Wednesday, May 9, 2007

Children Too Expensive ?

One reason so many people view children as a burden (though they would not necessarily use that word), is that they believe that children are too expensive. Just for the record, I once used this excuse also and that is part of why I had my tubes tied, which is one of my biggest regrets in life. We were struggling so hard just to make ends meet and had 4 children. I knew Jeff felt the weight as he worked so hard to provide for us. So when Emma was born we mutilated my body, destroying the way God had designed it to work. I have since then had a reversal and one miscarriage.

The problem here is not that the children are so expensive, but it is our lifestyle that is so expensive, and yes, there is a big difference. Young children do not cost very much. That is unless each child has to have 12 different pairs of shoes, a closet full of clothes, a fancy crib and a room full of matching furniture, rooms and yards full of toys, day care (ouch!), dance class, beauty pageants, and a dozen other activities that cost money. All these things come with the lie that giving your child everything will make them secure, happy and one day successful. Things do not equal love nor success.

As I said, children are NOT expensive, it is what we *think* they need that is expensive. Do young children really care what type of clothes, toys, and so on that they have? No, they do not care until they become peer dependent/influenced, or brainwashed by the TV. All they want is love, attention and discipline. Give a 1 year old the choice of a new toy or the box that the toy came in, they'll usually choose the box! lol Nor do they care if they have their own room with the best furniture and a closet full of designer clothes. I don't know of a small child, that given the choice, would rather sleep in their beautiful room alone, than snuggle in the same bed with mom and dad. They really don't want their own room until they see that their friends have their own room and then the cry for selfishness continues!

Young children don't eat much, they usually grow out of their clothes before they wear them out. You can buys clothes that are in excellent shape for next to nothing at thrift stores and yard sales, and more than likely there are friends and family members that are always looking for someone to give clothes to. Not to mention do we really need 20 different outfits?

Young children are not expensive, unless you want an activity filled life and labels on your children clothes to show how much you care. Then at the end of the day everyone is exhausted and wishing for a slower paced life...perhaps when the child is grown and moves out?

Then there is the emotional expense. It is hard work raising children. It takes many years of instruction, correction, discipline, edification, nurturing, loosing sleep, controlling your temper and basically you have to die to yourself ALOT to raise children of good character with a healthy love and fear of the Lord. It really is a lifetime of work. But it is so worth it, not in dollar sense, but in knowing you are doing God's will, and there you will find peace in the midst of hard work and sacrifice! Some may find the emotional expense too costly to invest in a child or children.

The sad thing is people don't understand that the children are not what is draining them, physically, emotionally and financially. It is the lifestyle. Having 'things' and being involved in activities is not sin, but when we are willing to sacrifice what God has ordained (family), choosing things over babies, choosing ministry over home, then I'd have to question if we are truly looking at what God has created us for. Are we trading in what is everlasting for what is temporal?

The benefits FAR outweigh the expense of having children.

Tomorrow I'll broach the topic of Living with Older Children.

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