Hey, first thread I've ever posted, so bear with me. :p I'll learn how to shorten my thoughts as I go along.
I am in a fairly serious relationship - both of us are practicing Catholics and have done a top-rate job of saving the gift of sex until marriage. Now, while I'm not yet financially ready to support two and therefore am waiting to propose, we have discussed marriage and having children. Now, she and I want to get married as soon as I can support a family AND as soon as we are absolutely sure it's God's will that we share in that sacrament - we're both pretty sure as it is, but both our extended families have been seriously compromised by divorce in the past and, naturally, we want to avoid that.
Anyway, where my question begins is that both of us agree that we shouldn't try for kids for a while after getting married, a couple years at least. The reasons range from financial to wanting some time to enjoy our young years before becoming parents. In any case, we are quite intent on having kids, but not for a while. This is how my parents did it - they waited ten years before having my brother and sister and me (triplets, as a matter of fact :) ) and unless I am mistaken the "rule" is that as long as one goes into marriage woith the intent of bringing a new life into the world, you're all clear.
Here is my concern. We have waited for sex until the day we get married, and I am infinitely grateful we made that decision. However, must we also wait until we are totally prepared to have children to consummate our marriage? I know next to nothing about NFP, though my priest and deacon have said that it is the means by which a Catholic may plan to either achieve OR AVOID pregnancy. Is that right? If we were to get married and then use NFP for a few years in order to delay having children, would there be any spiritual fault in that?
It seems like the obvious answer is to simply refrain from sexual relations for a few more years. Make no mistake, though, as a vigorous young male individual, I am going to want very badly to have sex with my wife, and she has stated as much herself (not the strapping young male part :p ). I am not sure if this is selfish, though, on either of our parts. It sure sounds selfish! Still, if that were the case, it seems like the proper course would simply be to wait to get married at all until you were ready to try for children the moment your wedding night arrived... but that doesn't seem right, either!
So, to sum up my question, if we have waited until marriage to give ourselves to each other, and we get married, would the consummation of our marriage before we were ready to actually have children - and the use of NFP to lessen the chances of pregnancy - be sinful?
I hope that wasn't too long. It's been troubling me for some time, and even if there's no clear-cut answer I am grateful for any advice in the matter.
Bless you all, and pray for us. :)