Now that Roe has rightly and officially been relegated to the dustbin of history, a request and proposal:
We need to stop talking about how costly it is to raise children.
In reality, they’re priceless.
At least once a year, and often more than that, we read stories about how much it costs to raise a child. The number is always astronomical, designed to grab headlines and maybe even elicit headaches. That’s because the average husband and wife are usually just trying to make the ends meet. After all, few have an extra two or three hundred thousand dollars lying around.
So, let’s stop playing the game – and start acknowledging and championing the fact that children are the best investment you can ever make.
Over the years, I wonder how many couples have been deterred from trying to have children out of fear of not having enough to pay the bills. Too many, I think. Even in my own evangelical circles, I’ve heard the lament – and even some criticism of large families.
Maybe that’s because even among Christians, we sometimes think we’ll prefer our luxuries to a large table full of kids. If so, we would be wise to rethink and pray about our priorities.
In a post-Roe world, Christians need to redouble their efforts in many ways – including promotion of just how great children are. We need to talk about the beauty, wonder and fulfilling pleasures of family life. We really can’t talk about it enough.
By displaying and modeling the joys of parenthood, we inevitably make children look more appealing and inviting. That attraction will inevitably lead to fewer abortions. Instead of grousing and griping about how expensive and inconvenient kids can be, we should be extolling them as the blessing they really are.
“He that raises a large family does, indeed, while he lives to observe them, stand a broader mark for sorrow,” wrote Benjamin Franklin. “But then he stands a broader mark for pleasure too.”
The late justice Antonin Scalia, who was the father of nine children, once remarked, “In a big family, the first child is kind of like the first pancake. If it’s not perfect, that’s okay, there are a lot more coming along.”
My own mother used to joke that the more children you have, the cheaper they become due to hand-me-downs, leftovers and bulk discounts. “There’s always room for one or two more,” she would say. As the youngest in a family of five children, I’m grateful she embraced such sentiment.
In a post Roe-America, there will be countless opportunities for Christians to demonstrate their love and devotion to the sanctity of life. Like most everything else, the very best way to do so, and the very first place to start, is to model the virtues and principles inherent to life’s sacredness in our marriages and families.