A Balanced Look at Family Planning Part 2

Women in our culture can seem very detached from their natural body functions. Feminine health is very medicalized and technical. We have all kinds of methods to disrupt or rid us entirely of our natural cycles. I would love to see a revival of women's holistic wisdom and a healthy respect for how our bodies were designed instead of shame.

I think the shame starts in puberty with our one-sided education of charts and models of the reproductive system, and manifests itself in highly technical childbirth, where the woman is almost completely removed from the process. I have seen a big shift even since the birth of my first child in 2002, in higher breastfeeding rates, better bonding, informed and active childbirth, and that is encouraging. But I still hear the next generation of younger women referring to vaginal birth and breastfeeding as icky and gross, and this distorted view needs to be countered with real truth and love.

The beauty of natural family planning is that it requires you and your husband to become acquainted and in tune with your own personal rhythm. It will stretch you and your dependency on God. Birth control is no longer the sole responsibility of one spouse.

What a blessing fertility is. I had never fully appreciated it, until my husband's was taken away with our consent. Such a delicate, amazing miracle takes place each month. Our wombs have the power to bring forth an eternal being made in God's image. The fruit of the womb is God's reward, but sometimes we decide maybe we'd rather have the second vehicle or preschool tuition instead.

We're pro-life, right? We know children are blessings, so why do we decide to carefully accept or reject them as we please? I know all of my reasons boil down to fear. Fear of not having enough resources, having the freedom to live as I please, fear of health issues becoming worse, fear of further wearing out my body.

We all have different family dynamics and relationships. God knows that. There is no law about family size. This is a fear issue like every other fear issue He so patiently and gently works through in us. God sees the heart rather than external indicators of righteousness. This is a very personal path only you can walk, and it starts by asking God to search your heart.

If you would like to learn more:
Taking Charge of Your Fertility - Toni Weschler
The Billings Method - Dr. Evelyn Billings and Dr. Ann Westmore

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