"Children are God's gifts, a heritage, and a reward; and are to be accounted blessings, and not burdens: He who sends mouths, with send meat, if we trust in Him" ~Matthew Henry
The Government has washed our nation out to a sea of debt to other nations. They have created a culture of falsely believing that all life choices should equal the same financial outcome for everyone, and that everyone who believes they are due material wealth ought to have it. Children have become an "expensive burden" we seek to avoid, but debt for personal expenditures and entitlement programs are not offensive today. The common idea is that "Children are soooo Expensive!"
In our culture, we have chosen lifestyle of debt, life-long entitlement mentality and lavish living. Frugality of past generations is largely gone. Some of the poorest people appear to be able to afford Smart Phones. Priorities are definitely skewed.
There is certainly nothing wrong with nice things, beautiful homes, etc. In fact, having ambition to succeed is inherently American. However there is something decidedly different about the last two generations of Americans. The last two generations have decided to pursue these material and temporal possessions at the expense of their children, and their eternal Christian inheritance. The other problem is that very few families can actually afford to live this lifestyle, regardless of how many children they have. Most people, right out of the gate into adulthood, begin their lives in debt. They begin either in debt themselves for college, or living a lifestyle sustained by the help or debt of their own parents.
This has left a huge societal impact, because Christian families are simply not having children anymore, because of the misguided belief that their single most important contribution to their children is what they can give to them materially speaking. With fewer Christians raising their children in an intact Christian home, fewer responsible, hard working, and freedom-loving adults are being set out into society. We can clearly see the impact on our freedoms and our government and society since the nation began forfeiting children in favor of debt.
Since this has culturally become the norm, there are several societal prerequisites to qualifying to have children. Notice none of them are of eternal benefit for others, or for ourselves. This means that what society deems of value, God has spoken and said is largely worthless..even the vast educations..etc. Again, goals and accomplishment are not worthless or evil. Parents inherently want a good future for their children, and often will sacrifice to help obtain that. However, if parents put more stock into ensuring their children have all their whims met, rather than raising solidly grounded, disciplined and responsible children, we have products of their misguided efforts abounding. The pursuit of these idols of wealth above eternal perspectives, or if they are pitted against raising any children for the Kingdom, then they limit the ability of people to raise children fully for the Lord and to stand on principle in his or her nation.
Some of the false pre-requisites that society has established that makes adults believe they are unqualified to have children are:
- A mortgaged home of a large size I have watched HGTV enough times, and my CPA husband has relayed horror debt stories enough to believe that buyers today largely believe they must provide a 300K+ mortgage, riddled with debt, "for their kids" to have large bedrooms, play rooms, rec rooms, etc., all finished in modern and convenient luxury. Gone are the days for most Americans of believing it is sufficient to provide a warm bed in a shared room of a sibling, in small and modest, but extremely clean and well appreciated home they can AFFORD
- All the luxury "newborn essentials". While it is certainly fun, and there is nothing wrong with having fun gadgets for your baby, if it is a requirement do we refuse having children because these are seen as "needs" and they won't have fancy clothes, layettes, disposable diapers, coordinated nursery furniture and finishes, their own rooms, designer diaper bags, trendy strollers, bottle warmers, swings, etc
- Entertainment Trips, vacations, "educational experiences", water parks, theme parks, movie theaters, technology equipment and computers and gadgets, more toys than they can use, etc. Society has taught we must fill every waking moment with activity, and most activity costs money and time.
- Large educational expenses and equipment for the very young Society likes to brag not on character, but on achievement. God's Word teaches character in Christ and a life built on Him, not personal intellect is worth bragging about. Galatians 6:14
- New financed cars Rarely do people in today's society that have children drive a vehicle that isn't on payment. We couldn't possibly save for a vehicle and pay cash, or drive something older. No, auto manufacturers and our debt loving society have convinced us largely that we "must" offer our children "modern safety, ecological and comfort conveniences"
- Fully funded higher education A college fund at a liberal college or university is now a societal pre-requisite for all children, which, unfortunately today is often the follow up to the early indoctrination of public school
- Expensive clothing Whether or not it can be afforded, it goes on a card if it's wanted
- "One on One time" Our psychologist permeated society has convinced would-be parents, that it is a grave disservice to not spend hours and hours of entertainment time with each child alone. So much time is spent attempting to afford this to children that often parents miss out on natural time and natural educational opportunities. They also neglect the beauty of sibling relationships. Simplicity like reading to a child individually just isn't enough today
- Buying into the overpopulation myth perpetrated by Environmental Marxists Much of this false teaching hinges on the belief that it is incredibly irresponsible to produce more than 1 (maybe 2 if pushed by family to provide a sibling) child for our "planet in peril".
- Medical insurance and frequent well-baby/child visits and immunizations There is a myth and even an attack that families must provide standard health insurance for their whole family, and follow traditional schedules for medical exams and immunizations. Choosing otherwise infers that you are irresponsible and "too poor" to continue having children, even if it is an educated choice that leads to the avoidance of non-essential medical costs/care. Many women report working for the sole reason of providing health insurance
- Convenience foods and dining out Fast paced and non-home centered lifestyles, along with women who will "not be tied to a kitchen all day" as the norm, lead families to spend double, triple or even quadruple on food that is neither healthy, or tasty. However, it becomes "necessary" and children learn to eat nothing other than expensive and convenient packaged and dining out meals.
Of course, there are many more ways that society has convinced would-be parents that we are in need of meeting a financial bar that most people cannot (and some do not wish to) meet without extreme debt or sacrifice of simple time and love for children. Therefore, people have a false sense of what is required to be a parent, by neglecting what the inventor of parenting, God, wants for us: Responding and following his Word and Commandments in raising our children. Indeed, our children belong not to us, but to the Lord God, and the Lord God is not concerned with the appearance of wealth when gained with frivolous debt of this world! Psalms 127:3
Further hindering the desire of people to bear and raise children are many of the popular financial educators today. Most, sadly even Christians, have some stellar economic advice, mixed with the un-biblical principles of wealth building as the core. The wealth building becomes the most important goal, and children get pushed off, until sometimes it is too late to have any, all for the sake of money. Yet, the Bible speaks nothing of retirement beyond preparing and being a good steward, which also was a reason to actually have a family in prior generations: someone to help care for the aged extended family that once cared for them.
There certainly is nothing wrong with wealth, with college for children, and with saving for a retirement. Many of these can be great blessings when done appropriately! However, when these become our focal points, we realize we may not be able to accept children, what God calls blessings, AND reach societal financial "requirements" placed on us in order to qualify to have children . Then, the rationalizing begins against allowing the Lord to work in our lives. Since many Christians already participate and agree in the new false "Prosperity Gospel" at least to some degree, our entitlement society is not wasted only on the secular society! Christians look for God's anointing on their finances as proof they are "doing it all right", and do not accept Scripture that teaches that financial wealth is certainly not an indication of God's love. Some of the most obedient men and women in Scriptures, had the least material wealth at times, or for the entirety of their earthly lives.
The biggest error is the redefinition of need among Americans and Christians alike. There is no greater way to invest in the future of America than for families to choose to have children which will require that they spend money on them when they have needs. The government cannot do this for us without us sacrificing our foundations! Our children are most certainly not well raised "by the village"! Meeting the needs of children financially, spiritually, emotionally and physically is a beautiful task, but it is one God provides for, not the government and not credit card companies. A heart change is required to live differently from the world in our definition of need vs want, and in our attitudes toward the purpose of children.
We've all seen or heard the articles from research companies that total the cost of raising a child from birth to college in astronomical amounts. However, sifting through these numbers reveals little based in need, and all of want. This is how society tells Christians they have no business having more than one or two children.
What does our God say about needs and wants? Do we trust Him to provide for our needs as we act responsibly and charitably, or do we surmise that He won't give us the vacation that society says is due, so we must have not met our societal requirements?
Society has lost much with Christian families having fewer and fewer children. We will continue to see weaknesses in our government as more people serve the master of money than the Lord God. Has our nation chosen to equate the blessing of children with obedience to what society deems required spending, or do we look to God's definitions of ideal parenting?
We ought to choose today where our next dollar will go in relation to the younger generations. Do we believe that public schools will function more efficiently in upholding the Christian faith if we give more money? Do we believe that dollars or moral and spiritual character equal children that have positive societal influence and further the Kingdom of God? Have we chosen children to grow for God's kingdom and great contribution to our nation, or have we chosen self, entertainment, luxury and debt, all based on the lie that we must meet these requirements in order to be "responsible parents that deserve to have children at all"? Think about it.
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