Sometimes I forget to lead with my heart instead of my mind when it comes to telling people about NFP. I want to preach that it’s 99.5 percent effective at preventing pregnancy and that it tells you all sorts of things about your body beyond you fertility and … look I’m doing it again!
But honestly avoiding the baby bump is not the ultimate reason behind my love for NFP. I love NFP because I now see humanity in a totally different light.
If you couldn’t guess, I’m a Christian (NO WAY, right?), and I’m a pretty ginormous fan of Jesus and His Church. They have both taught me how to respect my body as well as the bodies of others, but never more clearly than when I was learning NFP and researching the reason the Church denounces contraceptives (because, hey, I was on that bandwagon for a while). What I learned literally took my breath away and blew my mind so completely that I’m surprised I still lead with it.
The body is essential to the truths of the Christian faith, but most of the time it gets a bad rap for being “weak flesh”. But it wouldn’t be weak if we knew how amazing it was. Want to know why? Keep reading.
First is that God created us in His image and likeness. For a long time I just thought that meant our souls were like His and not necessarily our bodies. I just didn’t see the body as being as important as the soul. But if bodies aren’t important to God’s overall design, then why did He give them to us? I think it would be pretty cool if we just flew around as spirits without the limitations of bodies. But since we have bodies, there must be a reason.
I also know that the body is essential to understanding Christianity because Christ became man; He took on human flesh. God wouldn’t have done that if the body were somehow lesser than the soul. He could have easily appeared on Earth as a ghost/spirit type of entity, but instead He was incarnate of the Virgin Mary and became man. He became flesh because it would be the destruction of that flesh on the cross that would make His sacrifice so great and absolutely perfect.
Finally I had to come to the realization that the body and the spirit are not two separate things competing in a contest for who is greater. They are indivisible. Christ wasn’t half human and half God when He was walking around Earth. He was fully both because He was God made flesh just like we are souls made flesh. As such respect of the body is paramount. When you can look at another human being or look in the mirror and see a soul made in the image and likeness of God how can you hate that person? How could you not love that person if you love God?
NFP has made me see this as I learn how perfectly my body was made. NFP has more fully cemented my view that my body should be respected by me as well as by my spouse. My husband and I don’t work against it, but with it. I’ve also become more aware of dangers I see so many of my friends putting themselves directly in front of. They don’t view their body as something sacred and beautiful and made by God. Instead they look for ways to feel those things in ways that are disrespectful to their body such as sex for fun instead of sex for true, covenant love. They don’t wait for to have sex with their “soulmate” (means more now that you know that the body and the soul are indivisible, right?) because this world likes to preach that the body is a toy to do with what we please even if that means hurting it. NFP teaches quite the opposite: that we belong to God and we were created to be loved.