Children are Blessings

by | Feb 20, 2024 | Family Life, Parenting, Society

In our fallen human nature, there are three ways we see children: as burdens, as rights, or as blessings.

Children are blessings! My daughter was born 4 and a half months ago. I’ve already lost count how many people tell me, “You have your set!” It’s usually at the grocery store. Some stranger will excitedly congratulate me on having one boy and one girl. Now that I have one of each, I don’t have to have any more kids.

I fight the urge to reply that my children are not accessories, that I intend to have many more. Being blessed with a son and a daughter is very much showing me society’s attitude toward childbearing. Once we have one of each, we’ve done our part, and we have what we want, we stop having children. It’s as if people believe we all have a “right” to a son and a daughter.

On the other side, I’ve started to realize I have my own danger of seeing children as a right. Part of me really hopes I get to have at least X number of kiddos to be seen as a “big Catholic family.” Our expectations of family life are ingrained in us not as a society, but within human nature. On some basic level, we all see our marital status and childbearing as a functional display of who we are.

Children are not commodities.

It’s very tempting to be prideful of our family status. I am grateful I was blessed with “one of each” so that every child from now on shows our openness to life. No one will ever look at my family and wonder if we’re just trying for our girl. But we also realize we may not be blessed with the big family we dream of. No decision, whether avoiding or achieving pregnancy, can be made for selfish reasons. While it may be a better-ordered desire to have many children, it can still be damaging like desiring few children.

Openness to life and our Catholic understanding of Natural Family Planning allows us to see children as a gift from God. No child, whether to have one, or two, or 10, is a right or a burden. We can go to extreme lengths neither to conceive nor to avoid pregnancy.

All we have is trust in God’s blessings.

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Michelle C. Martin

Michelle graduated from Texas Tech University with her husband, Joshua, in May 2021 and married him in June on the Solemnity of the Sacred Heart of Jesus. She has a degree in Communication Studies and has loved growing in knowledge of healthy and authentic relationships during her time in college and adulthood. Michelle and Joshua currently reside in Lubbock, TX where he works as an architect and she loves life as a stay-at-home wife and mother to their children, Peter and Cecilia.

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