Archive for April, 2020

Natural Family Planning and the Marriage Covenant

Sunday, April 26th, 2020

The Covenant Meaning of the Marriage Act. Is there a meaning to human sexual behavior?  We offer a positive faith-based answer.  Sexual intercourse is intended by God to be, at least implicitly, a renewal of the marriage covenant.  This means that human sexual acts outside of marriage are contrary to God’s plan for love and life.  Within marriage, the marriage act ought to be a true marriage act, one that reflects the covenant that husband and wife made when they married.  The marriage act ought to express the self-giving love and for-better-and-for-worse commitment they pledged to each other including the sometimes imagined worse of possible pregnancy.  This helps to explain the traditional biblically-based Christian rejection of marital contraception. (Protestant-majority state legislatures passed the anti-contraception laws of the 1870s.)

No one can force somebody else to accept that meaning of the human sexual act.  Our experience, however, in teaching engaged and married couples, including many who were using barrier or chemical birth control at the time, is that the most frequent reaction is this: “Why haven’t we heard this before?  It makes sense.”

One of the great social problems of our day is the large percentage of babies conceived out of wedlock and born into a single-parent family.  There are conflicting explanations for this, but there seems to be universal agreement at least on this: “If we have learned any policy lesson well over the past 25 years, it is that for children living in single-parent homes, the odds of living in poverty are great. The policy implications of the increase in out-of-wedlock births are staggering” (Brookings website).

But what if?  What if it becomes part of American culture that there is a built-in meaning to sex?  What if adolescents as well as adults learned that it is dishonest to have sex outside of marriage?  What if a girl being propositioned could say, “I believe that’s dishonest.  You’re asking me to engage in the marriage act.  Now, if you are asking me to marry you, let’s talk about how you are going to support our family…”

And what if our boys were also being educated on the dishonesty of having sex outside of marriage?  Our opinion: very few people like to think of themselves as dishonest.

After learning about the marriage covenant, an engaged couple taking the Home Study Course summarized it in their own words:   “A covenant is intended by God to be a lifelong fruitful relationship between a man and a woman. Marriage is a vow to God, to each other, our families and our community to remain steadfast in unconditional love, reconciliation and sexual purity, while purposefully growing in our covenant marriage relationship.”

John and Sheila Kippley

Natural Family Planning: The Home Study Course Comments by Couples

Sunday, April 19th, 2020

These current comments are similar to the comments posted during the week of January 12th showing that couples appreciate having taken the Home Study Course.

Thank you for working with us on throughout this course. We are excited to move forward in our marriage together.  The course was very in depth and we have gained new knowledge from taking this course.

I am a pharmacy student in my 4th and final year so I knew most of the medical side of how the cycle works and what goes into each of the different phases of the cycle but it was interesting to learn about the specific signs and how to interpret fertility based on these, especially because each women is different. I believe that I added to my knowledge base and may be able to not only help myself but provide counseling to other struggling women and point them in the right direction in the future. Thank you.

We learned things as a couple that we didn’t know before.  The breastfeeding chapters were especially informative.

We truly knew nothing about natural family planning before this course.   Even though I consider myself a practicing Catholic, I was completely unaware of the church’s viewpoints on natural family planning matters beside abstinence. After this course, we have gained knowledge on options available for family planning and naturally avoiding pregnancies after marriage.

We have gained a lot of knowledge of all the cycles and methods on how to get pregnant. The course was very helpful and we benefited.

This course was very clear and informative, and we were able to move at our own pace getting through the chapters and tests.   It was intimidating at first, but after reviewing each chapter and carefully interpreting the practice charts, it’s not as difficult as we thought. NFP and marriage are two experiences that will no doubt be challenging, but we are excited to undergo both alongside each other!

We really did learn a lot about NFP through your program. And it is wonderful to have the book to have the opportunity to reference in the future.

I found breastfeeding to be an area I realized I did not know much about, but after reading gained knowledge about how long to breastfeed and the benefits that come along with it.  This was a very informative course and was enjoyable.  I learned more about the natural way to start planning our soon to be growing family in the upcoming years.

Sheila Kippley
Home Study Course

He Is Risen!

Sunday, April 12th, 2020

Jesus is risen from the dead

Our Christian faith is not a philosophy of ideas with which we happen to agree. Rather, true faith is based upon the person of Jesus Christ and upon his teaching, his death and his resurrection. So crucial is the resurrection that St. Paul wrote, “If Christ is not risen, your faith is in vain and you are still in your sins” (1 Cor 15:17).

The saving death and resurrection of the Lord are the foundations of our faith. They are also the reasons for our being faithful to our Savior in the everyday things of life.  We pray for an increase in faith and in daily fidelity to Jesus.

Our Father
1. After the Sabbath, as the first day of the week began to dawn, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary went to see the sepulcher.
Hail Mary
2. And behold, there was a great earthquake; for an angel of the Lord came down from heaven and rolled back the stone and sat upon it.
Hail Mary
3. His appearance was like lightning and his clothing white as snow.
Hail Mary
4. For fear of him, the guards were terrified and became like dead men.
Hail Mary
5. The angel said to the women, “Do not be afraid; for I know that you seek Jesus who was crucified.
Hail Mary
6. “He is not here; for He has risen, as He said. Come, see the place where He lay.
Hail Mary
7. “Go quickly and tell his disciples that He has risen from the dead. He is going before you into Galilee; there you will see Him.”
Hail Mary
8. They departed quickly from the tomb in fear and great joy, and ran to tell his disciples.
Hail Mary
9. “I am the resurrection and the life.
Hail Mary
10. “He who believes in Me, even though he die, yet he shall live.”
Hail Mary
Glory be

References: Matthew 28: 1-10; John 11:25

Taken from the Seven Day Bible Rosary by John Kippley