Where does God fit in the baby decision?

One of my frequent commenters tugged my heartstrings yesterday with her tale of the marriage that ended with an annulment over the child issue and whose ex—who refused to convert when they were married–has since joined the Catholic church and attends with his new fiancée. He even stands up front and sings solos. This has made it hard for her to keep going to that church. If he had converted when they were married, their story might have turned out quite differently.
I have probably mentioned this before, but I was amazed in researching Childless by Marriage to find that almost no one included religion in their decision-making about babies. How could so few think about God in making this huge decision? I don’t get it.
In the U.S., statistics show that nearly half of Americans report that they go to church every Sunday. But do they really? According to a recent NPR story called “What We Say About Our Religion, and What We Do,” one in five say they aren’t affiliated with any religious denomination, and many of those who say they go to church don’t actually do it. Personally, I know a lot of good people who don’t have anything to do with any kind of religion.
No matter what kind of religion one practices, wouldn’t it make sense to pray, meditate, or light a candle when deciding whether or not to have children? The Bible tells us to “go forth and multiply.” The Catholic faith dictates that married couples must welcome children and raise them in the faith. Most other religions at least preach that babies are a good thing, if not an essential part of life. Yet couples are making this decision without any consideration of their faith.
I’m trying hard not to preach here. I’m as bad as everyone else. Did I pray over it when motherhood was still an option? I don’t think so. Did I use birth control when my church says I can’t? You bet. I may even have asked that I NOT be pregnant a couple times when I was single. Maybe I got what I deserved.
Dear readers, help me understand. Why do so many people leave God out of the baby decision? I know even asking the question could make some readers angry or make them turn away. But I’m asking. Where is God in all of this?
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What is the purpose of marriage?

I recently read a blog post that maintained that couples should divorce if they aren’t going to have children–because marriage is all about procreation. Is it? Another post noted that on the Maslow list of basic human needs, finding a mate and parenting are right at the top with food and shelter. However, one could meet the parenting needs with children other than their own. What do you think?

Certainly, many religions believe that married couples are supposed to have children. I’m Catholic, and the vows clearly state that couples will gladly accept children and raise them in the Catholic faith. In fact, I got my first marriage annulled through the church on the grounds that my husband refused to have children. There’s no question about what our church preaches. In fact, at a women’s potluck dinner last week, I was clearly reminded of that fact as I sat like a rock in a river listening to women all around me talk about their children and grandchildren.

But what is the purpose of marriage? When I married Fred, children weren’t foremost in our minds, especially after he told me he didn’t want any more kids. He had three from his first marriage. This marriage was for love, companionship, sex, taking care of each other. We simply wanted to be together. Isn’t that a good enough reason to be married? It occurs to me that Fred had already done the procreation part of life with his first wife. Now, it would seem I had missed my chance. I was supposed to make babies with Jim and I didn’t. But at least I wasn’t alone.

What do you think about all this? I welcome your comments.