God in the bedroom

By  Christine Thibeault, Youth Speak News
  • February 4, 2008

{mosimage}HALIFAX - Newlyweds Vincent and Vanessa Chevrier are big supporters of natural family planning (NFP) and give talks for marriage preparation courses. They teach other couples about the method while explaining its use within their marriage.

The couple, in their early 20s, shared their testimony on what natural family planning means in their lives during a January workshop on conjugal love at the St. Joseph’s Newman Centre, the Dalhousie University Catholic chaplaincy in Halifax.

NFP is a practice approved by the Catholic Church that regulates pregnancy through different methods, such as the Billings Method, until the married couple is ready to have children rather than preventing pregnancy with artificial contraception.

The Chevriers have been married for two-and-a-half years. They got married while they were still in university. After being engaged for one year they discerned at the time that they weren’t yet ready for children.

Vanessa said that before they were married, she had contraception being pushed at her by different people, particularly by doctors, but after discussing things with Vincent, they refused contraception, especially after understanding the position of the Catholic Church.

“Love is a decision,” they both said. And “the more I sin, the less love I have to give,” said Vincent.

Vanessa said that the “act of praying together brings spouses and God together,” something that they admit they do not always practise as much as they would like. However, it does deepen the couple’s relationship.

NFP keeps the lines of communication open, they said. Having regular discussions reminds them that the decision of when to conceive is something that both spouses are meant to take on together.

Vincent said that NFP may bring most guys out of their comfort zone as they learn things about the female body they may prefer not to know. But it also brings the couple closer together and takes them further into their relationship.

He also said that when he says he loves Vanessa, it means that he is willing to give himself for her good — meaning what brings her closer to God and who He wants her to be.

The Chevriers hope that if all couples can understand and practise NFP there will be more healthy marriages with God at the centre.

(Thibeault, 19, studies philosophy at Saint Mary’s University in Halifax.)

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