A Reader Writes (in part):
There are quite a few couples and families who I know would love to not only have one parent stay home with the children, but they quite honestly would love to have a large family too. However, most just do not feel that they can afford to have more than 1 or 2 children. I do believe them when they say that if they could find a way to do this, they would do it. I wonder, can you and your readers share with me the particulars of how you do this? I do think there are quite a few people here who truly are interested, and would very much like to know!
It’s conventional wisdom to say that kids are expensive. Page through any popular parenting magazine and you’ll find countless examples of the ways in which children “cost” their parents: Sacrificed careers and promotions, essential baby gear, specialized clothing, and education all add up. Sometimes you’ll even find a helpful break down of all the costs of raising a child from birth to age 18, with a grand total guaranteed to scare your socks off.
Thankfully, however, not all of the “stuff” parenting experts consider essential truly is. And thankfully again, no one requires you to pay up front for 18 years worth of child-related expenses.
I do recognize that much of our modern world is set up for 2-income households of 2 parents with no more than 2 children. This can make it difficult for those of us who do things differently. Difficult at times, but not impossible. Some large families move to areas where the cost of living is low. Some large families establish small businesses to earn more income. Some large families keep only one car or live in a smaller house to keep their costs low.
Of course God gave humans the capacity for reason so that we might use it and of course not all of us are called to have dozens of children. But it is also true that God calls us to trust in him to provide for our material needs and that he rewards our faithfulness and trust.
The right balance between trusting in Divine Providence and using reason to plan our families and provide for our material needs will be different for every family. Where you live and what education, skills, or opportunities you and your spouse have will in large part determine what makes the most sense for your family.
It has been my personal experience, however, that the old saying I once heard about each new baby coming with his own loaf of bread is true. Over the course of having our 8 children in the past 13 years, we have certainly had our share of financial woes. God has sometimes left us hanging for what seemed an uncomfortably long period of time by my human standards, but he has always has provided for our family in the end. Abundantly so. And I wouldn’t change a thing.