My husband and I have been married for over 3 years now. I’ve learned that marriage contributes to our personal salvation through its call to service.
Two other sacraments, Holy Orders and Matrimony, are directed towards the salvation of others; if they contribute as well to personal salvation, it is through service to others that they do so. They confer a particular mission in the Church and serve to build up the People of God.
That is where children come in right?
Many marriages are called to have children right away. Although there are a number of reasons why a couple might not have children, whether it is because of infertility, health issues, financial burdens, or other reasons discerned by the couple. For some couples its temporary, but for others it’s permanent.
Struggles of a Childless Marriage
For us, it is a constant struggle to fight the selfishness to serve your own needs as a couple. It’s easy to become selfish as DINKS (Dual Income No Kids), even if we’re not living it up.
Another one of our struggles is to keep from feeling lost as a couple. Finding a ministry that we truly enjoy in our parish community, we have found a sense of belonging and the presence of God in our marriage.
Another cross is fighting judgments from others that assume we use contraception as well as assumptions of selfishness, like not “wanting” children. These insecurities must be quickly offered to God, because He is the one, true judge.
Whatever the challenge may be, it is not our burden to carry alone as a couple. God is there, and even if it’s difficult, we have to trust His plan.
What is the Calling of a Couple Without Kids?
With kids, marriage is a calling to create and raise more Catholics. Without kids we are being called to grow the Church in other ways. Our focus must be on evangelization and ministry to help bring others closer to Christ, like a parent would want to bring their child to the faith. This could be expressed through a variety of ways to help bring Jesus to others.
Some examples, are helping kids in Religious Education, helping the elderly that have no one to visit them, prison ministry or assisting in teen/adult formation.
Without biological children, it is possible to have spiritually adopted children through those you serve. Then if it is God’s call, there is also the option of adoption.
The Church needs the married couples without children to give and show others that it is possible to remain faithful in marriage, to be true witnesses. The world needs examples of what marriage truly is as a total gift of self, living out fidelity to the vows, and always open to new ways of being fruitful.
Please join me in prayer for the strengthening of the vocation of marriage. The world needs stronger marriages.
Here are some ways to help decrease selfishness in a marriage for all couples.
Serve your spouse in some way every day.
Share something with your spouse every day.
Commit to serving the church deliberately.