What do you get for your $160,140?
I have seen repeatedly the breakdown of the cost of
raising a child, but this is the first time I have seen the REWARDS
listed this way. It's nice, really nice!
The government recently calculated the cost of raising a child from
18 and came up with $160,140! That doesn't even touch college
tuition. For those with kids, that figure leads to wild fantasies
about all the money we could have banked if not for (insert your
child's name here). For others, that number might confirm the
decision to remain childless.
But $160,140 isn't so bad if you break it down. It translates into
$8,896.66 a year, $741.38 a month, or $171.08 a week. That's a mere
$24.44 a Day! Just over a dollar an hour.
Still, you might think the best financial advice says don't have
children if you want to be "rich". It is just the opposite.
What do you get for your $160,140?
-Naming rights. First, middle, and last!
-Glimpses of God every day.
-Giggles under the covers every night.
-More love than your heart can hold.
-Butterfly kisses and Velcro hugs.
-Endless wonder over rocks, ants, clouds, and warm cookies.
-A hand to hold, usually covered with jam.
-A partner for blowing bubbles, flying kites, building sandcastles,
and skipping down the sidewalk in the pouring rain.
-Someone to laugh yourself silly with no matter what the boss said
or how your stocks performed that day.
For $160,140, you never have to grow up.
-You get to finger-paint, carve pumpkins, play hide-and-seek, catch
lightning bugs, and never stop believing in Santa Claus.
-You have an excuse to keep reading the Adventures of Piglet and
Pooh, watching Saturday morning cartoons, going to Disney movies,
and wishing on stars.
-You get to frame rainbows, hearts, and flowers under refrigerator
magnet and collect spray painted noodle wreaths for Christmas, hand
prints set in clay for Mother's Day, and cards with backward letters
for Father's Day.
For $160,140, there is no greater bang for your buck
-You get to be a hero just for retrieving a Frisbee off the garage
roof, taking the training wheels off the bike, removing a splinter,
filling the wading pool, coaxing a wad of gum out of bangs, and
coaching a baseball team that never wins but always gets treated to
ice cream regardless.
-You get a front row seat to history; to witness the first step,
first word, first bra, first date, and first time behind the wheel.
-You get to be immortal.
-You get another branch added to your family tree, and if you're
lucky, a long list of limbs in your obituary called grandchildren.
-You get an education in psychology, nursing, criminal justice,
communications, and human sexuality that no college can match.
-In the eyes of a child, you rank right up there with God.
-You have all the power to heal a boo-boo, scare away the monsters
under the bed, patch a broken heart, police a slumber party, ground
them forever, and love them without limits, so one day they will,
like you, love without counting the cost.
ENJOY YOUR CHILDREN (and grandchildren)!!!!!!
Date your mate!
If you want to add life to your marriage, perhaps even save its
life, you’d better do whatever it takes to bring romance and dating
back into the picture. There’s no quick fix. But if you’re willing
to make the proper investments, you’ll find great rewards. So – in
the face of all the excuses, let’s take a look at some important
ways you will benefit from dating your spouse.
Dating Strengthens Your Relationship: Relationships are
strengthened through time spent together, honest communication, and
positive memories. Dating provides all of these. Dating builds up
marriages and helps solidify their foundations. Enduring
relationships aren’t constructed out of fleeting emotions and
occasional passion. They’re solidly built on quality time spent
together, each partner investing in the other.
Dating Enriches Life: Life was given to us by our Creator
to be lived to its fullest. He gave us a great playground we
affectionately call “Earth” to use and enjoy while we have the
opportunity. Setting time aside to enjoy one another is not only
pleasing to God but enriches the quality of our lives. You are bound
to be a much better husband or wife when you invest time in your
marriage, giving it higher priority than such things as the
television set or the office or different activities.
Dating Creates Positive Memories: Memories recall significant
expressions of the past. Quality relationships are rich in positive
memories. Since our world does a good job of dispensing negative
experiences, it’s up to us to do an even better job of providing
positive recollections. I love to hear older couples share stories
of their early dating events. While such rememberings are fun to
hear, imagine how much more enjoyable they were to experience. My
wife and I are sure to have disappointing episodes and some
regretful moments. But one of our goals is to make sure that our
positive memories outweigh our heartaches.
Kedar was a nomadic community in Northern Arabia that was known
for its tents that were woven from black goat hair. The fact that
she had a suntanned appearance revealed that she worked in the
fields and she simply compared her dark skin to the tents of Kedar.
She seemed to be embarrassed about her tanned complexion, but her
lover really liked her dark skin. Feeling insecure as being
different from the women of Jerusalem (v. 6), (who had fair,
delicate skin compared to her course, dark skin) and at being alone
while her lover is away (v. 7) she longs for the security of his
presence. What she wanted most was his praises (v. 7).
It seems that Solomon is complimenting his beloved’s beauty and
comparing her favorably with the women she feared (vv. 14-17). Just
as the cypress blossoms appeared more beautiful in their stark
surroundings, his lover’s beauty stood out in her surroundings.
What Solomon’s bride to be wanted most of all was his praises. This
is something my wife has expressed to me many times and I need to be
more mindful of doing this. We will be the wisest
husbands around if
we ever learn this.
You might think by the title of this message that
showing your love to each other extravagantly would involve spending a
lot of money on each other - that it would involve taking an expensive
vacation or buying expensive gifts for each other. Although loving
extravagantly COULD involve those things, it could mean something much
different. Loving each other extravagantly involves showing your love to
your partner in a lavish way - beyond what comes normal - spending more
of YOURSELF rather than money on your spouse. It involves showing
"Random acts of kindness" and thanks-LIVING, and showing random acts of
romancing to each other.
You see, too often when we marry we start to take each other for
granted. We don't even realize it's happening to us. It starts to happen
without us even noticing that it is - very subtly. The problem is, we
become so familiar with each other, day in and day out, that we
gradually forget to continue to do things for each other which will KEEP
the "spark" in our relationship - and that can lead to marriage
Doing little things that show favor and affection, displaying and
saying our appreciation for one another and treating each other in
respectful ways - being "intentional" in how we show our love are a part
of the attraction we had to each other in the first place & will help to
keep our marriages vital. It feels good to be noticed and appreciated by
someone else. We too often forget that and start expecting things to be
done, leaving aside common courtesies and appreciation for each other.
Eventually our partner can feel no more appreciated than a piece of
When our love was new we didn't expect things to be done for us by the
other person. We noticed every little action they did and showed our
appreciation. But after marriage, because of the busyness of every day
life and the work it takes to maintain a home, jobs, and family, we can
forget our partner still has an inner need to be appreciated, respected,
and honored by someone - someone special that will take notice of the
little things they do. That someone special used to be us (and hopefully
still is)! But some partners find themselves yearning to feel
Some spouses faithfully, yet sadly, live with that yearning for the
rest of their lives if their partner doesn't change their actions. But
some become attracted to someone else outside their marriage for that
very reason. (This doesn't justify their sinful behavior but it explains
what happens in a lot of unfaithful marriages.) You see, the other
person notices those nice little things that are done for them. Of
course, to them those niceties are all new and unexpected, so they'll
naturally notice it more than the tempted spouse. As they notice the
"niceties" and find ways to honor them and express their thankfulness,
the unappreciated spouse begins to feel better about themselves again
and sometimes begins to feel an unexpected spark inside - an attraction,
because they're no longer being taken for granted. Tragically some
people act upon that attraction and that's when marriages are most
threatened by infidelity.
We want to say right here that this isn't always the reason affairs
start because some people will be attracted to others outside the
marriage even if their spouse does all the right things to make them
feel valued and appreciated. It's a character flaw within the unfaithful
spouse to do what is wrong, which really has little to do with the
person they're married to. (Although often they'll still blame the other
spouse because they'd have a hard time living with themselves if they
thought it could be their fault.)
With that said, we still want to make the point that "even if we have
an unbending commitment to our mate, most of us are blind to how we lose
our marriages by slow erosion if we don't keep replenishing the soil."
(William Doherty) We need to be aware of importance of continuing to
show our spouse they're appreciated no matter how long
we've been married.
A man and his wife were having some problems at home and were giving
each other the silent treatment. The next week the man realized that he
would need his wife to wake him at 5.00 am for an early flight to
Sydney. Not wanting to be the first to break the silence, he finally
wrote on a piece of paper, "Please wake me at 5:00 am".
The next morning the man woke up, only to discover it was 9:00 am, and
that he had missed his flight. Furious, he was about to go and see why
his wife hadn't woken him when he noticed a piece of paper by the bed.
"It is 5:00 am, wake up!"
Love one another. You must not get even.
Tip: I once heard an amazing answer to the question of who should
break the silence or seek forgiveness first when both spouses are mad at
the other. The answer? The one who sees themselves are more
mature. Wow! Such a brilliant answer! (source: Love
and Respect Series)
Forgive and Forget
Early in their marriage, my Dad did something really stupid. My Mom
chewed him out for it. He apologized, they made up.
However, from time to time, my Mom mentioned what he had done. "Honey,"
my Dad finally said one day, "why do you keep bringing that up? I
thought your policy was 'forgive and forget.'"
"It is," she said. "I just don't want you to forget what I've forgiven
How good it would be if we remembered what God
has forgiven and forgotten, we might just be able to forgive and forget
the one who took us for better or worse.
Happy marriages don't happen, they are worked at your whole life -
The Principles for Loving: Marriage
As we read the Bible, we need to keep in mind that THE PRINCIPLES FOR
LIVING ARE ALSO THE PRINCIPLES FOR LOVING. This especially applies to
how we live with the spouse that we've vowed before God to " love,
honor, and cherish, 'til death" do we part.
We often forget that as believers in Christ, we've vowed to be "promise
keepers" and also to have a servant's heart and posture in how we deal
with each other. We're told in Philippians 2:3-8 that our attitude
"should be the same as that of Christ Jesus". As those verses tell us:
"Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility
consider others better than yourselves. Each of you should look not only
to your own interests, but also to the interests of others. YOUR
ATTITUDE SHOULD BE THE SAME AS THAT OF CHRIST JESUS : Who, being in very
nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be grasped,
but made himself nothing, taking the very nature of a servant, being
made in human likeness. And being found in appearance as a man, he
humbled himself and became obedient to death - even death on a cross!"
As you read through these verses we challenge you to ask yourselves, "Do
you, in humility, "regard one another as more important" than yourself?
Is your attitude the same as that of Christ Jesus who, (with every
"right" under heaven to put His interests first) emptied Himself of His
rights? Do you take on " the very nature of a servant" when dealing with
your spouse, humbling yourself, yet lifting them up (and this, without a
Our prayer for you this week is that you'll love your husband (or wife)
in the same way that Christ has shown His love for you. We pray that
you'll give up your personal kingdoms for the sake of God's kingdom, so
that others will see the love of Christ sincerely displayed through your
words and your actions. And as a result of this, they will be drawn all
the closer to Christ.
Our love & prayers are with you as together we work to make our
marriages a reflection of the love of God.
Steve & Cindy Wright Tucson , Arizona