Pray for Your Children’s Spouses

On LifeNews.com there is an article about Ex-Planned Parenthood Director Abby Johnson, who says that every abortion performed by Planned Parenthood would earn $313.29, and that she was directed from on high to double the abortions performed at the facility where she was director.

Planned Parenthood’s public face is akin to Big Tobacco’s: we know our products kill, we like to pretend we don’t want you to buy, but we’re selling the hell out of what’s on offer. It’s been a long time since Big Tobacco had the type of government support that Planned Parenthood enjoys in this day and age. Wrapped up in Planned Parenthood’s messaging is rabid attempt to legitimize. Since Roe v. Wade, legality has replaced morality. 

This made me think about an interesting conversation with the two older boys last Sunday. We began talking about growing in virtue and enduring the teenage years. For one of them, this time is just around the corner. We are called to chastity whenever we live outside the married state, and no time of life can be more difficult for remaining chaste than when we are young and experiencing these feelings for the first time. Urges for young people are new, and strong.

Then we started talking a bit about how chastity is designed to make us aware that sex has consequences, that the natural result of sexual activity is pregnancy, but that our culture has decided to elevate sex as a good into itself, a “good” which would only be possible because of artificial contraception. We can’t pretend to oppose abortion or same-sex marriage or divorce without acknowledging that artificial contraception has more to do with these things than nearly anything else.

Then came this question for me: “What if your wife doesn’t tell you the truth, and uses contraception or gets an abortion? Would having sex be a sin?”

I paused. Wow.

What impressed me about this question was that these boys are already seeing themselves not as male sexual actors but as potential fathers with a role in the lives of their future children. They are already inclined to express care and concern, and exhibit a willingness to act in protection of the life in their care.

But they worry that a future spouse may not see things the same way. In my mind, such a worry is well-founded, considering the state of catechesis among Catholics, not to mention the general sexual ethic throughout the West.

So we talked at some length about how since marriage is a permanent and lifelong commitment, we must take the time to get to know a future wife or husband. It is important to have these discussions before leaping into bed, before marriage. It is important to know that you can trust your spouse with your children. 

As a parent, I’m grateful to have the opportunity to have these discussions. It’s part of the beauty of getting to be here with them all the time, and getting to teach them in homeschool. Where would they go, who would they talk to, if not us?

But what of their future spouses? Will they come to marriage having received the same upbringing and understanding about life, marriage, and sex?

Because of these questions, every parent should pray for the future spouses of their children. Pray fervently — not just that each child receives a spouse (who wants one) — but that God supplies the grace to both future spouses in each marriage so that they can jointly answer his call to marriage. 

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