We live in world where everything revolves around money, which is supposedly the root of all evil. But think about it for a moment. Is money by itself bad? No, it isn’t. Money can also be used for good purposes. What really causes some people to do things they shouldn’t is not money per se, but the love of it. And the more money we have, the more we want. It’s a never-ending cycle that feeds off itself.
This is precisely why it does not make sense to put life on hold until we have “enough” money. People who do that are simply asking for trouble. Unfortunately, most people living in today’s money-minded world do not see it that way.
These days, most married couples prefer to have just one kid. Some others prefer not to have kids at all.
Several factors, such as the desire to live the “good” life, or the desire to cut “unnecessary” costs, influence this decision. After all, babies are expensive, right? Well, they could be, especially if the parents spoil them by playing to the whims of a materialistic society. Otherwise, having a baby is quite inexpensive.
In fact, one cannot put a price tag to the joy, happiness and contentment a child brings into the home. If we could, we would find that the benefits of having a baby far outweigh the costs.
But most people don’t know this. So they resort to just about everything – pills, external contraceptives, vasectomy, even murder – to not have a baby. (Um, did I say “murder”? Oh! My bad. I meant to say “abortion”.)
Needless to say, God is not pleased.
When we married, my wife Sharel and I were very clear about certain things. We would not conform to the ways of the world, especially if it meant having to snub God. We were (and still are) very determined to live by the Word.
The Bible says don’t worry about anything. Just do what God wants you to do and He will take care of all your needs (Philippians 4). If that is what God has promised, then it is good enough for me.
My pastor always said, “If God decides to bless you with a child, He will also provide you the means to take care of that child. God will incur the expenses. Just trust Him.”
And that is exactly what we did. We didn’t have our baby with one eye on our bank balance; we had him with both eyes fixed firmly on God.
Did it pay off?
More than we could imagine.
First, in an age where an increasing number of births are through the C-section, my wife had a normal delivery. Also, she was in labor for less than half the average time it takes first-time mothers.
Second, less than a month after the birth of our son, I received a 20 percent increment in my salary. I also received a bonus that covered all hospital and delivery-related expenses. The total increase in my annual earnings? Almost 30 percent!
In retrospect, I did not pay a dime to bring my child into the world, despite having him delivered by one of the best doctors in one of the finest hospitals in the country. Also, the increment more than covers the cost of everything he will need in future. God took care of everything just as He promised.
I smile to myself sometimes when I think about it because it is beautiful and also a little funny. Out in the world, people think having a lot of children does not make economic sense. And here God is paying us to have babies and raise them for Him. Like the Bible says: The wisdom of this world is foolishness to God. In retrospect, God is using what is unwise in the eyes of the world to show us how foolish the ways of the world are.
Yes, to be certain, not every couple who has children by the dozen is blessed financially. I see people who have many children, but not enough to get by—not enough food to put on the table.
Why is that so?
I guess it is because that kind of blessing comes with a precondition—a prerequisite: You must have and raise all your children for the Lord.
When I think back, that’s exactly what we did. We consecrated our baby, the first fruit of our union, to God even before he was conceived. And right away I knew in my heart that it would be a boy because God said all firstborn are mine, especially if they are male.
We are expecting our second baby soon. Since we strongly believe that every child is a blessing from above, it made a lot of sense to us to let God decide when we should have our second baby. Most people think a three-year gap between children is ideal. Most people will also find it hard to believe that despite never having resorted to any family planning method, our second baby is due just about when our first will turn three.
Talk about perfect timing. God knows all about it.
The problem is people don’t trust God enough to let Him decide what’s best for them. I am happy to testify that whenever my wife and I took a leap of faith, we found God right there waiting to catch us. He was backing us up all the time.
So this is my advice: Never base the major decisions of your life, especially the decision to have children, on how much money you have in the bank. If you do, chances are you may have neither children nor money in the end. Seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and everything else you need will be added unto you. (Matthew 6:33) When you figure out what this scripture really means, write it on your heart.
The Bible says children themselves are a blessing (Psalm 127:3). And since they actually belong to God, He faithfully provides for every child He brings into the world. We, the parents, are just the caretakers.
In retrospect, everything God asks us to do is for our own good. Unfortunately though, most people are not willing to let go of the semblance of control they think they have over what goes on in their life. They prefer to do as they please, but when they start facing the consequences of their actions, they start looking for someone to blame. And when their search brings them to the mirror, they quickly turn around and try to find a suitable scapegoat. Ultimately, they blame God. That’s human nature: We take credit for all the good and blame Him for all the bad.
Are you one of those people giving God a hard time about doing (or not doing) something for you? Well, back off a little. We don’t need to convince God to do the right thing. It is in His very nature to do what’s best for everybody. So, take a breather. Don’t wear yourself out trying to get rich (Proverbs 23:4). You are not a money-machine. Money is a trap for those who are fascinated by it, a trap that every fool falls into (Sirach 31:7). Therefore, have the wisdom to show restraint.
Since we are not going to live forever, let’s focus on the things that really matter. If you are married and God blesses you with a child, thank Him and welcome the child joyfully. Remember, every child comes bearing rich gifts from heaven.
If you ever have the misfortune of having to consider an abortion, reflect on this: The child you plan to abort might just be your ticket to the happy, prosperous life you always desired. So be good to yourself and allow God to work a miracle in your life. Allow Him to bless you.
Do it for yourself!
Let me conclude with the story of my own child’s birth.
We welcomed our firstborn in March 2010.
I watched nervously as they wheeled Sharel into her room after the delivery. Then, a nurse arrived with our newborn baby.
She looked at me and asked, “Are you the father?”
“Would you like to hold your baby?”
Truth is I was afraid. How do you hold something so delicate and precious?
I think they call it “new dad anxiety”.
Then, the baby started crying. I watched as the nurse tried to pacify my son, but it was a lost cause.
I remember thinking to myself, “Man, you are the father. If you don’t hold your own baby, who will?”
“Okay. Give him to me,” I said.
The nurse gently laid him in my arms. The baby instantly stopped crying.
She smiled and said, “He knows who you are.”
“Yes,” I replied, smiling at the babe in my hands, “I am his father.”