Paper Clippings highlighted the results of a marriage survey yesterday:
The Pew Research Center survey on marriage and parenting found that children had fallen to eighth out of nine on a list of factors that people associate with successful marriages well behind "sharing household chores," "good housing," "adequate income," a "happy sexual relationship" and "faithfulness."
In a 1990 World Values Survey, children ranked third in importance among the same items, with 65 percent saying children were very important to a good marriage. Just 41 percent said so in the new Pew survey.
The idea that we make our own happiness is entrenched in the current mentality. Children are turned into tools for the quest of self-fulfillment.
The Welcoming Families Association in Italy, a group started by members of Communion and Liberation which helps guide families who adopt and offer foster care, has a different view. Alda Vanoni is quoted in the article "Passion for Human Destiny" in the May 2007 issue of Traces:
Two years ago I attended the Rimini Meeting and met a woman from the Association who could speak English. Teresa (I think her name was) told of how she had been asked to take in a young single mother at a time when she was quite busy with her own kids, but she didn't refuse the invitation. She saw her role as staying with the mother in friendship, assisting both mother and child and rather than taking over to help the mother learn her role. The young lady has matured in time, moved out on her own, and they continue to have a good relationship.
The point is no longer, "I want a child", but "What is the good for my life, and the good for that child?" Only in this way can you take into consideration that the other is different from you, and there is where his richness lies. It is impossible to enter into relationship with somebody without welcoming his diversity, otherwise the other is reduced to a satellite in your desire's system. A child needs and lives a relationship that exists first of all between father and mother, in their own diversity. This is the reason why family is so important. A child grows in a relationship that qualifies as important for me first, meaning that it defines me: this happens only if I engage it responsible and permanently. You welcome a child as he is and for ever.