Nobody wants to walk up to someone and talk about cervical mucus or seminal fluid. Nobody. So what should a person who feels called to share her love of NFP with the world do? I have a few tips:
Don’t talk about cervical mucus. At least don’t talk about cervical mucus right off the bat. Yes, it’s normal and you can learn so much from it, but the average woman who uses contraceptives doesn’t want to hear about it.
Do talk about your cycle. When someone asks for a tampon in the bathroom because she was surprised by a period, mention offhand how you love the predictability you get from charting.
Don’t condemn their current or past choices. Our culture embraces contraception as something we are entitled to, a basic right. They may be choosing contraception because they don’t know that there is another way.
Do let them know they have other options. Most women just don’t know about NFP and what they do know about it probably isn’t accurate. Correct their misinformation and let them know what the truth is in the most charitable way possible. Don’t leave them hanging if they decide to switch to NFP. Making that leap of faith to ditch the pill can be terrifying. Learning a new method, potentially abstaining for a cycle or two, and the anxiety that comes with the “two week wait” can have a major effect on couples. Do check up on them. Check back in with them, let them know you’re there to listen and to offer them encouragement.
Don’t make it seem too easy. NFP can be hard to get comfortable with and making others think it’s a cakewalk can add unnecessary difficulties to their transition.
Do share your struggles. You know that saying “misery loves company”? Well it’s never been more true than it is for couples learning NFP. Commiserating can be what keeps a woman sane during those first few cycles. Being the seasoned pro you are though, try to add at least a couple good things about NFP to make sure you don’t scare your friend away.
Don’t judge. Using NFP doesn’t automatically make one a saint. We all have our own sins and struggles to overcome. Remember: “Let the one among you who is without sin be the first to throw a stone.”
Do love. This is our second commandment and our most important obligation as Catholics to our neighbors. Show them the love you would want to be shown. As St. John said, “Perfect love drives out fear.” Most opposition to NFP comes with fear of giving up control and the unknown that comes with it.