Children are the crowning gift of marriage. They reveal that love is a gift. Love is not simply a subjective experience, but something that we are called to receive. Children are the sign of this love. Indeed, when spouses become parents, they are called to represent God's love to their children.
So true is this that spouses who cannot have children are still called to express God's love to others.
The Christian family has a profound relationship with the Church: the Church is formed by the family and the family is formed by the Church. The person enters the Church through the family, and the Church enters into humanity through the family.
Virginity or celibacy for the sake of the Kingdom does not contradict the dignity of marriage, rather marriage and celibacy are a mutual enrichment of the other.
Virginity or celibacy is a waiting for the great Union which will take place at the end of time - the Union of Christ with His Church. A celibate person anticpates in the body, the future union with Christ. Celibacy also witnesses to the greatness of marriage, defending its value from being diminished.
Celibacy enables a liberation of the human heart so that it can have a greater love for God and humanity, it bears witness to God's Kingdom by showing a preference for it before all others. It is in this sense that celibacy is a greater charism than marriage.
Celibacy nurtures a spiritual fruitfulness which can, in its turn, promote the growth of the family according to God's plan.
The faithfulness of celibate persons and married persons should be mutually enriching.
Reflections such as these can also help people who have been unable to marry but who can live a single life in a spirit of service. (Paragraphs 14, 15 and 16)