Need help on sharing nfp with others


#1

My brother-in-law recently became engaged and will be married this summer in the Church. I’ve known him for several years as well as his fiancee and like them both a great deal. My husband and I enjoy hanging out with them and spending time together, but we’re not so close that we would feel comfortable bringing nfp up with them out of the blue. But, God is really laying this on my heart to share the nfp message with them.

They were both married before and I suspect neither used nfp though don’t know for sure. They both enjoy reading, so I’ve been thinking and praying about a book we could give them that would explain nfp and the justification behind it - and inspire them to consider it (of course with lots of prayer). Any suggestions? Since I don’t know either of them really well I’m a little nervous that I might give them a book that’s too “in your face” and turn them off, so to speak. Or suggestions for bringing this up with them - I’d at least feel comfortable talking about it with my brother-in-law’s fiancee. Thanks for any help and advice!


#2

Tell them that the divorce rate of couple who practice NFP is less than 1%, and the effectiveness of it is about 99%, if used correctly.

That’s what I usually tell people first, they like facts and statistics. Then I start bringing theology in the conversation.


#3

Try the book Life Giving Love by Kimberly Hahn. It explains what NFP is, and it gently covers many topics including infertility, miscarriage and more. She does a wonderful job of showing the logical, consistent beauty in the Church’s teachings on marriage.


#4

Sam and Bethany Torode’s Open Embrace . It is the story of a protestant couple’s spiritual journey toward rejecting contraception. It is a quick read, and very self-deprecating. It is fairly evangelical in tone, so it might seem preachy to those who don’t do any spiritual reading.

The other suggestion is to let the issue arise in some other manner. By mutual aquaintance or some other direction. If they are getting married with the blessing of the Church, it should come up in the prep process, so perhaps it is best to wait and be a witness when the time is right…


#5

Since when does becoming engaged mean that a betrothed couple has opened the doors to input from every in-law and out-law about all the intimate details of married life? If you don’t have an invitation to discuss this profoundly personal and private subject with them, why in the world do you feel compelled to butt-in on such a personal matter? For all you know this couple is in complete harmony with each other and the Church on this issue. In addition, most parishes require marriage preparation classes where resources for this type of information are provided. Even if they don’t, this is not your role.

IMHO there is way too much public dissemination of private, personal information involving marital relations, fertility/infertility, how many (more) children one wants, when a family will be started, whether a given pregnancy was "planned,"etc. that should remain between the married partners. Public quizzing completely strips the dignity and intimacy from the partners. It is one thing to mutually agree to discreetly reveal such information (such as for purposes of seeking advice). It is quite another to have it solicited of you by someone with whom you have no intention of discussing it. IF AND ONLY IF you are asked for advice–I’m sure some of the references listed in the posts above are wonderful. Until such time…keep your nose in your own garden!!!


#6

If you spend lots of time with this couple, your example may be enough. You should pray to God to open the door if he wants you to engage them on this topic. They may just come right out and ask you about it.

You can also ask them what type of materials are used for thier marriage prep. Then you can cross check it to see if the issue is covered.

I, personally, would be more concerned about whether they got their first marriages annulled.

The other thing you can do is give them the Scott Hahn conversion tape (www.saintjoe.com). It breifly mentions the NFP issue but its main focus is on the Truth and teaching authority of the Church. Just tell them that you loved the tape and it really motivated you to learn more about your faith and you thought they might enjoy it. Then leave it at that.

Also, if you still feel urged you can get them a gift subscription to the Couple to Couple League magazine called Family Foundations (www.ccli.org) as a wedding gift. I really enjoy this magazine and I credit it for changing my view on most issues of faith.


#7

Hey! Was that last line a knock on my user name?:slight_smile:
I agree that WAY too many people freely share/ask personal stuff. That is a good point.
BUT, assuming this couple invites the poster to the wedding they are asking her to witness their marriage. (which I believe goravens said was a Church wedding so I assume any annulment question has already been addressed.) Since they’ve been asked to witness the marriage, the gift of a book on marriage would be a fitting shower gift. You wouldn’t even need to say anything to the couple, but a short prayer to the Holy Spirit to inspire them to read it in God’s time might help. Such a gift just might prepare their hearts for God to give the couple the ultimate gift of marriage–children!


#8

[quote=gardenswithkids]Hey! Was that last line a knock on my user name?:slight_smile:
I agree that WAY too many people freely share/ask personal stuff. That is a good point.
BUT, assuming this couple invites the poster to the wedding they are asking her to witness their marriage. (which I believe goravens said was a Church wedding so I assume any annulment question has already been addressed.) Since they’ve been asked to witness the marriage, the gift of a book on marriage would be a fitting shower gift. You wouldn’t even need to say anything to the couple, but a short prayer to the Holy Spirit to inspire them to read it in God’s time might help. Such a gift just might prepare their hearts for God to give the couple the ultimate gift of marriage–children!

[/quote]

Thank you gardenswithkids - that’s exactly what I’m hoping to do. Just give them an appropriate book and let the Holy Spirit take care of the rest.

Both my brother-in-law and his fiancee have received annulments and are being married in the Church.

Just from some of the comments they have made before, I don’t think they’re aware of nfp and the blessing it can be in marriage. And if I know and have experienced something, such as nfp, to be a blessing in my spiritual life and marriage, shouldn’t I want to share it with others and spread the blessing, islandoak? Of course I don’t want to pry or delve into the intimate parts of their lives, but I fail to see how it’s a problem to give them a book, pray to the Holy Spirit, and leave it at that (unless they want to talk further). Thanks to all for your posts!


#9

Personally, I would have loved to get a book (or even the name of a book, lol) on NFP when I was engaged.

I was, unfortunately, one of those who believed it was unreliable. But in my defense, I was told about it by several people who had alot of kids, lol.

Now that I understand the principles of NFP I realize that it didn’t “fail” for those with large families but that it was most likely the “P” in NFP.:slight_smile:

I think you will know when and how to bring up the subject with them. I don’t feel that you intend to force it on them… you just want to provide the info so they can make an informed choice.

Good luck!

Malia


#10

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