How does a couple come to an agreement—both being godly in character and fearing God—when one feels that planning parenthood is wise (using life-preventative measures in the marriage) and the other sees the true blessing that children are, and does not want to sin against God by knowingly canceling His purpose for intimacy in their union with artificial means.
Karen D., California
I can suggest something that will bring you out of conflict. Hopefully once the dynamic between you has shifted, this will allow for deeper reflection.
For you as the wife, I would suggest this: Read your scripture carefully about the roles of husband and wife, and perhaps consult a trusted spiritual counselor. As I understand it, the husband/father has traditionally been held to be the spiritual leader of the family. This means that when there is conflict that cannot be resolved, he makes the final decision.
Now, of course, he must be kind and considerate of the needs and wishes of his family, but since he bears the most responsibility, he must also have the power to make executive decisions. Certainly, though, no man is perfect, nor will he make perfect decisions all the time—indeed sometimes the pressures of the world will skew his thinking. However, then a loving and moral wife can see this and bolster him so he has the strength to again see clearly. Part of this is having faith in his divine side—even if that side is obscured.
There are two important things to note here: First, you must be sincere in accepting him as the leader—this is why I recommend you first read and consult your spiritual adviser. Secondly, although you might accept his decision in this matter, you are absolutely not required to change your moral position.
By sincerely accepting that he has the right to make this decision, you will no longer be in conflict with each other on the matter. He will now have squarely on his shoulders both the spiritual/moral issue and the issue that he is asking you to do something that you believe is wrong. But any wrongdoing is now between him and God. Such a profound sacrifice on your part will, I think, also inspire him to reflect more deeply, and certainly the wisdom of the heart is more easily heard in peace rather than in conflict.
And in this process, though you may find that you struggle with intimacy, don’t blame him, but don’t pretend everything is fine. Perhaps it will be better to abstain until you are ready for a child. And since this is such an emotional issue, please do get help and support from your community.
What makes someone become an extreme cheapskate? I’m 80 years old and have always wanted to know.
Lillian S., Texas
Extreme thinking very often has roots in a strong emotion. This could be fear, desire, or even a fervently held belief. This emotion causes people to lose perspective.
Regarding a cheapskate, perhaps the person fears loss, or they desire to have more for themselves (selfishness), or as a child the value of being frugal was impressed upon them while the balancing virtue of charity (generosity) was not.
Of course, there could be other reasons, too. If you know someone who is like this, think of the stories they have told you—there might be a clue there.
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June Kellum is a married mother of two and longtime Epoch Times journalist covering family, relationships, and health topics.