Learning To Ignore The Self

Every now and then, more often than used to be, headlines scream “Are Married Couples Happier Without Kids?

Being one of the millions of generation Xers in America who have put dreams of having not just a marriage, but a family in God’s hands, the irony is rather astounding.

Are married couples happier without kids.  From observation, some are, some aren’t.  On her daughter’s birthday, a friend from high school posted Happy Birthday to her “little miracle,’ remembering her six angels in Heaven.  The pain of the loss was obvious.  A cousin and his wife have not grown up yet, so any kids for them would be counter-productive, especially given their chosen profession in a creative field.  I’ve seen marriages all but fall apart when no baby appears.  Then there are the kids who outright say, “I was a mistake.”

Are married couples happier without kids.  That implies that the couple puts themselves before much other than the marriage.

In Catholicism, we are taught the order of priorities is God, family and then work.  Self is not mentioned.  Almost EXACTLY the opposite of modern American life.

For over a century, advertising has sold Americans on the concept that putting self ahead of everything else is the way life should be lived.  This is counter to being Catholic.  So is putting work ahead of God and family – even if work is part of providing for a family.  Yes, work is important and everyone must do it, but to put it ahead of having a relationship with God and family cuts us off from how God requests us to order our priorities.

But in America, we are taught to put self and work – a career – ahead of all the rest, even if God is calling us to do something other than work so that we can retire in style.

Are married couples happier without kids.

What a selfishly American concept.

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