Monday, January 5, 2009

No Children? No Problem. It’s Your Choice.

No Children. No Problem. It's Your Choice.
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.


Related articles

Demographic Winter
Demographic Winter II


thejournalistachronicle said...

"We would all be wise to think more about the children and less about ourselves." You're right on Pearl! This goes for gay couples who selfishly want to raise children within a homosexual relationship too. Thanks for this post! It seems like no matter which way people look, the children are always being left behind. People who "get" the importance of traditional marriage and family also get the importance of children and the happiness they bring to a marriage.

Euripides said...

This was a good find and a great subject to think about. Thanks Pearl. I do think (while keeping a straight face) that many couples are too selfish anyway and shouldn't procreate. If a couple can't dedicate some time to children, then why bother? They should do it and decrease the surplus population.... But your point is well taken.

Pearl said...

Perhaps, then, Euripides, the eradication of selfishness is the first step to eradicating the blasé attitude of selfish couples toward having children? Thanks for pointing that out.

And I would posture that those who are childless would do better listening to those who have children rather than tuning them out as guilt-inducing annoyances and prescribing instead to the "me"-centered culture that pats people on the back for their selfish decisions.

Secular Heretic said...

It is all part of the culture of death anti life mentality so prevalent in our society. In effect many of these couples have been led to believe that prestige, well paying jobs and money are our source of happiness rather that the giving and receiving of love through personal relationships, especially within a family.

leftcoastconservative said...

All I can think of is how lonely and sad people are at the end of their lives with no children, no grandchildren and no generations after them to gather around them at joyous times like holidays and in times of sickness and even when we know we will pass from this world.

How will they feel then?

Who is John Galt? said...

For a society so in love with the idea of Darwinism, it is hypocritical beyond belief that people would put their own, transient and ultimately meaningless wants before the needs of the race. And yet, that is what just about everyone is doing these days—from glutting themselves with materialistic desires to pushing for the institutionalized education of children by the state, rather than their parents. It goes without saying that the society that neglects their children will not last very long.

Pearl said...

Who is John Galt,

I agree completely. Our society is full of hypocrisies that will render us helpless when all is said and done. I ordered a book yesterday entitled, "Born Liberal, Raised Right" by Reb Bradley. In the book, Reb says, "In the last 40 years we have lost the virtue of self-control. No longer is our society populated by individuals who can restrain or 'govern' themselves. To lack the capacity to control one's urges or passions is to lack what our nation's Founders called personal 'self-government." Our society is in trouble and people are turning up their noses at continued warnings from church officials (i.e. crazy, loony, fanatics), essentially accelerating the approach of ruin. It's sad. Really sad.

Secular Heretic said...

Self control is a an important virtue. When Virtue disappears governments react by creating more laws. People need to govern themselves, "self control" rather than than have the state make an attempt at it.

californiacrusader said...

Quite a pearl of an article you've found. Your commentary is a nice reminder that children are a blessing, not a burden.

B-Media said...

So... someone who tells us that most families shouldn't have children makes a film called "Demographic Winter: the decline of the human family"?? That sounds like the fox telling the chicken that he's concerned about the decline of chickens.

Pearl said...

Hi B-Media. I think maybe I wasn't clear in my first paragraph. This relationship "expert" didn't make Demographic Winter, but the message of her article supports the Demographic Winter findings that we are not reproducing at a sustainable rate. This being because we have become selfish as human beings. I was very impressed with Demographic Winter and I wouldn't want to caste it erroneously in a negative light. I apologize for the misunderstanding.

CaliforniaCrusader, thank you for finding the most brilliant diamond of information I had to offer in my commentary. I love my children and wouldn't trade them for the world, even when I find myself wistfully dreaming about exotic travels or romantic getaways, I can't imagine returning to a home devoid of youth, innocence, and vitality. And even when we're on the third round of the flu virus, with noses running like leaky faucets, I can't imagine living without those crinkly goofy faces they love to make and the silky soft porcelain hands that caress my aging arms and the perfect little puckering lips that seek out mine for a tender stolen kiss. I love my children so fiercely that I imagine a world without them would be akin to a world devoid of light and life.

Secular Heretic, agreed. Absolutely.

B-Media said...

Oh! Sorry about that, my misunderstanding! I'll take a look at that Demographic Winter.

After a little research, it seems that the article's author, Kristen Houghton, is the anti-family feminist type. It's concerning to me, though, that she's a big contributer for Fox News, NPR, Bella Magazine, and others. Also, praise for her from Family Magizine and Relationship Magazine. Just goes to show who you can't trust these days.

Pearl said...


Thanks for the extra research effort. I am astounded and will be sure to pass along my disapproval to these so-called family outlets. That is quite remarkable and disconcerting.

the pomegranate apple said...

great post perla. it makes me so sad that people don't want to have children. it seems so awesome to me. you get to make a new life. talk about the ultimate expression of creativity.

people don't have to have a million kids. but, it makes me sad that people are reluctant to sacrifice their independence in order to create a gorgeous new being.

Pearl said...

@ the pomegranate apple

Thank you. I am glad you felt it was comment-worthy. It makes me sad, too. They just don't know what they are missing - the true nitty, gritty, get-down-and-serve-someone-else kind of love. Oh you can serve your spouse, but anything you do for them is, in most cases, something they are just as capable of doing for themselves. But true love, yes true love, is nurtured in serving the dependent little human beings entrusted to our care. On the one hand we have teenage girls pining after babies, filled with unreal expectations, and acting with an eye single to the cuteness and cuddliness of the bundle. On the other hand we have adults adding boxes and boxes of condoms and birth control pills to their emergency essentials so as not to "make a mistake." So...we either embrace with unreal expectations or run away screaming? Where are the voices of reason teaching our society the proper time to create (after marriage) and the joys of such a creation (rather than perpetually focusing, as seems to be the case today, on the selfish wants sacrificed)?