Joy and Chris were married May 21, 2016. Joy is my daughter and both families were thrilled when Chris proposed. The ceremony was solemnly and beautifully performed at Immaculate Conception Church in Dardenne Prairie, Mo. where they will live. The wedding reception was great fun and went off without a hitch.
But one of the most moving times for me first came at Joy’s bridal shower. Chris was videotaped answering questions like “What do you like most about Joy?” for a bridal shower game played by the guests. Points were given for every right answer Chris and Joy predicted the other would say.
One question was “How many children do you want?” Chris answered “If we are blessed with children, we will take them one at a time.”
That answer caused a stir among the young women at the shower. One remarked that you could tell that Joy and Chris went to Natural Family Planning classes during the Pre-Cana preparation for their marriage.
Actually, they did and they learned about fertility awareness to naturally achieve or postpone pregnancy. Such classes are also available to people of any religion or none at all through groups like the Couple-to-Couple League. There are even fertility awareness methods to find the causes and treat infertility through Naprotechnology.
It is common today to hear newlywed couples talk about not necessarily having children at all or postponing off having children indefinitely for various reasons like finishing school, achieving financial stability or establishing careers. It is as if children are an just another option rather than a blessing.
With the myriad of glossy contraceptive commercials, free contraceptives under Obamacare promoted as “reproductive health” and sex ed courses in schools focused on how to avoid pregnancy and STDs, it is not surprising that many of today’s young adults also often view sex as recreation or “tryouts” rather than a physical/emotional union that can produce children.
Joy and Chris are also very health conscious. That is another big reason they were attracted to Natural Family Planning. They have seen the damage caused by abortion, the risks of hormonal contraception, single parents who are struggling, and couples coping with infertility. They take marriage and childbearing seriously.
But best of all, they also see their adorable nieces and nephews and friends’ children growing up with loving, committed parents who are wonderful role models. This another reason they are excited by the prospect of parenthood.
Life is a challenge with many surprises and marriage requires a lot but I salute Joy and Chris for trying to make a great start!