Why I Have Seven Children

Our Decision to Follow Catholic Teaching about Marriage

Mary Alice Teti offers the first of a handful of personal Christian perspectives on contraception here in the United States. She writes about how her Catholicism has shaped her view of marriage, and next week we will hear a diverse series of Protestant views:

Any young person who was raised in a Christian home at some point stops to ask: Do I really believe what I have been told about Jesus Christ? If the answer is yes, another question quickly follows: Now what? What does this mean about how I will live my life? If I am commanded to know love and serve God and neighbor, how will I live?

I was just beginning to ask myself these questions when I was 19 years old and a sophomore in college. At that time in my life, I was also beginning a relationship with the man who would become my husband, so we were blessed to be able to discuss these questions together. We thought, read and prayed a lot about marriage. Together we came to understand the truth about the Roman Catholic teaching on marriage, which is not, as we might have thought, a simple prohibition on contraception, but is rather a positive understanding on creation and human sexuality.

The Roman Catholic Church has traditionally held that marriage is a sacramental relationship between one man and one woman, and that sex in marriage is important, beautiful, spiritual, and for the dual purpose of uniting the spouses and allowing them to participate, with God, in the creation of new life.

When I was a teenager with a rebellious heart, I assumed, without knowing much, that the traditional teaching on marriage was anti-woman and outdated. What I have learned, as I have lived in Christian marriage, is that the truth is just the opposite. I am deeply respected, by my …

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