Christian Family: The Gift of Children
The child in marriage is the ultimate sign of reciprocal love between man and woman and is the ultimate gift to the Christian family. It is the Trinitarian completion of the triangle of love that exists within the intimate circle of the family. This outward sacramental manifestation of their love is a blessing from God. It is one of the primary purposes of marriage and the conjugal act itself. As Christian Counselors, we sometimes come across situations where we must advise in matters of rearing of children and in other cases comfort in cases of loss. Other situations involve the frustrations couples can experience when attempting to conceive. These and many other issues become sensitive issues in Christian Counseling.
Ultimately the gift of children in marriage fulfills many innate needs of man. First, the biological and evolutionary drive to reproduce one’s genes to the next generation. Second, the gift of children is a spiritual extension of oneself. One’s legacy does not only exceed one’s life time but one’s memory and traditions are carried onward from generation to generation. Not only is one’s physical attributes given but one’s ideals, religion, traditions and values are also carried on through one’s offspring. Third, emotionally one is given something to cherish. There is no greater love between parent and child. These needs of caring are reciprocated as the parent cares for the child in his youth and returned as the child cares for his parent in the later years.
Theologically, the blessing of children is also a partaking and sharing in the creation of life. As the married couple shares their intense love, God blesses this action with his presence. God at the moment of conception touches the couple with the simultaneous creation of a soul. A full human person, matter and soul at that moment come into existence becoming the ultimate manifestation of the couple’s love.
The blessings of children are indeed a great gift from God. This is seen throughout Scripture as the Old Testament Patriarchs are blessed with fertility; Stories that reflect the extreme joy of conception from Sara to Elizabeth and even Mary’s own unique conception of Jesus portray this. The joy of conception is revered within Christian circles and should be a time of great joy. Religious Counseling should emphasize this joy and contradict the society of death that finds conception and children to be a hindrance to one’s materialistic life. Instead Christian families should boldly declare to society that children are a blessing and not an inconvenience.
In conclusion, Christ said let the little children come to me and that to enter into heaven, one must become like a child. How could a family not want to be surrounded by such innocence?
If you are interested in the Christian Counseling Certification Program, please review it.
By Mark Moran, MA, GC-C, SCC-C