Should Only Millionaires Be Parents?

March 17, 2012 by  
Filed under Conversion, Culture, Faith, Family, Finances

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.”

Amen!

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5 Responses to “Should Only Millionaires Be Parents?”
  1. Michael says:

    Psalm 127 seems to apply:

    “Unless the Lord builds the house,
    those who build it labor in vain.

    Behold, sons are a heritage from the Lord,
    the fruit of the womb a reward.
    Like arrows in the hand of a warrior
    are the sons of one’s youth.
    Happy is the man who has
    his quiver full of them!
    He shall not be put to shame
    when he speaks with his enemies in the gate.”

  2. Kevin says:

    Thanks Michael! Timeless truth, indeed. I appreciate the comment!

  3. Travis says:

    So true, so true. Another most unfortunate lie from our culture that too many buy into… Travis, Catholic1.net

  4. Jeaniebean says:

    Yes, I agree, but the successful couple you are describing sounds well-off, or at least middle class, despite not being millionaires. What about poor people? What about young couples burdened with $300,000 collectively in student loans (this includes me)? =) Where do you draw the line? This question your article does not really address, so I will. I think that it is selfish for people to have children unless they will sacrifice everything they have in order to give (or TRY to give) their children a better life than what they had. This means, instead of spending $400,000 on a luxury trailer, Alaska Cruise, fancy car, summer home, or “investments”, you spend it on making sure your children are living life better than what you are living and what you already lived. Children first, you last, always. And yes, your child is still your child at age 18, age 21, age 30 and age 65 so to answer the question, poor people should have children. They should have children because it is they who know how to sacrafice. Sadly, sacrafice is a foreign language to most people who are rich, and even more sadly, most rich people actually think they are poor because they are only millionaires and not billionaires.

    • Ryan says:

      Jeaniebean, you state, and I quote, “I think that it is selfish for people to have children unless they will sacrifice everything they have in order to give their children a better life than what they had” now I do not necessarily have a problem with the first part of that statement but more so with the second. Im sure that a parent tries to provide for there children but its in, some sense, beyond our control to provide a quote on quote “better” life for our children. Im not entirely sure if you mean better in material sense or not; but, regardless, a Catholic persons life ought to be directed at pursuing and being in accordance with God’s will. In so far as they are then regardless of their temporal dispositions and circumstances they will always be fulfilled.

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