While The Man and I were in Texas for our NFP Teacher Training we learned so much and so many things stuck out to me, but one has given me more pause for personal reflection than any of the others. When talking about how NFP and contraception differ, Joe used the phrase 'intrinsic evil' to describe contraception. And it was either the look on my face that clearly told him he'd used a word too big for me or his need to drive the point home that prompted him to explain further what 'intrinsic evil' meant. Something that is intrinsically evil is evil all of it's own doing or existence and will cause harm regardless of intention.
It was a huge AHA moment for me.
I had never stopped to consider how using contraception had harmed our marriage until that very moment. And how using NFP has healed our marriage.
You would think with the financial issues we've had, that if we were going to fight it would be about money, right? I mean s.ex surely couldn't be a reason for argument for a couple using contraception right? "The Pill" is freeing and allows for anytime intercourse. But, we actually didn't fight too often about money. It was always a point of stress, but one that more appeared as shared frustration, disappointment and embarrassment. Not so much blame or arguing.
What we did fight about was s.ex. And by the time we decided to throw the pills away, we were both wondering if maybe there was something wrong with us. Not only were we each wondering if there was something wrong with ourself, but the wondering if there was something wrong with the other had started to creep in as well. There was more hurt and were more tears shed on this issue than on all other issues combined.
And then, without fully understanding the moral reasons, one day we decided that there would be no more pills. And took a leap of faith that would lead us down a road of 4 months of abstinence. By choice. And since that day? There has not been one fight or argument about s.ex. Not. a. single. one. For 5 and 1/2 years, it was the one area of our marriage that we both agreed needed to be better. And for 1 and 1/2 years it has been better. Much. better.
I once heard God's grace defined as 'God doing through me what I am unable to do on my own.' This journey from contraception to NFP has been easy for us. Easier than we ever expected. It has been grace filled. And I see now, that God's grace was keeping us together and fighting for our marriage even while we fought with each other; even when we brought evil into our lives.