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Can You Afford More Children?

My Friend Debbie      My husband and I and all our children went out for dinner with his parents to celebrate my husband's birthday.. We enjoy these dinners, not only because the in-laws pay for them, but because Nana always brings goodies for the kids and we have a lot of fun. When we were paying the check and leaving, the woman at the register gave us a compliment about our family and said, "I have two children and I'd love to have more. We're just waiting awhile until we can afford them."

     How does one "afford" children? How exactly do you calculate the "cost" of a child? I know it's been done. You've probably seen the articles delineating the astronomical costs of raising a child to become self-sufficient. Diapers for 2-3 years, clothing, doctor's visits, school costs, braces, sports, music lessons, college, etc, etc.-all these things will cost you thousands and thousands of dollars! In today's economy, how can we possibly "afford" children at all?

My Friend Debbie      Well, I'm sure there are lots of ways to answer that question, but here's my personal take on it: Receiving God's blessings has nothing to do with our financial state. No matter if it is a couple's first child or their tenth, the ultimate provider for God's blessings is God Himself, and children are, according to Scripture, a way God blesses us.

     Now wait a minute, some of you are thinking. Are you saying that if a couple is living paycheck to paycheck and doesn't know if they'll even have a place to stay within three months that they should just go ahead and plan to have a baby? What I'm saying is this: If a God-fearing couple has dedicated their lives and everything in them to God --their work, home, future and family -- then God will show Himself to be faithful in whatever He sends their way. And if children come as a result of normal, healthy marital relations, then God is in it because He is the giver of life.

     Many years ago I had a conversation with someone who revealed that she and her husband didn't use any preventative measures to keep from having children. [GASP] At the time I was finishing my MBA and engaged to a handsome guy. My Friend DebbieWe didn't have it all planned out, but we thought children were for "down the road," and the thought of throwing caution to the wind made me astonished at this friend's confession. She posed a question to me that I will pose to my readers: Is God in control, or isn't He? Most of us would say "yes" without hesitation. But would we apply it to all the areas of our lives, including the size of our families or whether we can "afford" more children?

     Ladies, if more children are on your heart, please don't let yourself get bogged down in this area. Let me encourage you to take a step of faith. Watch as God provides extra in unexpected ways; listen as He speaks about how to make your dollars stretch further; obey when He asks you to do without something you really don't need.

     When you hold that little blessing in your arms and watch him or her grow, you won't regret trusting God to provide for your family, no matter what the size.

Copyright © 2008-2015 Heather Gwaltney

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