I stumbled upon this disappointing article yesterday while searching for the latest news regarding attacks on traditional marriage and family. Though a bit off the beaten path of my usual focus on the destructive nature of the homosexual agenda, it still shows a blatant disregard for and misunderstanding of the purpose of marriage. The message from the author, a “relationship examiner,” lends strong support to the Demographic Winter studies. The idea … No children? No problem. It’s your choice.
“Few couples today assume that having a child automatically follows a trip down the aisle. Some married couples are choosing not to have children at all. These are personal choices for adults and should be respected.”
Did you catch that? If not, read it again. Absorb it. Specifically note the first three words of that tragic first line: “Few couples today….” While I agree that the decision to not have children should be a private one between the couple involved, I feel that, overall, the article’s unilateral support for making such a decision is less than objective, and does, contrary to the author’s claim, offer quite selfish reasons for making such a decision. Says one woman of her 22-year marriage:
“My husband and I got married right out of high school. For six years we both went to night school while holding down day jobs. After college we spent the next five years building careers. Finally, we got to the point where we were able to enjoy the financial aspect of all our hard work. We traveled, built our dream house; we enjoyed our life. Around the time we built the house, we had a heart to heart talk and made the decision not to have children. We do not regret our decision.”
Work, school, dreams - all selfish desires. I do not say that with derision. I say it matter-of-factly. In these pursuits, this couple thought only of themselves. There is no thought for the next generation for there will be none. And what of the idea that those experiences can still be enjoyed, even with children; or perhaps even be enhanced by the presence of children? There is no mention made of that possibility with the article focusing instead on assuaging couples’ feelings of guilt and promoting an “eat, drink, and be merry” laissez fair attitude toward the decision to have children.
“Marriage is the joining of two lives. Husband and wife need not always become Daddy and Mommy. Be realistic about your expectations, your needs, and your wants.
After your decision is made, have no regrets. Live your life the way you want it to be, not the way anyone else says it should be.”
I’m supposed to be realistic about “[my] expectations, [my] needs, and [my] wants,” and yet this is not a selfish decision? Really? The inherently divine and unselfish nature of marriage lies in the natural and unselfish potential between one man and one woman to procreate. So how is it unselfish, then, to choose not to employ reproductive organs for reproduction? If forming committed unions and making love is solely for the purpose of satisfying sexual impulses and attractions or for an expression of the devotion between two consenting adults, and children are an afterthought to be discussed and weighed and voted on, what then is the purpose of the uterus, the ovaries, the eggs, the sperm? Did God create them, “just in case?” I doubt it. But, in the end, my biggest issue with this article is not the revelation that married couples are choosing not to have children. I was already quite aware of that unfortunate situation. My objections arrive, instead, in response to the author’s attempt to justify and rationalize rather than objectively address both sides of the issue (notice no argument or justification or personal anecdote was offered in favor of having children). While the title (“A marriage with or without children – personal choices, no regrets”) would profess objectivity, the content is clearly one-sided. Why is there a need to be protected from commentary by well-meaning family and friends? And who better to give advice about the emptiness of life without children than those who have them and cannot imagine living without them? Where is the encouragement for thinking and acting unselfishly? How about addressing the fact that feelings of guilt are often the result of doing something wrong, rather the byproduct of assertions from friends and family, and will go away if that wrong-doing is corrected. I feel guilty when I spend too much time reading novels while my children beg for interaction with their mother. And while society today would attempt to purge my feelings of guilt by telling me that I deserve a break and “me” time is imperative for the mental health of a mother, I still know that the only way to eliminate my guilt is to correctly spend less time with the self-indulgent novels and more time with my children.
In short, children are not objects to be haggled over. They are blessings. Their presence on earth and in society tempers the broiling, selfish Id that threatens to overcome reason and bury us all in over-indulgence and debauchery. Clearly we see that as consideration for the children diminishes, so too, do society’s inhibitions. We would all be wise to think more about the children and less about ourselves.