culture says are essentials. And it requires a heart that delights in pictures of fat smiling babies, that believes babies are precious gifts from God, not a reason to run for the hills.

Basically, it requires that we be everything our culture has programmed us not to be. That’s why NFP is a challenge for the most faithful couples I know, let alone those decidedly less faithful. Few are able to use it to space births with the same precision the manuals promise. Not because the methods don’t work. But rather because wills are weak and temptation is tempting. If a tiny tasty brownie can almost fell us, what can love and desire do?