FAMILY LIFE

'Family' is a single word, with many different meanings. People have many ways of defining a family and what being a part of a family means to them. Families differ in terms of economic, cultural, social, and many other facets, but what every family has in common is that the people who call it a family are making clear that those people are important in some way to the person calling them his family.

A family is a group of two or more people that are related by blood, marriage, adoption, step or fostering, and who usually live together in the same household. This includes newlyweds without children, gay partners, couples with dependants, single mums or dads with children, siblings living together, and many other variations. At least one person in the family has to be over 15.

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NATURAL FAMILY LIFE

Natural Family Planning (NFP), or fertility awareness, is a term used to describe the various methods that are available to learn the natural times of fertility and infertility in a woman's cycle. A couple can use this information to achieve or postpone pregnancy.

Barring any medical complications, men are always fertile. Woman, however, have natural times of fertility and infertility in each cycle. NFP/Fertility Awareness works by monitoring certain biological indicators of a woman's fertility such as cervical mucus and body temperature. By charting these observations, the fertile window in a woman's cycle can be determined.

Natural Family Planning is an umbrella term for a variety of methods used to monitor a woman's fertility by natural means. Natural Family Planning is 99.6 percent effective in achieving the intended outcome, either pregnancy or prevention. Because both husband and wife are aware of the woman's cycle, discussions about family planning occur more frequently, and communication in general improves. Couples who practice Natural Family Planning witness to strong marital relationships, having a divorce rate of less than three percent.

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BILLINGS OVULATION METHOD

This is normal and the sign of your health and fertility.Without it sperm cells die within a short time. Sperm live in satisfactory secretion for 3 days, rarely longer.You are possibly fertile while observing the changing, developing pattern of cervical mucus secretion and during the three days following Peak,when there is an abrupt change in sensation from slippery to no longer slippery. Peak is the last day of the slippery sensation at the vulva.Ovulation occurs on Peak or up to day 2 past Peak and is followed by menstruation 11 to 16 days later.By the end of the third day the ovum is dead.

The Billings Ovulation Method is used by millions of women around the world. It was developed by Drs John and Evelyn Billings, validated by eminent international scientists and successfully trialled by the World Health Organisation. By learning to identify your natural signals of fertility, you can use the Billings Ovulation Method to become pregnant or avoid pregnancy and to safeguard your reproductive health.The Billings Method will be recognised in medical history as one of the greatest discoveries of the 20th century.

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CATHOLIC NATURAL FAMILY LIFE

Children make parents, and bring about the necessity for self-reflection and assessment. The responsibility of raising children causes reflection on one's own childhood. It is an opportunity for growth in love; it is an opportunity for healing from lack of love. With humility, one can appreciate the weight of responsibility borne by one's own parents, and discern how well, or not so well, this responsibility was fulfilled. In the process of becoming a responsible parent, there is an opportunity to ask forgiveness for one's lack of appreciation for one's own parents, while also offering forgiveness to parents for their failures and weaknesses. The need for God's grace becomes evident.

Cooperation in the grace of the sacrament of marriage enables God's love to overcome the failures of husband and wife to love each other and heals the family. It transforms the spouses, conforming them more and more to God's will. There is a necessity to maintain an active spiritual life, both as individuals, as a couple, and as a family. Sunday worship, regular confession, and daily prayer must be nurtured in the culture of the home. The Church supports family life by providing opportunities for worship, catechesis and fellowship.

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HOLINESS OF THE FAMILY LIFE

Like all families, Christian families come in all shapes and sizes. There are some key guidelines in the Bible to help Christians in family life. Christians believe that men and women are equal in God's eyes (Galatians 3: 26 – 29). The Bible contains lots of ideas about the different roles men and women should play within marriage, and advice about how to get along as a family.

Some Christians believe that within marriage the husband is the head of the wife. This is based on the teaching of St Paul, found in the New Testament: 'Wives, submit to your husbands as you do to the Lord. For a husband is the head of his wife as Christ is the head of his body, the church.' (Ephesians 5: 22 – 23) Although this sounds a bit like a husband is given authority to boss his wife around, this is only one half of the story. The verse shows that the marriage relationship is supposed to mirror the relationship between Christ and the Church. As Christ came to serve, care and even die for others, so husbands are commanded to love their wives in the same way. St Paul says: "A husband should love his wife as much as Christ loved the church and gave his life for it… A husband should love his wife as much as he loves himself" (Ephesians 5:25-28). In other words, a husband's love is to be selfless, putting his wife's needs before his own. This teaching would have been radical 2000 years ago.

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NATURAL FAMILY LIFE

Natural Family Planning (NFP),or fertility awareness, is a term used to describe the various methods that are available to learn the natural times of fertility and infertility in a woman's cycle.A couple can use this information to achieve or postpone pregnancy.Barring any medical complications, men are always fertile.Woman, however, have natural times of fertility and infertility in each cycle.

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