Our Priceless Joy
Blessed is the man whose quiver is full of [children].
From a financial perspective, parenting is definitely an expensive proposition. The estimated cost for a middle-income family to raise a child born in the year 2000 is $165,630—and that doesn’t include paying for college, which today can run into six figures by itself (our apologies for any heart palpitations we’ve just caused!).
But our children are more than just another expense, aren’t they? Though they require an incredible investment of our resources—time, money, energy, patience—they give back even more. Can we put a price on our pleasure in receiving a lovingly crafted gift, on the pride that fills us when our child hits all his lines in the school play, on the contentedness we feel after an extra-long bedtime hug? Can anything make us understand our heavenly Father’s love for us quite like our own unconditional love for our children?
There are days when the costs and trials of parenthood add up to what seems an unbearable burden. When that happens, we urge you to turn to the pages of Scripture. The psalms remind us that children are a “heritage” and a “reward” (Psalm 127:3); they are “arrows in the hands of a warrior” (v. 4). As you read the Word of God and praise Him for your kids, you’ll feel genuine appreciation returning to your heart. Sure, kids are expensive—but they are worth every penny.
Before you say good night…
- Do your children sometimes feel like a burden instead of a blessing?
- In addition to prayer and studying the Word, how can you help each other appreciate your kids?
Lord, we really do love our kids. In those moments when our frustrations build up, please move us to respond in a way that brings glory to You. Thank You for entrusting us with these precious lives. Amen.
Statistic from “Expenditures on Children by Families: 2000 Annual Report,” USDA Center for Nutrition Policy and Promotion. http://www.govspot.com/news/reports/family.htm (accessed 16 July 2002).
This devotional is taken from Night Light for Parents. Copyright © 2000 by James Dobson, Inc. All rights reserved. Used with permission.