Catholics, what if you don't want children during marriage?


#1

Here’s the scoop: I know that marriage and children are closely tied together within Catholicism, which is why birth control is a sin. However, my opinion is that I don’t think every married couple is cut out to want children, let alone have them. I don’t think it works that all married couples are called by God to have children within marriage with the exception of the infertile. Infertility is infertility, period. God didn’t make anyone fertile or infertile in order to serve a “higher” purpose. Infertility is just a part of nature that happens to be flawed. Similarly, getting pregnant is also just a part of nature – whether you planned it or not.
As someone who never had cared to have children but was always a hopeless romantic, I simply can’t see children in my life. I HATE the thought of having them and even cried because of my fear of pregnancy/childbearing. Thus, I don’t think birth control is a sin, because I’m not obligated to have sacrifice my time for kids I’d never want in the first place.
I hope that didn’t sound offensive to anyone here – maybe I did, forgive my brash mouth – but this trend of not being allowed to control how many children you have in Catholicism is upsetting me, hence I thought I’d ask someone who wouldn’t mind giving me their perspective.
Thanks.


#2

Your post had a lot of “I”s, as in I think or I feel. Which is fine and clearly demonstrates that you are not ready for children. But I’d caution you that, hopeless romantic that you might be, you’re also not ready for a serious relationship. How you think or feel will have to be re-evaluated when you have another persons interests to consider. So I wouldn’t worry to much about children right now.


#3

Can you frame a specific question

Are you asking , for example, if I am upset about Church teaching on this? or sacrificing my time for kids, or new life is just part of nature, planned or not. ?


#4

Your opinions and feelings are not a rational basis for an argument. You say you know the Church’s teaching, but you have a contrary opinion – You cannot derive a “thus” from that. You can be honest and conclude “And that is why I will not submit to the Church teaching”, but it is hardly a justified position.

“Trend”!? do you think this is some sort of passing fad!? (Let alone that the Church does not teach that a couple may not regulate the number and spacing of children)

In any case, if you truly do not want children but do want to be married, there is no obligation that a married couple ever engage in sexual intercourse.


#5

Here’s the scoop: I know that marriage and children are closely tied together within Catholicism, which is why birth control is a sin.

[1604] God who created man out of love also calls him to love the fundamental and innate vocation of every human being. For man is created in the image and likeness of God who is himself love.90 Since God created him man and woman, their mutual love becomes an image of the absolute and unfailing love with which God loves man. It is good, very good, in the Creator’s eyes. And this love which God blesses is intended to be fruitful and to be realized in the common work of watching over creation: And God blessed them, and God said to them: 'Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth and subdue it.

However, my opinion is that I don’t think every married couple is cut out to want children, let alone have them.

Wrong, 1601 ;The matrimonial covenant, by which a man and a woman establish between themselves a partnership of the whole of life, is by its nature ordered toward the good of the spouses and the procreation and education of offspring; this covenant between baptized persons has been raised by Christ the Lord to the dignity of a sacrament."84

I don’t think it works that all married couples are called by God to have children within marriage with the exception of the infertile. Infertility is infertility, period.

God didn’t make anyone fertile or infertile in order to serve a “higher” purpose. Infertility is just a part of nature that happens to be flawed. Similarly, getting pregnant is also just a part of nature – whether you planned it or not.

James 1:17 Every generous act of giving, with every perfect gift, is from above, coming down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change

Genesis 29:31cWhen the Lord saw that Leah was unloved, he opened her womb; but Rachel was barren.Genesis 25:21 Isaac prayed to the Lord for his wife, because she was barren; and the Lord granted his prayer, and his wife Rebekah conceived. God does everything

I don’t think birth control is a sin, because I’m not obligated to have sacrifice my time for kids I’d never want in the first place.

If your parents think the same, you wouldn’t be in this world, it would be selfish.

2 Maccabees 7 “I do not know how you came into being in my womb. It was not I who gave you life and breath, nor I who set in order the elements within each of you. 23 Therefore the Creator of the world, who shaped the beginning of humankind and devised the origin of all things, will in his mercy give life and breath back to you again, since you now forget yourselves for the sake of his laws.”

I hope that didn’t sound offensive to anyone here –

Psalms 139 13 For it was you who formed my inward parts;you knit me together in my mother’s womb.14 I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works;
that I know very well.15 My frame was not hidden from you,when I was being made in secret,
intricately woven in the depths of the earth.16 Your eyes beheld my unformed substance.
In your book were written all the days that were formed for me,when none of them as yet existed.


#6

It’s not accurate that we are not allowed to plan families. We have NFP, and it’s perfectly fine to use it. However, if you’re called to marriage then you are called to “accept children lovingly from God” as you will promise to do in your marriage vows.

Guess what? You have to sacrifice lots of things for a spouse too. And if you happen to have children without planning on it, yes, you will be obligated to sacrifice your time for them even if you “never wanted them” in the first place. If you aren’t ready to sacrifice, you aren’t ready for marriage- with or without children.

Hopeless romantics live in a fantasy world that doesn’t mirror the real one. Real life doesn’t happen with our heads in the clouds. We all get irritated with spouses, bad things happen, and we work together to deal with them. The romance part is nice but not consistent. You know what’s romantic to me? Things like watching my husband play with his son. Watching him be kind to my parents.

It’s okay not to want kids. Not everyone does. But the Catholic view of marriage includes accepting children, so you can either agree with that or not. But don’t delude yourself into thinking that a romantic relationship doesn’t involve a lot of sacrifice- Catholic or not.


#7

Birth control equates to saying that God made a mistake when he created us in such a way that sexual relations may lead to the conception of children. Actually you admit as much when you confidently claim that “nature happens to be flawed”. (You say this in reference to infertility, but this obviously generalizes to the view that God’s Creation has defects.)

The RCC does not condemn birth control because She enjoys pestering you. She condemns it because separating the sexual act from conception is disastrous for your spirituality. It breaks the link between sex and creation. Once you start doing this on the physical plane, the spiritual plane will follow. This paves the way to perdition. In short: the RCC condemns birth control because it is dangerous and unhealthy for you.


#8

Church teaching is clear in this regard. You’ve expressed a lot of opinions and declared what you want. What about God and the divine plan?


#9

OP, how old are you?


#10

True, but only if your spouse agrees. If your spouse at any time requests it, you are under obligation to grant the request, unless there are other justified reasons (say, health issues) that would prevent you from granting the request.


#11

There are different kinds of love in the Greek language.

1 Agape - the self-sacrificial love. It is shown in action more than anything. To will the good of the other.
2 Philia/Phileo - the brotherly love. Think of siblings sticking up for each other even though they fight.
3 Eros - erotic comes from the Greek word. It is the romantic emotional love.

Love in the marriage between a husband and a wife is Agape. Also Agape when the children come along. There is some Eros in a marriage but Eros is not going to build a solid marriage that last until the husband or wife passes away.


#12

I am sorry to say this but I feel that you are being Selfish and if you truly feel this way perhaps you should not marry.

Every child is a gift from God,( trust me I know, Ive got 2 children that alot of people who are not pro life would’ve aborted)
They bring so much joy and fill my life with purpose and meaning and whilst it may not give you the same joy, having children is a life changing experience and if you don’t want to feel obligated to sacrifice time for children you don’t want them I suggest you talk to the priest about This.


#13

Strongly strongly disagree.


#14

PRAY for the grace that the Holy Spirit can help you to have a change of heart and be willing and able to TRUST GOD in all things especially this.


#15

Can’t roll my eyes hard enough at this. I also notice that most of the people pushing this interpretation of “marital debt” tend to be unmarried young men.


#16

Then you should refrain from all romance. Love isn’t something self-seeking. True love is sacrificial. If it’s something you’ll only do if it’s what you want, then is it really love? Or is it mere self-indulgence?

The Church doesn’t run on individual opinions. The Church runs on the unchanging word of God. The Church is not a democracy. Therefore, it doesn’t really matter what you think. The issue has already been definitively settled: (artificial) Birth control, according to the Catholic religion, is wrong. Period. No ifs, ands, or buts about it. You can disagree if you’d like, since we all have free will, but know that God gave infallibility to the Church, not to each of us as individuals. You’d be better off trusting the Church over yourself if you disagree.


#17

AMEN! True love is wanting the best for the other person. It isn’t about self at all. And marriage isn’t to make you happy, believe it or not marriage is a vocation to help others (spouse and children) get to Heaven.


#18

You’ve got that backwards. If a person has a permanent intention against children, he or she isn’t called to the vocation of marriage.


#19

Contraception is a sin against the sixth commandment. Contraception is a method of controlling births. There are moral ways to space and plan children that are not contraception.

The Church does not tell us how many children to have. It seems you are operating under some erroneous ideas.


#21

When I said “hopeless romantic” I meant that I was naturally inclined for romantic relationships. In real life I know it takes a lot of work and sacrifice to make a good relationship, so I’m being realistic about it. It’s possible for one to be a good wife, but it’s not always possible to be both a good wife AND mother, depending on the type of woman.


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