Confused about nfp


#1

I’ve read many of the threads about the use of nfp on this site and I’m still a bit confused on a few things. What exactly counts as a just reason to use nfp? I’m not married yet and I would like to have kids someday but I dont think I would want a large family. Is it selfish/sinful to use nfp to limit the number of kids you have because you want to have a moderate number of children(say 3-4) because you think you will be able to provide that number a good quality of life etc?

Some posters seem to think that using nfp and limiting the number of kids you have is sinful. I’m no expert but I think its irresponsible to have a large family that you cant adequately provide for. Honestly I’d like to have 3-4 kids so that I would be able to provide for them the best that I can, and still have some time/money to go places and do things-is this a sinful use of nfp?. I come from a family of 3 kids and I think that my parents did a good job.

One last question- if a newlywed couple is in a fertile time during their honeymoon can they abstain/use nfp because they are still getting used to the whole being married thing/ dont think they are quite ready for parenthood yet?

Sorry for so many questions, Im just a bit confused:D
thanks!


#2

[quote="MtnMan, post:1, topic:244365"]
What exactly counts as a just reason to use nfp?

[/quote]

I suggest you read Humanae Vitae.

The Church does not provide a list. There isn't a list of "what counts" because "what counts" is prayerful discernment of the couple using objective moral criteria as their guide.

My prayerful discernment and your prayerful discernment will not look the same.

[quote="MtnMan, post:1, topic:244365"]
Is it selfish/sinful to use nfp to limit the number of kids you have because you want to have a moderate number of children(say 3-4) because you think you will be able to provide that number a good quality of life etc?

[/quote]

I suggest you discern more on why you think you need to have a number in your head before you are even married.

The proper place and time is to discern **continually **with your spouse.

If you already have a number in mind, I would suggest to you that you are approaching this all wrong.

[quote="MtnMan, post:1, topic:244365"]
Honestly I'd like to have 3-4 kids so that I would be able to provide for them the best that I can, and still have some time/money to go places and do things-is this a sinful use of nfp?.

[/quote]

No one here can answer that. Again, that you have a number already in mind and have already decided you can't provide for more leads me to believe you have some preconceived notions you might need to work on getting rid of.

The use of NFP is situational. If you aren't in a situation where you have prayerfully discerned that you need to use it-- in other words if you are already proclaiming you need to use it when you aren't even married yet-- then yes you need to rethink your approach and intention and just how that impacts your right relationship with God.

[quote="MtnMan, post:1, topic:244365"]
One last question- if a newlywed couple is in a fertile time during their honeymoon can they abstain/use nfp because they are still getting used to the whole being married thing/ dont think they are quite ready for parenthood yet?

[/quote]

See above. No one here can answer that. (although some probably will and will come down on both sides of the fence).

Prayer, discernment, objective moral criteria given to us by the Church, your situation at that time, and your spouse will together form the decision you make at that time.


#3

Generally, NFP is acceptable for situations where having a child would cause undue hardship. This can be monetary, physical or even mental stress/anxiety.

As for the hypothetical, if the time/money to do things means you want to go on lavish foreign vacations every year, you might need to reevaluate your priorities. If, however, you are looking at the real possibility of having to work 2 jobs just to make sure they don’t starve then you almost certainly have just reason to defer pregnancy. The scale of where that changes is not possible to judge from an objective viewpoint.

I can only say to trust in Providence and discern whether to accept a child one at a time.

One last question- if a newlywed couple is in a fertile time during their honeymoon can they abstain/use nfp because they are still getting used to the whole being married thing/ dont think they are quite ready for parenthood yet?

It depends upon their exact circumstance. When I married, my wife was not yet insured so when we added her to my insurance they might have seen any pregnancy in the first 3 months as “preexisting” (even though she was otherwise covered from the wedding day). Then it was a question of whether uninsured childbirth constitutes undue hardship. I don’t think they’re allowed to do that anymore but other circumstances may exist.

Sorry for so many questions, Im just a bit confused:D
thanks!

That’s why we’re here


#4

As the other posters have pointed out, the answer must always be discerned individually by each couple. In our experience, to abstain during a fertile period can be challenging; consequently, what NFP does is to enable a regular conversation about our motivations for abstaining, visions for the future, etc. This experience tends to drive away selfish motivation, at least for us.

One last question- if a newlywed couple is in a fertile time during their honeymoon can they abstain/use nfp because they are still getting used to the whole being married thing/ dont think they are quite ready for parenthood yet?

Sure. But again, what is important is that the decision is revisited and prayerfully reconsidered every month.


closed #5

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