Monday, 7 March 2011

Dinkies or Family Life?

Just been away on an art course this past weekend. Very enjoyable and part of my CPD (continued professional development). On the course was a married couple, two 'dinkies'. I think they are the first I have ever met though I believe they are a common breed. This couple had retired early, very early, and could do so (they were happy to relay to the small group) because they had made a conscious decision not to have any children. So as Double Income No Kids (dinkies) they were now living their dream, playing art and presumably had plenty of money to do that. Momentarily I felt a little envious - they looked young and very relaxed and were doing what they wanted themselves. But it was only a moment's thought. Even in secular terms what does this teach about hope, lineage, the meaning of life? It is to focus in on the here and now. There is a sadness here and I felt sad for them.It is not a look forward to eternity.  Yes, God sometimes wills a couple to remain childless, but to choose it as a married couple is to live selfishly. Marriage is about family. The husband,the wife, the child; love = new life - this  mirrors  the Trinity. The family = the image and likeness of God.


  1. Hello,

    That was an interesting story, would be good to read more about this lifestyle choice from a Catholic perspective...

  2. Hello Anonymous
    Thank you for your comment. Catholic teaching is that marriage is ordained by God as the union of one man and one woman for the joint purpose of unity and procreation, with the ultimate goal of building the kingdom and attaining union with God in heaven. Sexual intercourse in biology has only one purpose, which is procreation. God added the unitive purpose when he created man and woman in His image. Anything which deliberately frustrates either the procreative or unitive purpose is immoral. A Catholic who enters into marriage with the deliberate free will intention of remaining childless does not contract a valid marriage. The Catholic who uses artificial chemical, surgical or other means to prevent conception also sins gravely and willingly and intentionally separates himself from Christ's grace in the sacraments and from communion with Him in the Church.
    I should point out that the couple referred to above were, not to my knowledge Catholic, but you have asked for a Catholic perspective on this.

  3. Hello again,

    Thank you for replying to my question, sorry I feel I haven't explained myself very well, I wasn't looking for a Catholic perspective on marriage as such, it was this word 'dinkie' which I found curious as I hadn't heard of it before. I was wondering if you were going to write more about this lifestyle choice from your Catholic perspective, as you touched upon some very challenging topics such as lineage, secularism and eternity, which obviously mean different things to you as they did, or not, to that couple you were talking about. Hope I make a bit more sense this time! Thank you.

  4. This comment from Fr GD:-
    I find this 'Dinkie' idea very sad; it is a decision to refuse anything other than the 'us' of their relationship. As you say, even from a secular perspective this seems very cold: "we do not intend to contribute to the growth of the human family or its interpersonal support, but we do expect others to contribute so that there are teachers, doctors and nurses etc ,to provide for our needs". The marital act is intrinsically both reproductive and unitive, and the elimination of the reproductive element means that their 'love life' tends simply towards self-gratification because, as we know, it is not often that people engage in the marital act because we desire to please our partner (that is, FOR our partner) but because we desire the experience with our partner for OUR OWN gratification, and though we obviously hope the partner is as pleased as we are the intention is never quite so altruistic! Engaging in the act while closing it off from its biological purpose seems to me to make the marital act something of a mutual ‘self-pleasuring’, rather than mutual up-building. It is an entirely closed-in experience and this is signified, it seems to me, by the closure of the marital act to the gift of new life. It is being open to new life that prevents the act from being-focused.

  5. Anonymous,
    The Double Income No Kids ies have made a secular lifestyle choice. In contrast, Catholics living in accordance with the teaching of their Church are open to new life. The Dinkies have a secular view of man as the supreme being so they must have fun, spend money, travel etc before they cease to exist, whereas Catholic couples live in the light of eternity. This world is only a route to a better one. I didn't intend to explore this further here. I will pray for the Dinkies and invite readers to do likewise.