People think we’re crazy when we tell them that we’re doing Natural Family Planning.

You’re going to get pregnant in your first six months of marriage.

Granted, if you pushed me into giving you some ideal timeline of when we would like to begin building our family, we’d probably be talking somewhere 2-3 years down the road.

I’ve discovered that the most frequent question recently married women are asked is some variation of, “So when are you planning on babies?” I tell them it’s somewhere in our future but that we’re very open to life. This confuses people.

Sadly, in today’s world, pregnancy is often viewed as a consequence of sex. Life and love have become detached. So much so that women every day choose to neuter their femininity and mask their most beautiful God-given gift, the ability to create life, so that they can be constantly sexually available to their spouse.

Many women who use contraception within their marriages have quoted that they’ve felt used. That contraception has lowered their sense of worth. Because their husbands saw them as constantly being sexually available, they felt taken for granted. These were not experiences that I was eager to encounter within my marriage.

Now I’m not saying that my husband (as of May 2015) and I are eager to begin having children right now, but we have had a rare and blessed opportunity to experience the raw beauty and true meaning of intimacy (both emotionally and physically). We cannot see life as a burden and we continue to grow closer to one another through our growing strength in our faith and understanding of one another.

In just a couple of months of marriage, I quickly understood the importance of chastity in a dating relationship. It isn’t arbitrary. We were practicing. We were practicing self-control, communication, and our ability to be emotionally (not just physically) intimate with one another. All virtues within a marriage.

I thought that Natural Family Planning was going to be difficult. But our dating relationship provided a natural and seamless transition into this lifestyle.

During our times of abstinence, we get to express our love for each other in nonsexual ways. As a result, the intimacy between us has deepened. And by using a calendar to track my cycle and know my fertility, I get to show my husband that I want to be with him as much as possible. Our anticipation for this marital act intensifies its joy.

Many couples do not consider Natural Family Planning because of the amount of “work” that it is. Unfortunately, I think there is a grave misunderstanding as to what exactly NFP is. I’ll spare you the details, and instead urge you to please research NFP. It’s hard to imagine your sex life being 5000x better, but it’s possible. If you want to develop a deeper the deepest level of intimacy with your partner, then Natural Family Planning is absolutely for you.

Kiley Shuler

Kiley is a new momma, devout Catholic, servant of Christ, happy wife, and proponent for life. She also drinks entirely way too much coffee and gets tipsy off two glasses of wine.