Guidelines for Facilitators

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FACET Tool Topics, cont'd.:

    While most couples enter into marriage without children, not all do. Sometimes they are their joint children. Sometimes they are from a previous relationship. In any case, children are the largest adjustment within a marriage. In some sense it makes the marital adjustment pale in comparison. The adjustment to time, money, household tasks, and to the couple’s time together shifts in dramatic ways.

    This section has the couple discussing the realities of their own relationship and what it entails or will entail. When to have children is often a major decision they must make. Their own family of origin can often factor into this decision. As an example, a couple where one was an only child married to someone who was the seventh child will be a couple that can have very different expectations regarding children in a marriage. Waiting to have children until the couple has a second house, a swimming pool and two cars may seem on the selfish end of the spectrum, while not reflecting at all on their parental responsibilities and having as many children as they possibly can may appear irresponsible. Couples would do well to consider when to have their first child. Natural Family Planning is both a natural and effective means for both spacing and postponing the birth of a child. It is also much more than a simple birth control method. It is one that requires good communication and where both get to learn and understand the fertility cycle of the woman, which will lead the couple to a greater appreciation of each other and God's beautiful act of creation — the creation that each married couple is called to enter into and be co-creators with God.

    Additional Questions to assist the conversation:
    • Have you talked about having children?
    • Would you like information on NFP?
    • Do you worry about interference on the part of extended family around parenting issues?
    • Do you differ in your approach to child rearing? Discipline? Faith formation?

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