Current Article

Page 1
Page 2
Page 3
Page 4
Page 5
Page 6
Page 7

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 birth to
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.

Solomon's Bride

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.

Loving Extravagantly

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 problems.

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 functional furniture.

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 appreciated.

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.

Silent Treatment

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 said...

"It is 5:00 am, wake up!"

Love one another. You must not get even.

Steve's 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 and forgotten."

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 - Sumner

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 complaining word)?

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

[ HOME | Heaven | PrayerBoard | Marriage | Leadership | Ladies | Illustrations | Quotes | Prayer | Motivation ]
[ Creation |
Encouragement | Witnessing | Series | FAQ | Contact | Books | TapesLinks | History | EvangeCube | Order ]
[ Jabez: Prayer Plaque, Puzzle, Wallpaper ]   [ Email Headquarters | Web Archive ]

Copyright © 1999-2009 All rights reserved.