Examples of serious reasons / NFP?


#1

DH and I have been abstaining during fertile times since DD was born. I want to space our kids about 2 years apart, if possible. Right now I am knee deep in the journey to lose my pg weight. I have about 15 pounds to go.

What is/are examples of serious reasons to abstain during fertile times? :confused:


#2

There are more than this, but off these two come first to mind:

Health of the mother–if another pregnancy so soon would mean risking the mother’s life or seriously damage her health.

Financial hardship–if a family is having a hard time just keeping food on the table, a roof over their heads, clothes on their backs, and money for a decent education for their existing children.

Others will be able to cite more. Have you looked at the Couple to Couple League material online? I’m sure they will have more on it there.


#3

Well, we actually talked to a priest about this before we were engaged because we did not want to use NFP in a selfish manner.

Our situation was that I wanted to stay home with my kids when we had them, but we couldn’t quite afford it with a couple of outstanding debts that we had. So, we asked the priest whether it was OK to use NFP until our debts were paid off so that I could stay home. He said that since the raising of children was one of our primary missions that that was an acceptable reason to use it.

I know at least that financial and health reasons are acceptable, however, I believe that to what extent each of those reasons would apply would need to be discerned by the couple with the help of possibly a priest if they could not be objective.


#4

Psychological issues.

Perhaps, either the Husband or Wife has a mental disorder that is not under control to the point they could not adequately raise a child.

May even be a threat to a child.


#5

Just plain psychological hardship of taking care of young children at home! I love them to death & they drive me insane most days. Once my youngest is 2 I could probably consider another pregnancy, but for now, It might drive me over the edge!
AlbertaRose


#6

[quote=AlbertaRose]Just plain psychological hardship of taking care of young children at home! I love them to death & they drive me insane most days. Once my youngest is 2 I could probably consider another pregnancy, but for now, It might drive me over the edge!
AlbertaRose
[/quote]

:slight_smile:
Heh ! True…

:frowning: I was talking about to truly clinically diagnosed mental disorders.

  • Severe Depression/Schizophrenia/Hyper Anexity/Manic-Depression/Bi-Polar/…

Especially, if the couple hasn’t yet found the right medications to adequately control the situation.

Furthermore, some of the medications might seriously pose a terrible fetal health risk.

In which case the couple needs to try to find alternatives to those meds when they want to try to concieve. While still maintaining a safe and healthy environment.


#7

Yeah, I know that you were talking about the more clinical psychological problems!


#8

I agree that debt is a serious issue because it undermines family life. The best scenario is to marry without debt but if you have already incurred things like credit card debt or have bought a car on time (which ought to be a no-no) before developing your current set of more solid values, then paying off your debts is the best foundation for increasing your family size in the near future.


#9

Some people like to think that the reason must be a lot more “serious” or “grave” than it really needs to be.

We have a wonderful, pious, traditional, orthodox priest whose sister has dedicated herself to understanding and propogating proper use of NFP. His advice to us was not to dwell in extremes.

Simply don’t set out with the attitude, “I don’t want any” or “Only one” or “Only two,” or believing you are obligated never to use NFP unless death is a likely result was essentially what he told us.

You don’t need a doctor’s note to practice NFP! It could be something as simple as wanting to get your body in shape and eat healthy for a few months before trying to conceive. Basically the reality check is (1) am I being selfish, and (2) do I believe this is God’s will for me/us?

If you are still concerned I strongly recommend speaking with a priest you trust.


#10

Well, some people think that almost any reason is ok for using NFP, which is not correct. The reason must be unselfish, and it must be just/serious etc enough for a couple to decide that having a child at the moment would not be a good idea. Remember, just because one is not using NFP to avoid does not mean you will have a child every time you are fertile.

Each couple is different and in a unique situation at any given time, so its hard to give concrete examples (except for the obvious life death situations). Each couple must pray carefully and discern what God is asking of them. I agree, its not a thing that you go and get permission from a priest etc (heck I know of plenty of people that have gotten advice from a priest to use ABC or much worse, in one case, to have an abortion). This does not mean you should not consult a priest (the examples I gave you were of priests that do not have things right, but there are plenty of wonderful priests out there), in fact one can consult one’s spiritual director or any priest you feel will give you spiritually/theologically sound advice. In the end, its up to the couple, since they will have to face God later with their decision.

I like the way someone else put it in another thread, NFP is not a substitute for ABC, it is a substitute for having to abstain completely (I add: while a certain condition exists, for any amount of time, that can make having a child at the moment be a bad idea). There may be a certain period of time that a couple thinks they may need to avoid conception, but they are responsible to continually evaluate the situation to make sure the condition is there and that it is still serious/just. NFP to space children is a tool that has been given to us for when we face situations in which we carefully have decided that having a child at the moment is not a good idea, which is different then using it until the ideal moment to have a child comes.

From the Catechism:
For **just ** reasons, spouses may wish to space the births of their children. It is their duty to make certain that their desire is not motivated by selfishness but is in conformity with the generosity appropriate to responsible parenthood.

BTW, for reading on the subject I would suggest Kimberly Hahn’s “Life Giving Love” book, Humanae Vitae, and anything by JPII on this subject :slight_smile:


#11

Humanae Vitae –

With regard to physical, economic, psychological and social conditions, responsible parenthood is exercised by those who prudently and generously decide to have more children, and by those who, for serious reasons and with due respect to moral precepts, decide not to have additional children for either a certain or an indefinite period of time.

First the spouses discuss these and pray on these then if need be they take it to pastoral counseling to ensure that they are motivated correctly.

vatican.va/holy_father/paul_vi/encyclicals/documents/hf_p-vi_enc_25071968_humanae-vitae_en.html


#12

[quote=bobtails]DH and I have been abstaining during fertile times since DD was born. I want to space our kids about 2 years apart, if possible. Right now I am knee deep in the journey to lose my pg weight. I have about 15 pounds to go.

What is/are examples of serious reasons to abstain during fertile times? :confused:
[/quote]

The church requires “just” reasons-- see the Catechism. Just reasons can only be determined by the couple through prayer and discernment. There is no “list”, although I know a lot of people wish there was.

Spacing is certainly within the bounds of “just”.


#13

forum.catholic.com/showthread.php?t=100486

I studied this matter very extensively and wrote some of what I found in that post I linked you to :slight_smile:


#14

[quote=1ke]The church requires “just” reasons-- see the Catechism. Just reasons can only be determined by the couple through prayer and discernment. There is no “list”, although I know a lot of people wish there was.
[/quote]

Lol, I agree (though obviously there cannot be such a list, because what may be serious for some, may not be for others due to their situation etc)

[quote=1ke]Spacing is certainly within the bounds of “just”.
[/quote]

The Catechism says: “For just reasons, spouses may wish to space the births of their children.” hence spacing the children in itself is not the just reason, but it is saying that there are just reasons for which a couple may wish to space their children, ie there needs to be a just reason in order to use NFP to space ones children.


#15

[quote=svoboda]forum.catholic.com/showthread.php?t=100486

I studied this matter very extensively and wrote some of what I found in that post I linked you to :slight_smile:
[/quote]

In the link you have provided there is a sentence that does not make much sense to me. “We reason for example that it is always permissible to use NFP to space births properly - say two years apart or more. That alone is a non-trivial reason, serious enough to motivate parents to adhere to periodic abstinence during one or several years. No additional “serious” reason is required.”

Yet the Catechism says:
“For just reasons, spouses may wish to space the births of their children.”

How can spacing the births in itself be the just reason, if the Catechism itself says that there needs to be just reasons to space the birth of the children? I can’t imagine how I would be fulfilling my vocation if I decided that I wanted to space my children by 12 years, and that in itself was a just reason enough to avoid children for 12 years at a time. In fact, lets make that 5 (and there may be people here that have just reasons to wait 5 yrs, don’t get me wrong). Lets say I decide to space my children by 5 years. According to that, spacing them for any number (2 or more) is in itself a just reason, yet I know that at this moment, I have no just reason to wait 5 years to have the next child. Who knows, maybe a just/serious reason will appear that will cause me to need to wait 5 years for the next child, but at this point in time I know I do not have any.


#16

I think the point is that the goal of having children a few years apart is in itself a just reason to space the birth of children by a few years.

But obviously common sense is needed, 12 years is a long time, for a woman married in her late twenties it could be her entire fertile time. In this case a person would need a just reason.

Maybe the Catechism is more general and includes the possiblity of 12 years or indefinite delay. For that just reasons are needed.


#17

[quote=uncleauberon]:slight_smile:
Heh ! True…

:frowning: I was talking about to truly clinically diagnosed mental disorders.

  • Severe Depression/Schizophrenia/Hyper Anexity/Manic-Depression/Bi-Polar/…

Especially, if the couple hasn’t yet found the right medications to adequately control the situation.

Furthermore, some of the medications might seriously pose a terrible fetal health risk.

In which case the couple needs to try to find alternatives to those meds when they want to try to concieve. While still maintaining a safe and healthy environment.
[/quote]

So true, after my second child was born in 95 I became severly depressed with terrible anxiety and had to be medicated heavily and get serious therapy, we used NFP until I was well, I have always had depression but this was worse than that, I could not get out of bed or even take care of my kids some days, so we waited about 3 yrs to have another child and then we were watchful for any of the signs of the depression coming back that bad again, thankfully they didn’t but we were prepared.


#18

[quote=svoboda]I think the point is that the goal of having children a few years apart is in itself a just reason to space the birth of children by a few years.

But obviously common sense is needed, 12 years is a long time, for a woman married in her late twenties it could be her entire fertile time. In this case a person would need a just reason.

Maybe the Catechism is more general and includes the possiblity of 12 years or indefinite delay. For that just reasons are needed.
[/quote]

The quote said 2 or more years, the Catechism says that for just reasons a couple may wish to space. There may be just reasons for which a couple decides to space for 2 years or more, but I don’t see how spacing children to be 2 or more years in itself can be a serious reason, if a serious reason is needed to space. I can see that odds are that a couple may have a much higher probability to have just reasons to space children 2 years apart rather than 12, but there still needs to be a reason that is just.


#19

I don’t know if it makes much sense to give examples, because we can never have a full picture of another family’s circumstances (spiritual, physical, emotional, financial…).

Here are a few general guidelines I’ve heard mentioned by priests, that might be helpful:

  • NFP should be used with regret that the family is unable to welcome another child.

  • The parents should be asking one another (and God), “How can we fix the problems we’re facing, so that we are able to welcome another child?”


And here’s one I came up with myself, for what it’s worth. Let’s assume that you decide it would be prudent to avoid pregnancy right now. What if something unexpected were to happen in the future, such that you could never have another child?

Would you look back at the present time and think, “It was a mistake for us to use NFP back then; our reason really wasn’t good enough?” :frowning:

Or would you think, “I’m sorry it had to turn out this way, but we did make the right choice at the time?” :o


And my final guideline is…

If in doubt, say “yes” to a new life! :smiley: :smiley: :smiley:

Remember, God sees every sparrow that falls. He has promised to take care of you and your family… and that promise isn’t somehow nullified if you make an “imprudent” decision to have another baby.


#20

[quote=maryceleste]I don’t know if it makes much sense to give examples, because we can never have a full picture of another family’s circumstances (spiritual, physical, emotional, financial…).

Here are a few general guidelines I’ve heard mentioned by priests, that might be helpful:

  • NFP should be used with regret that the family is unable to welcome another child.

  • The parents should be asking one another (and God), “How can we fix the problems we’re facing, so that we are able to welcome another child?”


And here’s one I came up with myself, for what it’s worth. Let’s assume that you decide it would be prudent to avoid pregnancy right now. What if something unexpected were to happen in the future, such that you could never have another child?

Would you look back at the present time and think, “It was a mistake for us to use NFP back then; our reason really wasn’t good enough?” :frowning:

Or would you think, “I’m sorry it had to turn out this way, but we did make the right choice at the time?” :o


And my final guideline is…

If in doubt, say “yes” to a new life! :smiley: :smiley: :smiley:

Remember, God sees every sparrow that falls. He has promised to take care of you and your family… and that promise isn’t somehow nullified if you make an “imprudent” decision to have another baby.
[/quote]

Beautiful!! All great questions. :thumbsup:


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