New Insights on the Gospels

March for Life 2012

Evil triumphs when good men do nothing - Edmund Burke

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Marriage needs children

All marriages go through a crisis, writes Msgr Cormac Burke who, as a retired judge in the Roman Rota, has reviewed thousands of cases of marriage annulment from around the world. The following is partly adapted from his book "Covenanted Happiness".

This crisis usually takes place at about two to five years after a couple gets married. Hence, he writes, a couple's biggest and most frequent mistake for their marriage is to postpone having children until two to five years after they are married.

It is at this point of time that the romance and love between a married couple begins to fade. It is, according to Msgr Burke, nature's plan for married couples to have children as the support for their marriage at this point of time. But because many married couples choose to delay having children, the support for their marriage does not exist when they need it.

Many young couples want to enjoy themselves to each other for a number of years after getting married. Despite whatever reasons they give, "to have a good time together" is not much of an ideal for two people to share, and is definitely not going to be enough to hold them together in love for a lifetime.

A couple that plans for a marriage with sacrifice reduced to a minimum and, if possible, totally eliminated, is a couple who wants a marriage where they will eventually lose respect for each other.

One reason that is given that the couple wants to mature first before having children, not realizing that it is in the process of raising children together that they mature. I am sure that you can think of many young men in the army who are hardly mature simply because their parents have protected them and prevented them from undergoing hardship throughout their lives. These parents are not doing their children a favour, they are damaging them, spoil-ing them.

In the same way, a married couple that avoids having children under the pretext of maturity is, in fact, preventing their marriage from maturing. They are damaging their marriage deliberately, they are spoil-ing their marriage and themselves.

People have always cried out, "We want to be able to enjoy marriage without the Church telling us what to do. We don't want to be weighed down by the rules of the Church." It is ironic then that the people who pay least heed to the laws of the Church are the ones who are finding least happiness in marriage. What is more ironic is that they now blame the Church for giving them a guilty conscience which led to their unhappiness in marriage. That is one sign of immaturity in a person - the refusal to take responsibility for one's own mistakes. Immature people are always looking for a scapegoat for their problems.

For love to exist and withstand the trials of life, there must be sacrifice, because sacrifice is part of love. To plan for a marriage with the least amount of sacrifice possible is to plan for a marriage with the least amount of love. It is to plan for a marriage that is most likely to breakdown.