I'm sure most of you know that before joining the Catholic church I had already come to the conclusion that I couldn't use many forms of birth control because of their abortifacient qualities. Upon joining the church I learned that there were many good reasons to give up all forms of artificial birth control. The church advocates Natural Family Planning, and I picked it up. Considering I'm completely and only nursing our four month old baby, birth control hasn't been an issue in some time. But it will be again, and I have it on the brain.
One of the moms who reads my blog has just recently found out that she's pregnant again (CONGRATULATIONS!!) and she's a quiverfull mom. I know that quiverfull moms have given up all birth control including NFP, but I wasn't sure why. So I've started looking into it. I mean, why would NFP be bad? It increases communication with your spouse, gets you in touch with your body, and I truly believe every woman should understand the basic principles associated with the method. It gives so much understanding of how your body works. My church promotes the method, so why not use it?
The general idea that I have at this point is that NFP still has the drawback of taking the reigns of control out of the hands of God and putting it into the hands of people, where it shouldn't be. Okay, I kind of understand that. On the other hand, we are to exert control over parts of our lives all the time. It's just that we are supposed to also be in line with the will of God. If I as an NFP user am in continual prayer to discern God's will for my family, and would truly jump for joy if I found out I was pregnant tomorrow, is it sill wrong for me to use it?
On the other hand I must admit that the quiverfull plan scares me. We are truly struggling. We don't own a home. We don't own a minivan. Right now we have four children and can't fit them all in the car with the two of us. I know that children aren't expensive (lifestyles are) but we don't have an expensive lifestyle! What if I get more than I can handle?
I've also thought that the quiverfull lifestyle sounds wonderful. We both want a big family and truly I do believe (through my doubt) that God pays for what he orders. Right now this isn't too much of an issue. I plan to be nursing for a while yet, so my fertility isn't coming back. But when it does, my husband and I seem to be very fertile people. This apartment could fill up fast!
I guess my question is: Does God want me to use the natural rythms of my body which He has given, to time children in a way that will be for the best interests of the family? Or, does God want us to put the control of when we will receive blessings and how many solely in His hands with trust and knowledge that He will meet our needs? It's not as easy as it sounds. How can we manage a large family when it's tight to house and feed the ones I've got? Should we get into a house and then become quiverfull?
I'd love to hear from quiverfull and NFP moms as to why they chose which path.