As a Theology teacher I teach about the sacrament of marriage in the Catholic Church. I have learned over the years that there are many specific qualifications to be married in the Catholic Church. One of the necessities is that the couple must be open to procreation. That together the couple come together as one in love to create another human being by the grace of God’s love. The couple will vow to openly accept children in their marriage and raise them in the faith.
My students have asked me why is it so important that the couple be open to having children. They have asked, “What if I don’t want to be a parent?” I have told them then you shouldn’t get married in the Catholic Church. One of the reasons this is such an important element of marriage, as sacrament, is because it is the surest way that the church knows the couple will be able to experience and give the most selfless love of their lives. If you are a parent you know what I am talking about. If you are not a parent think about what your parents have given up for you since before your birth. The love a couple has for one another is hopefully a selfless love but the love one has their own baby, one who is completely dependent upon another person for their every need including their life, is completely selfless. The parent lets go of their own selfish needs and gives all that they have to that child; sleep, food, love, affection, and anything and everything that child needs.
Many people think the only reason the Catholic Church makes children a requirement is so the church won’t die out. That is partially true. The more important reason is over the 2,000 years of the church we have gained the wisdom and experience to realize that love, selfless love, starts with a marriage, it evloves with the couple becoming a mother and a father, loving their children, raising them with love, God, and faith in their life. Then those children, who know true love, can truly love others and our world will be filled with love, which is God. Jesus Christ gave all that he was for our salvation. He taught us how to love beyond our own wants and needs, that is what we do when we parent, we learn forgiveness, acceptance, but most of all how to love like Jesus loves. God wants us to love others as he loves us. A child’s first experience of God is through the love of his/her parents. That is why it is so important to accept children lovingly from God. So that we may learn to love, create an environment of love, and bring more love into this world.
I am so appreciative to God that I am able to love my four children this way!