Raising Children Godly or Goldly

Making decisions regarding your children is difficult in the best of times, but it is impossible if you have the wrong master.
No one can serve two masters, for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and money.
What is money? Jesus talks about it as earthly treasure. In other words, it is things that you value that are only valuable on earth.

The meaning of the word master has a few definitions but there is one that is particularly enlightening, "he to whom a person or thing belongs, about which he has power of deciding." A master is someone who makes the decisions for another person. In almost all businesses, the ultimate decision maker is not the CEO but the bottom line (i.e. money).  This is expected given the goal of most companies, but when it comes to raising children this should not be the case. The objective of every parent should be to raise godly offspring not profit.
Did he not make them one, with a portion of the Spirit in their union? And what was the one God seeking? Godly offspring. (Mal. 2:15)
Most companies are aware that money is their ultimate decision maker even though they talk about doing the right thing. Providing good customer service is not altruistic, it is a means to an ends.  However, what is obvious in a business situation seems elusive to us in our personal lives.

Christians seem to make decisions regarding when to have children, how many to have, staying home with them, and where to go to school all based on money. It is not that money shouldn't play a part in these decisions, but it seems like it is typically the ultimate decision maker. Here is a list of questions with typical answers.
  • When should we have children? When I have finished my education, am financially stable, and have travelled to all the places on my bucket list.
  • How many children should we have? I only want one or two.
  • Should we stay home with our kids or go back to work? It is not worth it to go back to work, daycare is too expensive, or I found a great daycare/nanny.
  • Where should we send our kids to school? I just don't want my kids to be weird.
Here is that same list but without any reference to money and some comparisons with the previous list.
  • When should we have children? Any time after you get married with the person you married. Ultimately, the main purpose of being married is to have children who are godly whether they are flesh and blood or spiritual. People who can't have kids can still fulfill God's purpose for marriage.
  • How many children should we have? As many as you can raise to be godly. The more godly children the more people there are to bring glory to God. The number of children is not the issue, but the reason for the number just might be. If you only want two kids because it will impact your career, the amount of money you can earn, or when you can retire that is not the right perspective.
  • Should we stay home with our kids? Yes, you are the best person to raise them to be godly. Discipling and teaching your children is difficult and requires a lot of patience and sacrifice. You are the only person who loves them enough to do it well. There could be circumstances outside of your control that prevent you from staying home, such as, being a single mother, health issues, or not being able to put food on the table, but these are by necessity not choice.
  • Where should we send our kids to school? Wherever they can learn to be godly and are not exposed to things they are not ready for. Many Christians are concerned with their kids being socially awkward, but with pornography, sexual promiscuity, and the like, that is probably inevitable.
Social status, financial prosperity, travel, retirement are all things that by themselves only have value in this life. If these are our decision makers than these are our masters. When it come to children and serving God, the key word is godly. All of our decisions should be made with respect to producing the maximal number of godly people, whether they are flesh and blood or not, anything is idolatry.


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