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Caitlin Kennell Kim
Fr. Rick Malloy, SJ
General Questions
Fr. Tom Ryan, CSP
Ecumenical, Interfaith
Neela Kale
Culture, Moral Theology
Ann Naffziger, M.A., M.Div.
Mike Hayes
Our readers asked:

How Important is Marriage When You Have Been With Someone For Several Years With No Kids?

Neela Kale Answers:

Consider that according to the Code of Canon Law, in the marriage covenant “a man and a woman establish between themselves a partnership of the whole of life … which is ordered by its nature to the good of the spouses and the procreation and education of offspring” (canon 1055).

Marriage is a partnership in everything – the marvelous and the mundane, the triumphs and the trials, the day in and day out through all the seasons of your lives. Marriage exists for your good, so that you and your spouse can experience and express the deep love for another person that reflects God’s deep love for us. In fact, one of the tasks of spouses is to help each other on the way to salvation. Marriage also exists for the good of others, because marriage is meant to be life-giving for you and those around you. Some couples never have children, for a variety of reasons. But there are other ways to be life-giving in your family and in your community, serving as a sacramental sign of God’s love for the world. If you and your spouse have been married for some time and do not have children, this might be an excellent opportunity for you to take part in a marriage encounter or other retreat that helps you discover how you are called to live the sacrament in this moment of your lives. Honoring your marriage commitment remains important.

The Author : Neela Kale
Neela Kale is a writer and catechetical minister based in the Archdiocese of Portland. She served with the Incarnate Word Missionaries in Mexico and earned a Master of Divinity at the Jesuit School of Theology. Some of her best theological reflection happens on two wheels as she rides her bike around the hills of western Oregon.
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  • Rosie Bachand

    i think the question is “why get married if you’ve ‘been togther’ but have no children involved”. what then, is the reason to get married?

  • Jade

    I thought they were asking if they should get married if they had been dating and/or cohabiting for years but had no kids? Maybe I read it wrong.

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