FoC 002: Sex, Love, and Life with Jenny Uebbing



In today’s episode we have a terrific conversation about the Church’s teachings on sex, marriage, NFP, kids, and our culture with Jenny Uebbing, the eloquent writer behind the blog Mama Needs Coffee.

Jenny devoted the month of October to writing about the Church’s teachings on sex and marriage: dispelling myths, setting out the theology behind the “no’s”, and proclaiming the greatness of family life. We really enjoyed talking with her in light of the recent Synod on the Family that recently took place at the Vatican.

Links in this episode:

Jenny’s blog Mama Needs Coffee and her series: Catholics Do What? (31 Days to Understanding the Catholic Church’s Teaching on Sex and Marriage). And find her on Facebook.

Books on The Theology of the Body:

Men, Women and the Mystery of Love: Practical Insights from John Paul II’s Love and Responsibility
by Ted Sri

Men and Women Are From Eden: A Study Guide to John Paul II’s Theology of the Body by Mary Healy

Papal writings on sex and love:

Humanae Vitae Encyclical Letter by Pope Paul VI

Man and Woman He Created Them: A Theology Of The Body by Pope John Paul II

Endow Groups – Catholic Women’s Studies


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7 thoughts on “FoC 002: Sex, Love, and Life with Jenny Uebbing”

  1. Love it! One aspect of the discussion about the church’s teachings on the meaning of sexuality which I never hear/read about is how to be faithful when only one spouse is on board. I know this is probably THE divisive issue in my marriage, especially since I converted after we were married and my spouse isn’t religious at all. We have used NFP off and on in the last few years between 2 babies, but there’s always been a reluctance and resentment on my spouse’s part. One of my cousins is in a sacramental Catholic marriage and faces the same situation…it’s not just an issue in mixed marriages. One spouse wants to contracept.

    I think a huge issue is: how to evangelize the men? I see women as more likely to read books or listen to talks about the church’s teaching, even if both spouses are Catholic. I don’t mean to be condescending toward men, but it seems like many men are indifferent to matters of faith and our culture’s acceptance of contraception as a “given” in a relationship doesn’t help!

    I don’t have any solutions even for my own marriage, but I just wanted to add that perspective to the discussion.

    1. Thanks for listening Rachel, and we really appreciate your thoughts. You’re right that we definitely don’t hear much about what the faithful Catholic woman is supposed to do when her husband is actively against the Church’s teaching regarding birth control/NFP. And I agree with you that this isn’t just happening in mixed marriages but marriages where both spouses are Catholic. I think we could have a whole episode just talking about this subject. And you’re also right in there being no easy solutions. I think the only thing I could recommend is prayer and talking to a good priest who could help you help your husband. You’ve probably already tried that, I’d bet. I think this is a tough thing about marriage that we have made vows to a person, to love them through any difficulty, but also must stay true to what we believe. I’ll stay on the lookout for this topic and see if we can come up with better resources and/or a future podcast at least touching on this cross. Thanks again for sharing your thoughts, prayers for you and your husband!

  2. Haley & Christy,

    Just started listening to your podcast and I particularly loved this episode. I am a young catholic newlywed practicing NFP and certainly experiencing its ups and downs. Listening to your podcast is like having a support group of funny, intelligent girlfriends reaffirming my choice for NFP (I wish you both lived near me!)

    Thanks for all that you do in your blogs & in this podcast in standing up for the truth of the Church’s teaching on marriage and family life!

  3. I just discovered your podcasts thanks to that famous Carrots reading list blog post. I don’t know if you will find this comment (it’s a bit long-winded, soaybe it’s better you don’t), but I wanted to share my story, because this podcast spoke to me so much.

    I am a mother to a daughter and expecting another child in a month or two. I’m not religious, but I have always had a spiritual curiosity and I read theology books and try to learn about Buddhism (my husband’s religious background) and Christianity as they both speak to me. My maternal grandmother was raised a catholic, but became very frustrated with the strict, mysoginistic interpretation she was steered towards. I remember her words and opinions on issues of family planning being bitterly tied up with her mother’s struggle to raise 7 children alone during WW2 and the loss of her baby sister and closest brother during her childhood.
    I had never really thought to look into the catholic theology of sex before – although I did not dismiss it. In fact, throughout my sexually active life I have struggled with the use of contraception on, what I now realise is, a spiritual level. I was happy to protect myself against some STD’s with the use of condoms, but something always felt kind of hinky about the pill, implants and IUD’s. Then I developed a sensitivity to latex and that drew my attention to the accepted norm. I had NEVER thought before about the use of contraception as something that actually limits a woman to “receiving sex” whenever her partner fancies – even consensually. And how that distances a woman from her natural self. I’m shocked, because this is actually how I have felt, but never consciously enough to recognise it as my own opinion. Even when taking the morning after pill once, (against my better judgement, and with great sadness) I didn’t realise that intangible feeling was my very tangible opinion.
    My husband and I have always practiced NFP without realising it. He has been very understanding considering how I’ve clearly been unable to express what I feel and why! So thank you for broadening my knowledge of Catholicism and of myself.
    This podcast was even more valuable to me, because, as a teenager I was raped. Just this week I resumed counselling for the depression and anxiety I have had for the last two and a half years. I knew that part of my struggle to cope as a new mother was to do with a sense of invasion and having no control over my body (I didn’t have the birth I’d hoped for), but until my counsellor pointed it out this week, I had not understood the deeper wounds of the rape.
    Yes, I had sex with a man who I did not love (although I may have argued that at the time), he hurt me – physically and emotionally. It was my first experience of penetrative sex.
    And despite knowing that my first baby, 15 years later, was nothing to do with him, there was a part of me that would not be able to process that. There is inevitably a part of any woman who has been raped that will connect that violence to their child. It sounds pessimistic and sad, but actually it is deeply comforting to hear that aspect of femininity confirmed. It reminded me of the sadness and fear I felt after the incident, which I had been so good at hiding I was unable to process. We are spiritually connected to our sexual experiences, whether inflicted upon us, whether fun, whether with hopes to conceive or not.
    And I think that is the deep spiritual wound you talk about, when the act and the potential outcome are artificially separated. I’m healing that wound now. So, thank you again for this conversation which I found at just the right time in my life.

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