A friend of mine and his wife were expecting their sixth child. A young couple had come to visit them from out of town, and were amazed at my friend’s willingness to have yet another child despite modest means and a small home.

The husband told my friend – with an earnest look on his face – that they couldn’t even imagine having a child until they had at least a million dollars in the bank.

When my friend and I discussed this comment later, we shared a sense of astonishment that this intelligent, successful couple were so, well… scared. In stark contrast, the faith boldly proclaims “be not afraid” time and time again, and while the Church provides thoroughly reasonable teaching on the responsibilities of parents, there is no mention of parenthood as the exclusive domain of millionaires.

As the culture continues to drift away from basic tenets of faith, there is perhaps a “moment of grace” that allows for people of goodwill to recognize the truth – and beauty – of the Church’s timeless teachings. Take the matter of contraception, for example. Much in the news these days, it’s an opportunity to discover, or rediscover, why it may not be the greatest thing since sliced bread.

Many people have done a great job dedicating their careers to communicating various aspects of sexual morality, of course – including Dr. Janet Smith, Pam Stenzel, and Christopher West for starters. If you do nothing else, consider listening to Contraception: Why Not by Dr. Smith (the MP3 download is less than a buck), or watch Pam Stenzel’s Sex Still Has a Price Tag youtube video.

I’m sure glad my wife and I didn’t wait to get that million bucks in the bank before we began our family – none of our eight kids would exist! So for other prospective parents out there, be not afraid. Consider instead the following saying, and unfortunately I don’t recall who said this:

Children are not that which makes a rich man poor, but a poor man rich.”