I am a Catholic convert. I converted after being married to a cradle Catholic for seven years. It took having a good priest help me to understand more about being Catholic and a part of the community.
I have four children ranging from 11 to 1 in age.
My wife and I have been discussing the future of our family. My wife currently provides support to the family by staying home. Two of my school age children attend Catholic school. We live within our means and are not extravagant in anything we buy or do. We try to live a modest live without trying to keep up with the neighbors. We are also very active in volunteer work for the church/school.
I work approx. 40-55 hours a week in my job that is about 30 minutes from my house. I also am attending graduate school, although I have only three classes to finish my degree. My time at home is at a premium to provide time to four children.
The issue at hand is around contraception. I am at a point that I am happy with 4 children and feel that I am stressed for time for everyone as it is. I feel I have freely been open to life, and I do not want the potential for anymore children. Sometimes I feel that my wife and I have sacrificed aspects of our marriage and closeness for our children, and I am not prepared to sacrifice more. I do not want more children for these reasons. If we have more children, I am not sure what the outcome will be on our family.
My wife and I have talked about this several times, and I am satisfied with the argument that God never gives us more than we can handle. I am not convinced by the logic (or lack thereof) in being open to God’s plan and contraception affects that plan. I think of all the people that are treated and saved from heart attacks everyday. How does that affect God’s plan? If you say that if God wanted them to die they would, is it not the same true for the creation of life? Does God allow us to develop technologies for both good/bad use? I think yes, but I think it is a very narrow view to say that it is sinful to affect God’s plan at the start of life, but it is okay to affect that plan by life saving technologies/treatments. How can one choose?
I feel that I have 4 beautiful children, and I have been open to life. But I am at a point that, I feel I have no more time to give to another. Do I sacrifice a job to work less hours/less money for the time and potentially force my wife to work? Do we try to reduce spending even more to accommodate that different job? How do I make time for everyone, including myself and my relationship with my wife, and be fair? I am at a point I feel that if for some reason NFP fails, the scale will tip. Then what?
As you can see, I have put a great deal of time, thought, and prayer into trying to come to terms with this. I have even considered a celibate marriage, but I think that is counter to marriage itself.
I am open for some different thoughts on this, and humbly ask for prayer.
In God’s Grace, thank you.