Category: birth control

The Cost of Raising Children

Nowadays, the cost of children is the forefront of family planning discussions. It’s all about “can we afford them?”

Interestingly, I don’t think folks talked much about affordability of children back in the day. Not even during the Depression when feeding a child could actually be a serious challenge.

And I only bring up the contrast to highlight the fact that the value of children has changed over the last several decades.

And because we don’t value human life the same, we’ve had to come up with good reasons to justify our decision to not have them. It makes me sad that we have come to measure life with a dollar sign, like another household commodity.

Which is why I so appreciated this light-hearted but serious look at the problem of measuring children by our pocket books, written by Brant, from Air 1. You’ll LOVE it. Or you’ll hate it.

“Thing is, my wife and I didn’t have the money, either. When we had our boy, Justice, I made $17,500. We rented a duplex, and drove two cars worth a combined – not making this up, this is what they sold for: $125. And this isn’t the 50′s. This is the 90s….”

Read the rest The Cost of Children

We’re Not “Quiverfull”…What I Believe About Family Size

My friend, Cindy, from Get Along Home, whom I was fortunate to find and get to know a few months ago, so often speaks my heart, only better, and the following post is no different.

The issue of children and fertility is no doubt one of the most volatile among women, even Christians, and no matter how careful we are in the discussion, we almost always are misunderstood, misquoted or worse.

Cindy so clearly speaks to some of the confusion and I wanted to share it:

“My purpose in this world, contrary to the belief of some, is not to have children! I’m very uncomfortable with the “quiverfull” label. It has a wrong emphasis on family size and, I believe, comes dangerously close to preaching an unbiblical, works-based model of salvation. If I had no kids, Jesus would still be my Lord and my God. If I have a dozen more (oh, my), Jesus will still be my purpose. My family size is an outworking of this faith, it is true. If I didn’t get my worldview from a Bible that considers children to be an asset, I would most likely conform to the beliefs of the World and have a smaller number of children. But a large family has never been my goal. Christ is my goal.”

Read the rest of Small Family, Large Family or God’s Family?

To read more fabulous Gems in the Web, visit Visionary Womanhood.

 

Do YOU Think Consistently? (Hypocrites and the Food Stamp Comment.)

I recently posted on Facebook, about an interaction I had:

“He says to me, ‘Well, if you can feed them without my tax $$ I guess it’s great if you want to have lots of kids.’ Me, thinking: ‘I appreciate your permission to reproduce on God’s timetable. We have never stolen your tax $ to feed our children. You, on the other hand, don’t mind stealing mine to educate your children. Somehow, I’m not allowed to bring that up though.’ *Inconsistency bugs me*

Because it does. I have much more respect for a person I may disagree with yet who thinks and behaves consistently.

Most of my readers know I’m not a fan of government subsidies, regardless of whether we’re talking post office or cell phones. Yes I understand the convoluted mess we’ve gotten ourselves into that makes these seem necessary. Yes I know people who have felt they had no other option and I don’t judge them. No I don’t agree with people who have children to get more food stamps. The conversation here isn’t about when, where how or if it’s right, so I’ll ask you to stick to the point if you want to comment. The point is the hypocrisy.

Some of the comments on my facebook status reflect the inconsistencies still deeper:

“If we are going to go there…..given the choice I’d rather use government money to feed my children than educate them…..

Doesn’t the assumption that large families are eating off the government just irk you? I cannot seem to understand why THAT of all things bothers people so much. In this country we now have government healthcare, subsidies for driving electric cars and installing energy efficient windows in our own homes. The government pays for education from preschool through high school and sometimes college. Not to mention after school programs, the school lunch programs, etc. There is unemployment “insurance” and bailouts of almost every industry. Investments–whether you’re rich or poor–are insured by our bankrupt government. The government subsidizes genetically modified corn, wheat, and soy, not mention dairy. We could go on and on. And we are going to fuss at anyone who has more than three children if they get food stamps? That’s just….crazy. It really is.” -Daja, The Provision Room

We. need. thinkers.

Why Have Babies? By Candice Watters (Excellent Thoughts on Thinking Through Birth Control)

The article, “Why Have Babies” was so, so good. I guess all of us really love reading things we already know, embrace and believe, from others’ perspectives. Candice Watters, the founder of Boundless.org gives a refreshing reminder of WHY Christians should love and embrace children, and as I’ve said so many times before, understanding what our purpose is and why God gives us children in the first place, completely changes our understanding of life!

A few of my favorite thoughts:

“We live in a world where people take great pains and lots of pills to prevent babies when they don’t want them, and spare no expense to get them when they do. According to our culture, babies before you want them are an accident, mistake or crisis — a result of a birth control failure. And if you can’t have them naturally when you decide you’re ready, they’re treated like a commodity you have a right to buy, as long as you can afford the price tag.”

“But, Dr. Morken, we can’t afford them.”….”Babies are wealth,” he said. “Budget for everything but babies.”

“The control we think we have is an illusion….We stopped assuming our timeline was best; stopped basing our decision primarily on our comfort, ease and consumption patterns; and started asking God when He wanted us to start our family.”

Read all of Why Have Babies? You’ll be glad you did.

What to Expect When No One’s Expecting

In a culture that increasingly despises life and children, we hear myths about “overpopulation” and the heavy “liability” that children are, all intended to ease our consciences and justify our own wisdom, contrary to the Creator’s.

And like so many other things, we’re dead wrong, God is right, as always, and He promises one thing:

“Because I have called and you refused to listen, have stretched out my hand and no one has heeded, because you have ignored all my counsel and would have none of my reproof, I also will laugh at your calamity; I will mock when terror strikes you…” Proverbs 1:24-26

It’s not speculation, but fact, as already seen in other countries, that our rejection of life as a society is going to have serious consequences. Ironically, those who will feel it the most are those who are most anti-child, depending on the government (retirement) to “be there” for them in their elderly years, most of whom will have few or no progeny to care for them, or their progeny will be too busy pursing their dreams, having been brought up without the sense of responsibility for caring for others.

This is a short, excellent clip explaining why:

 

 

If you have trouble viewing the video, try this link: What to Expect When No One’s Expecting

On Mother’s Day, Abortion, & the Church’s Part

This approaching Mother’s Day  has brought about such mixed emotions. I read, with belly full of squirming life, the horrific details of the Gosnell trial in front of us, and am painfully aware that the abortion industry knows no bounds, and is becoming a bloodier and more murderous force, cloaking its audacity with “compassion for women”, all the while slaughtering them.

I’m also aware of how absurd and inconsistent we are. What Gosnell did was heinous; but no more heinous than if he had killed those babies just minutes before, right before they emerged from their mother’s womb (which happens every day), when he would have been protected, instead of on trial for murder, by the Supreme Court who deems it constitutional to kill a baby as long as there isn’t too much blood, apparently.

Motherhood is viewed by some to be so repulsive, they are willing to kill to avoid it. And once killing a baby is a protected option, all children must suffer the devaluation of their existence. As Rachel Jankovic so aptly put it:

“Abortion in our country is not a standalone moment, brought about by women who somehow haven’t heard of adoption. Abortion is that dark crisis choice served up to millions of women every year, courtesy of our cultural religion of self-fulfillment. It is the bloody path taken by many women who feel that they really “had no choice” (at least if they were going to finish law school, if they were going to have a career, if they were going to be slim in their bikinis in time for Spring Break). Everyone acts like abortion is a sad thing, but a necessity. But the truth is that abortion is the sacrifice that our religion of selfishness requires.” The Real Life of the Pro-Life Home

What Can We Do

We all want to do something. Some picket the sidewalks and beg women to spare their babies, praying that God’s grace would intervene in the last moment. We all need to be a voice.

And yet the jaws of this deadly monster seem too fierce to combat.

I’ll tell you what we can do, before we start picketing…we can repent, as the Body of Christ, for feeding the abortion industry, by lying to families about what God says about children and perpetuating the fear and stigma of pregnancy outside a “perfect” situation.

Pastors can repent for not honestly transferring the Word of God to their congregations about children and what they’re for and how we are to think about them.

  • We can repent for not living out, in front of the world, the living gospel, which includes the embracing of the blessing and purpose of children.
  • We can repent for saying we are “pro-life” but not fully living it. For mocking mothers with more than three children or ignoring her needs, treating her as irresponsible, which is to play our part in the death culture.
  • We can repent for killing our own babies through abortifacient means like the pill and IUD, before we claim to be bothered by Dr. Gosnell’s crimes.
  • We can repent for thinking, and making others think, that we have absolute control over life and have a right, a responsibility even, for the most temporal of reasons, to refuse to welcome children and worse, chide others who don’t do the same.
  • We can repent for coddling the children we do have, treating them as trophies rather than the steward-gifts from God that they are, given to us for HIS glory and purpose.

 

Christians can stop being hypocrites and start being consistent in their theology about life. We are pro-every-life, or we are not really pro-life. That’s what we can do.

Right now, in our culture, in our time, there is something uniquely potent about mothers sacrificing for their children. As we lay down our lives for them, presenting ourselves to God as a living sacrifice, that sacrifice makes an aroma. That sacrifice directly contradicts and blasphemes everything the world is fighting for. As you care for your children, on the long days and tired moments, disciplining yourself, sacrificing yourself for them, you are reaching out to the world. When you present yourself as a living sacrifice, the aroma of that sacrifice cannot be contained. We do not turn inwards towards our children and towards our homes because we do not care about the world. We turn inwards because the world needs to smell this sacrifice….

Motherhood is the big-leagues of self-sacrifice. Millions of women kill to avoid it. In our culture of self-gratification, to embrace selfless motherhood is a revolutionary act. To see the sacrifice and rejoice in it. To recognize that the cost is your own life, and to willingly lay yourself down. The world hates the smell of that sacrifice, because it is the smell of grace. They hate it because it is the smell of something living and burning at the same time — something that is impossible without a risen Savior.

There are times to stand on sidewalks and hold signs, but holding a sign isn’t what makes a mother pro-life. Being pro-life means putting the life of another ahead of your own. It means being daily grace to the small souls nearest to you.” The Real  Life of the Pro-Life Home, Rachel Jankovic

Purpose of Children

And it’s not just our negative attitudes toward children that are wrong, but also our lack of understanding the grand purpose of their role in the Kingdom. If we acknowledged God’s purpose for children, our entire paradigm would shift.

Doug Wilson (Rachel’s father) says it perfectly in Raising Arrow Children:

“Like arrows in the hands of a mighty warrior…Blessed was the man who had sons who stand with him in a crucial showdown at the city council. They were shoulder to shoulder behind him, and not over on the other side. Neither were they all at home playing video games or out back smoking in the alley….The patter of little feet around the house is a blessing of God, one that we know by natural revelation. But the promise of formidable children is a promise given to us by special revelation….Acorns are cute, but sprawling oaks weathering a storm are glorious. And when we focus on the real blessing of “adorable” children, this can be the cause of mission drift.”

They are a precious gift to us, but our happiness and fuzzy feelings are not the reason we’re given children. Their purpose is not to win beauty pageants or become the best athlete so we can brag on Facebook about them. Their purpose is to “contend with the enemies”. To be raised as mighty warriors, strong, competent, wise and bold. To further the gospel, to stand for truth, to increase the army of God and to glorify Him in all the earth.

And that takes a committed, deliberate, costly focus.

We will never see the atrocities of abortion begin to wane until His own people become truly pro-life and know their reason for being so.

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