Thursday, May 15, 2008

Practical Ease of NFP

In light of the previous exchange at I Have to Sit Down, I decided to write about what can be done, practically, by each spouse to make abstinence easier.

The single best thing that can be done to make abstinence easier is not to focus on it with all of one's mental power. I know, easier said than done. I notice that I constantly focused on abstinence in the first years of NFP. The focus on abstinence made it larger than life and it loomed over everything, casting darkness upon the things we were already doing to handle abstinence. At the worst, this attitude would have me counting the days since our last interlude, which only made everything more difficult. In this case, accurate charting was actually an obstacle to learning charity.

Putting the focus on abstinence was an extension of focusing on myself and focusing on the self is antithetical to developing virtue. All virtues are learned by dying to self in some form or another, and the sacrifice involved in abstinence is only beneficial if I actually sacrifice with the proper attitude, not just grudgingly endure what I am giving up until "go time."

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