AN INITIATIVE OF
THE UNITED STATES CONFERENCE
OF CATHOLIC BISHOPS
Made for Life:
Marriage welcomes the “supreme gift” of the child
Any honest consideration of marriage must think about children, the hope of our future. For millennia, people of every generation and of every culture have understood that the marriage of a man and a woman is the central pro-child social institution and the rock of the natural family. Marriage has never been about the relationship of just any two adults. Marriage brings together a man and a woman who unite as husband and wife to form a unique relationship open to welcoming and caring for new life. As the union of husband and wife, marriage is a union open from within to the blessing of fruitfulness. Children are born “from the very heart” of marriage, from the mutual self-giving between husband and wife (CCC, no. 2366). They are the “supreme gift” of marriage and its “ultimate crown” (GS, nos. 50, 48).
“Made for Life,” the second video in the Marriage: Unique for a Reason series, discusses the gift of children and the unique love that fathers and mothers give to children. “Made for Life” is the perfect sequel to “Made for Each Other,” which explores why sexual difference matters for marriage. Only a man and a woman can authentically speak the language of married love, because only a man and a woman can engage in the act which, by its nature, is designed for bringing new life into the world. This is the awesome call to participate with God in the incredible adventure of creating a new human being, welcoming that child into the world, and forming him or her on the cornerstone of marriage.
Sexual difference is vital for the conception of a child, but its importance doesn’t end there. The difference makes a difference throughout a child’s life. There is a consistency to God’s design: just as it is a fact of nature that every child has a father and a mother, so a child needs a father and a mother for the optimal environment for healthy growth in every other way – emotionally, psychologically, intellectually, morally, spiritually. Mothers and fathers are not interchangeable. They each bring unique gifts to the common mission of parenting, that is, fathering and mothering. The presence of a father and a mother – not merely two adults – teaches children about the beauty of sexual difference and what it means to be a boy or girl, a man or woman.
Learn about the gift of children and every child’s need for a father and a mother by watching “Made for Life,” and reading the Viewer’s Guide. Further resources can be found in the Resource Booklet for Priests, Deacons, Catechists, and Teachers. And for more information, go to the FAQs.