I felt compelled to speak more on this topic of having of children since I am simply brimming with the anticipation of new life in our home. These topics come about more often in one’s life when you are with child or carrying around a small infant. Quite a few of my friends are in a similar state at the moment. Therefore in support of life, I have let some of my thoughts on procreation spill forth here to share with those who may need the support, and for one lady in particular who newly finds herself brimming as well.
As I have said before, I am a proponent of staying out of other people’s bedrooms, since it is truly a prudential decision between you, your spouse and God. But, here are some observations from my own experiences. I do not purport that I know what is right for your own life and family.
There are a couple of old sayings that come to mind when I think on having children. Number one, “God will provide.” This is not a foolish old saying, simply thinking that I need do nothing other than have faith. There is a reason people say, “God will provide.” It is because God does know our needs. He is after all, all-knowing, all-powerful and always present. Most importantly, God wants to give us all His love. This is all to say, financially speaking, is there really ever a good time to have children? Will there ever be enough? But to say, “God will provide,” is a leap of faith not for the faint of heart.
My husband and I had a child one and half years into graduate school. It was a hardly a time, financially, to have a child. But we realized that in the vocation of marriage that the secondary purpose of marriage is to be ordered toward life. In fact, it was a very good homily on life and marriage that truly conceived our son. It was the last catalyst we needed to hear to fulfill this part of our marriage.
When our son was born, we struggled, but we grew in the Spirit. Our son had trouble with asthma during his first year of life and was in the hospital a few times, but through it all God did provide. We were not left with financially crippling hospital bills. Hospital charity and St. Vincent De Paul Society took care of it for us. We learned though we may experience trial and yes, even some suffering, this life we live is not about dying with possessions, perfect bodies or money in the bank. It is all about salvation and our children play into that. Everyday we know that we would rather be penniless than be without our son, Alexander, because he has brought us closer to God. He (and each subsequent child) has helped us love and serve the Lord.
Which brings me to the next saying, “The more the merrier.” People scoff at large families. People look at the high degree of organization and management large families must perform. People see that large families go without a lot of the luxuries we have become accustomed to. Yet more often than not people seem ignore the greater amount of love in those families; or that those family members have a greater sense of responsibility and service to each other than a smaller family. Further, regardless of family size I have never heard a family member say, “I really wish Billy, or Sue were not born.” I have heard parents say, I wish we had had more children, or I wish we could have more.
As far as age and physical restrictions, obviously there are quite a few biblical examples in which folks gave birth to children in advanced age. For me, this goes back to, “Is there ever a perfect time to add a person to your family?” The answer will always be a double edged sword. One can always answer for oneself, “Yes, now and always. For the love of God is with us,” or “No, not quite now, because of x-y-z.” I always have to ask myself, “Is x-y-z a good enough answer?” I can always think of plenty of reasons of why yes it is and no it is not. Nothing is without consequence. It is truly another leap of faith. But, I guess we have to trust that it is God’s will for us if we should conceive. Too, I know that the Church does not condone contraceptive, even mental contraceptive.
I have learned not to have regrets. I do not want to get to a place in my life in which I regret not having more children, or regret not having spent enough time loving them. So honestly, if someone says to me, I am not sure we should have a child, I wish I had another, or I am considering having another, etc. I say, you should. It is never too late. “Children are a blessing.” It is true, even in the greatest of suffering, children are a blessing. More children are more blessings, and these blessings are carried forth into the world and bless others. Therefore, the more blessings you have the more the world will be blessed. We all carry God’s love.
These are my perspectives on having children. It is not to say at all what you should do or what is right for your family. But, I hope it is a good witness to the faith.