Deacon Harold Burke-Sivers, an expert in marriage and family life, compares natural family planning (NFP) and birth control. The Catholic Church has endorsed the use of natural family planning as an alternative to contraception, but are the two really very different?

Love and life were never intended to be separated from each other, as we can see in Genesis 1 and 2. Man and woman were created to love and live together in pursuit of God’s will. Contraception forces love and life apart in a way that was never intended. It separates the two without demanding that love creates life, like it is supposed to. Life flows from God’s love which we are called to participate in during marriage. Using contraception creates an emptiness and a chasm that cannot be filled except for by Christ’s love.

NFP is different, because with it, you do nothing. NFP utilizes selective abstinence by determining when a woman is fertile and could get pregnant, which is only a few days out of the month. The Church endorses that you can use NFP to try to space children, while remaining open to God’s gift of new life.

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