Hmm..maybe it's the hormones? Maybe because a very good friend just woke me up to give me a surprising (and happy) news? Maybe it's the APO song playing on the background?
For whatever reason it got me to thinking... Does having children define a great marriage? When I was in college (true story) I had my Values Education teacher walk out on us in class because I engaged her on a debate when she said that the sole purpose of marriage was pro-creation.
I am not trying to offend anyone. This is me thinking out loud. If you have your own set of beliefs which happens to be contrary to my own, I respect it. So I expect you to respect me by not taking anything that I say too seriously (haha!). I mean I am just rambling so if I happen to irritate you feel free to change the url with impunity. Hehe. :)
Alright, I got derailed again. My point is, for three and a half years we were trying to get pregnant. (I know I know 3.5 years is not a long time but if you know how impatient and baby crazy I am then you will understand that it IS a long time :)) I remember going to confession one time and I asked the priest how come hubby and I are still not blessed with a child yet. He said: "The happiest couples that I know don't even have children, my dear."
What followed after that conversation was acceptance. We realized, we'll do whatever means possible medically to get pregnant and if the Lord decides to bless us in another way then so be it. You see we were given less that 10% chances of having a baby by the very first doctor that we went to.
But that story is two parts: First was unwavering faith and acceptance. Second was a deliberate decision from us to take control of the situation and seek medical help. Just like with how everything that life has blessed me so far it's always two fold: The Lord's grace blessing me and my own will taking steps to get closer to what I want.
Now back to my question at the start. Do kids define a great marriage? Yes they can but ultimately they don't.
They give meaning and test your partnership like no other life changing event in your life can. Kids have their own way of turning your world upside down! In a good way though. Totally perplexing and happy way! I can say marriage would require more effort since you don't want to just get stuck on the parenting aspect of your life. I say this because motherhood was very natural for me. Being a great wife, now that takes decision and commitment. But I what makes things easy (and realistic) for me is I don't try to be perfect at these roles. I am not a perfect wife nor mother but I'm sure as hell that I am a fun one! :)
I started picturing a childless marriage back then when we were still trying to concieve. And I was okay with it too. I was happy if things were to stay forever the same. That was weird for a baby-obsessed person like me. But here's how I came into acceptance: God gave me a wonderful life partner. Really, and that's what marriage should be about companionship. We are complete baby or no baby.
Marriage is an institution that should be defined by a mutual decision to accept things that life has to offer together with your partner. Marriage has struggles but don't forget it's supposed to be fun also. So just find the right partner (a faithful, kind, and funny one). And stay committed. :D