What exactly does "open to life" mean?


I’ve heard that married couples must try to have children for their marriage to be a valid sacrament. I’ve also heard that its a valid marriage as long as the couple is accepting of children if they come, but don’t purposely want to have them. My fiancee and I are getting married and won’t use artificial birth control. But neither of us desire children. But if its God’s will that we have them, then we will graciously accept them. What is the Church’s teachings on this matter? Does being “open to life” mean you must have and want children? Or does being “open” mean that regardless of your wants, you’ll accept God’s will for your family over your own? We intend to incorporate NFP stuff and fertility tests to determine when she’s fertile. During these times, we will abstain. (She doesn’t want kids due to extreme illnesses that run in her family

If God wills us to have children, then I’ll joyfully accept them and all the responsibilities that come with being a dad. We also won’t try to prevent pregnancy from occurring with condoms, vasectomies, or anything else. We’d just prefer not to have kids. But let God’s will be done, not ours. I’m just confused because I keep getting different answers regarding this. I want my future marriage to be valid and blessed by God.

“Open to life” means exactly what it says. The spouses must be willing to allow their marital relations to have the possibility of children. Now, that doesn’t mean each and every act of marital relations must be intentionally procreative, otherwise NFP would not be allowed. It simply means that the procreative aspect cannot be excluded absolutely.

There is a difference between absolutely excluding the possibility of children and morally illegitimate actions (contraception, selfish use of NFP) to temporarily avoid that aspect of marriage. The former renders a marriage invalid, the latter (while morally wrong) is a valid marriage.

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