By Jessica Ragsdale
As Valentine’s Day approaches, we’re naturally inclined to think about gift giving. Couples search for the most beautiful roses, indulgent candies and sometimes even that perfect piece of jewelry to give their loved one. If you have children or grandchildren, maybe you search for the cutest and wittiest box of love notes at the grocery store that they will so carefully write their name on and share with their classmates.
The perfect Valentine’s Day gift can take on many different forms. But, what if I told you I still have a perfect gift idea for you and your family. A timeless gift that will endlessly benefit you and your family. (Drumroll please…) It’s the gift of Natural Family Planning (NFP)! NFP is fertility awareness and here are three reasons why the gift of NFP will make the perfect Valentine’s Day gift.
• Fertility awareness strengthens relationships. Who doesn’t want that on Valentine’s Day? Fertility awareness promotes communication between spouses and honors each other’s dignity for the beautiful person God created them to be. Knowledge of fertility can foster a spirit of togetherness in our secular culture, where following the church’s teaching about contraception is not the norm.
• There is a chance that you or your loved has expectations related to intimate relations on Valentine’s Day. If one of you happens to be at peak fertility for the month, and as a couple you are trying to avoid a pregnancy and want to make sure you are in line with church teaching, this gift of knowledge could help you plan your family the way you’ve always dreamed.
• Valentine’s Day originates from a secular festival celebrating fertility. The Roman festival was called “Lupercalia” during which couples celebrated fertility, good health and marriage in the middle of February. Pope Gelasius replaced Lupercalia with Valentine’s Day in the 5th century. So, by celebrating and embracing your fertility on Valentine’s Day, you’re actually celebrating like the Romans did!
On behalf of my family, Happy Valentine’s Day! On this special day, and every day, we should strive to be living examples of God’s vision of true love as we express it to one another. If you are interested in strengthening the foundation of love and wisdom in your marriage by learning NFP, feel free to contact me. Reach out by phone at (563) 343-6809 or email at Jessicamartin84@gmail.com. Consider signing up for an NFP class. I would love to hear from you.
(Jessica Ragsdale and her husband, Nick, and their children are members of Our Lady of Lourdes Parish in Bettendorf.)