I remember that I, too, was once convinced by the world and (let’s be honest) the church that children are an option, an extra, a commodity, a consumer product, a resource, a burden, a leech, a finance drainer, an insurance expense, a vacation-stealer, a career-spoiler, a free-time-monger, and an oops to be carefully planned for, timed, and controlled in marriage.
Oh, to have known and believed from the start that children are a blessing in marriage, a gift given from a loving, generous God! To look back on my youth with no regrets!
Yet, in Christ, God has forgiven me of all my regrets. My scarlet sins have been washed clean in my Baptism. I now wear the white robes of Christ’s righteousness, and I trust that the debt created by the selfishness of my youth is paid in full by Jesus’ death on the cross. How can I not show mercy to other women when I have been forgiven of so much?
So, I seldom get angry at my sisters in Christ who use contraception to avoid the gift of children. I just get very sad, for when I look into their busy, distracted, fearful eyes, I see myself. When I hear my sisters in Christ try to explain to me why it is good and right for them to avoid children in marriage, I hear myself. And I know the pain and guilt such decisions bring. The best thing I know to do is to lovingly speak gift language to them and pray that God would open their eyes to the precious gifts He would give to them.
Come quickly, Lord Jesus!