We have been teaching NFP for nearly 28 years. We have volunteered much of our time preparing and teaching classes of many couples over the years, as well as lecturing to marriage prep courses and youth group meetings, but let me share with you what we have gotten out of it.
Admittedly, when we first decided 28 years ago to become NFP teachers after only two years of marriage (and no children) we thought about what we would give, not what we would receive. We had no idea of the abundant fruit it would bear.
First, we have made so many wonderful friends through teaching NFP. Most of our close friends are couples we have taught over the years. These kinds of friendships which are built on learning and teaching a process that is so closely connected to truth, are lifetime friendships.
For example, we have friends who were considering sterilization when they met us 21 years ago. Having four children born one right after the other, they were being pressured into having a permanent procedure done. We taught them NFP and, eight years ago, they welcomed another child into their family.
Second, we have been able to evangelize in a way that has allowed friends and relatives to take a second look at NFP. Our many contracepting friends and relatives have seen what NFP has done for our marriage. They see a couple with a close and loving relationship who openly have God as their third partner. And while these friends may not ever use NFP, they cannot argue with the success of our marriage.
As well, we have convinced some of these friends and relatives that contraception is not only physically unhealthy, but also spiritually unhealthy. One day we were at a friend’s anniversary party and a woman asked how we knew the couple celebrating their anniversary. “We taught them NFP.”
“What’s NFP?” asked the woman. This started a 45 minute conversation on the benefits and morality of NFP. At the end of the conversation, the woman told us to sign her up for our next class.
Third, teaching NFP is a good example to our children because they are seeing us give our time freely to other couples. They see us doing something to try to “change the world.” When our oldest son was a teenager, he came with us to a pro-life conference. We were speaking on the “Joy of NFP.” Later, he asked us, “What can I do to change the world? What can I do to help make the world a better place?’
“What brought this on? What do you ask?”
“Because you and Dad teach NFP, do chastity talks, go on pro-life marches, help out with marriage preparation. I mean, you do so much. I’d like to do something like that.” I was shocked that he had even noticed.
The rewards we have received through friendships, evangelization and example to our children are worth far more than any amount of money.
Teaching NFP is probably one of the most time-consuming things we have ever set out to do. Although there are frustrating times, it is definitely one of the most satisfying decisions we have ever made.
We now teach NFP online. If you’re interested in learning NFP or in teaching it, email us at info(at)fullquiverpublishing.com or leave a comment below.
Copyright 2012 Ellen Gable Hrkach