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LostInParadise's avatar

Why do traditional wedding vows make no mention of having children?

Asked by LostInParadise (28678points) June 14th, 2015

Here is a list Only Hindus thought to include mention of children. Could you imagine a man asking for divorce after having a child, on the grounds that raising children was not something he signed up for? In sickness and in health, and till death do us part, but nothing about kids. Put the kid up for adoption.

The wedding vows certainly seem to put a lie to the claim by those against gay marriage that marriage is necessarily about having children. The vows are as much applicable to a gay couple as a straight one.

It is of course true that people can marry without any intention of having children. An elderly couple, for example, would not be criticized for not expecting or intending to have children. Still you would think that the vows should make some mention of having children, even if only tangentially, since that is such an important part of most marriages.

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17 Answers

SQUEEKY2's avatar

Just another notch in the politically correct bed post?
When we got married in the late eighties ,come to think of it the mention of children wasn’t brought up either, it wouldn’t have bothered me if it had although we had no intention whatsoever of populating the earth with little squeekies.

Dutchess_III's avatar

IDK. Never thought of it. I guess the church already had the command to “go forth and multiply!” Plus BC is a sin. I guess they just figgured having kids was a foregone conclusion.

Apparently_Im_The_Grumpy_One's avatar

For better and for worse perfectly describes parenthood.

elbanditoroso's avatar

Good question, especially because the anti-same-sex marriage people cite having children as the primary reason for heterosexual marriage.

Interesting observation.

dappled_leaves's avatar

Because traditional marriage vows predate effective contraception?

Pandora's avatar

It may not be mentioned in vows because many assume that a couple getting married intend to have children. At least in the religious sect. In a common law marriage or civil marriage, it is not a requirement but it can be a reason for a divorce if both parties wanted it and one changed their mind or if one wanted to have children and the other party lied about wanting children. They would just list it as irreconcilable differences.

I know in the Catholic church there are usually questions that are asked of the couple before they can proceed with the ceremony. Questions that are asked to clear the air for the couple and to see if they both share the same catholic views and intend to raise their children as Catholic. So if the guy says he wants children and so does the woman and after the ceremony he says he never wanted kids, she can ask for an annulment because he had no intention of having children and should’ve stated that before the ceremony.

Sometimes there are mentions of family life and asking God to bless this couple with children or ask that they follow Gods commandments. It really depends on the length of the service. Some are short and some are very long. I’ve been to Christian weddings and the vows have been longer than what they put up in your link. Cherish and love and forsaking all others is usually mentioned.

JLeslie's avatar

I don’t how old the vows go back, but if it is as far as the religions then my guess is planned parenthood was not a concept. You got married, boink, and babies happen. It was just a given that children were a part of life.

LostInParadise's avatar

It is not just a matter of acknowledging children but committing toward their well being. Maybe part of the problem relates to the traditional attitude toward corporal punishment of children It would be a strange vow that promoted cherishing in sickness and health and beating the crap out of when necessary.

SQUEEKY2's avatar

BUT @LostInParadise in my travels I have come across a lot of kids that really ,really need a good kick in the ass.

Dutchess_III's avatar

No kid deserves to have the crap beat out of them.

Cupcake's avatar

The Baha’i marriage vow is, “We will all, verily, abide by the will of God.”

IMHO, this does address children.

SQUEEKY2's avatar

@Dutchess_III your totally right, but you can’t say that some kids don’t deserve a spanking once in a while,can you really reason with a 2 or 3 year old having a full blown temper tantrum?
A smart slap on their ass quickly gets their attention, rather than saying OK billy lets talk about this type thing.

Dutchess_III's avatar

I’m not against swats for the toddlers who you can’t yet really reason with or offer options to. Sometimes a swat is all that works.

Also, I don’t swat kids because they’re having temper tantrums. That’s like pouring gas on a fire to put it out. I remove them from my vicinity because it’s annoying and it helps me keep my temper.

I said I’m against beating the crap out of kids.

elbanditoroso's avatar

@Cupcake – how? The Bahai vow doesn’t explicitly say much of anything. The will of God might be to eat chocolate chip cookies. That would also follow as a Bahai vow.

Too general to be followed, in my opinion.

dappled_leaves's avatar

@LostInParadise “It is not just a matter of acknowledging children but committing toward their well being.”

That is a very modern idea. I’m not sure why you would expect to see it expressed in traditional marriage vows.

JLeslie's avatar

You talking about kids in the vows, what about the women? Is to obey part of the vows we are talking about?

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