Following our previous article, a focus on parenthood naturally ensues.
While young people do not generally think as far ahead on the possibility of motherhood or fatherhood during puberty, in his book Love and Responsibility Karol Wojtyla (later Pope St John Paul II) noted after many discussions with young people that “the desire to have a child is naturally awakened by marriage and marital intercourse, whereas resistance to this desire in the mind is unnatural” (280).
In discussing marriage with teenagers during our ‘Is Love Forever?’ seminars, the conversation usually leans towards having children as well.
To have love and responsibility come together, as the book’s title clearly underscores, “A man and a woman who have marital relations must know when and how they may become parents and regulate their sexual activity accordingly. They have a responsibility for every conception, not only to themselves but also to the family which they are founding or increasing by that conception” (279).
Fr Karol highlighted that for natural methods of regulating fertility to work, the male must adapt himself to the phases of the woman’s body and more importantly is his “creation of a favourable psychological climate for their relationship” (283). Using natural methods of family planning demands that the man “waits” for the woman as a regular demonstration of his love for her.
“The marital relationship demands on his part tenderness, an understanding for the feelings of the woman. In this sense responsibility for planned motherhood rests mainly on the man, for only continence on his part makes it possible to capture the correct biological rhythm in marriage” (284).
Here, the future pope surmised that the size of a family depends mostly on the man’s ability to wait on the woman or identify when she is fertile or potentially fertile and encourage her to wait as well for the sake of their family and being responsible in their love.
This can only happen if there is communication from the wife to her husband about where she is at in her cycle.
At BOMA-TT we provide one-to-one or couple-to-couple instructions on the Billings Ovulation Method® where couples can learn the different phases of her cycle in the privacy of their home via Zoom meetings. If they are unable to sit for about an hour and a half together to learn the Method, the woman can learn with the Billings teacher and then she could teach her husband.
A beautiful example of a mother who “saved her family” by learning the Billings Method came from ‘A Story of God’s Providence’, a paper given at Billings Ovulation Method National Conference ‘Carrying the Torch’, April 2000 written by the Dr John Billings.
“Many of you have heard many times the story of Teresa, a wonderful woman living in poverty in one of the Pacific Islands, struggling with problems of an alcoholic husband and the needs of their 12 children.
One day, a missionary nun taught her the Ovulation Method. Teresa then began to hide in the village each evening during the fertile time, after putting the youngest children down to sleep before her husband returned home, drunk as usual.
She returned each morning to tell him what she had done and why she had done it. When days of infertility returned, she generously demonstrated her love for him in every possible way. We knew that family over many years. The husband became teetotal and secured a much higher level of employment, so that peace and happiness returned to the family.”
Using the Billings Ovulation Method® correctly does not guarantee perfect results or a perfect family life. It can however serve as a conduit to a happier marriage and family life.
We invite all women and couples to come and learn the Method through our service, where instructors ensure accurate use of the Method confidentially.
Even if you have learned the method a long time ago, we do chart reviews at no cost.
Happy Mother’s Day to all mothers, women who are like mothers (nurturers) and future mothers!
BOMA-TT Tel: 384-1659
SOCIAL JUSTICE QUOTE FOR THE WEEK
“This teaching rests on one basic principle: individual human beings are the foundation, the cause and the end of every social institution. That is necessarily so, for men are by nature social beings” (219).
Pope John XXII, 1961, Mater et Magistra
– CCSJ Social Justice Education Committee