I was talking with a good friend of mine the other day, sharing some struggles I’d been having, when we got on the topic of family building. Though that was not the initial topic of discussion, it had been something that had been plaguing my thoughts that day. My conversation provoking question was, “How could I consider marriage and child rearing in a world as sick and twisted as this one has become?” My friend sat there for a minute pondering, in some shock, the weight of my question. Upon realizing the difficulty of his arrival at an answer I explained my stance. “Doesn’t it just seem irresponsible? I mean, I know what this place is like, the effect it has had on me, and I don’t know that I can, in good conscience, bring an innocent life into this mess!” My friend, further astonished and no doubt realizing that I’d thought about this a lot, finally chimed in. “It sounds like you’re afraid,” he said with a significant lack of confidence. He again sat there in silence, hoping that his statement would provoke further thought on my part, or perhaps even hoping that it would interrupt my thought process so I’d quickly change the subject. Either way, it was at that moment that it clicked.
He was right.
I ran the question over and over in my mind. What am I afraid of? That was subsequently followed by a barrage of others. Commitment? Bad parenting/spouse potential? Finances to bring them to a place of comfort and provision? Ability to protect them? It was that last question that really seemed to stick in my thoughts. I was afraid. Afraid that, should I find a good spouse with which to start a family, I would be unable to guarantee the spiritual safety of any children we may have. I hadn’t considered myself to have many, if any, issues with control. However, the fact that this revelation seemed accurate made me realize that I did. I shared these thoughts with my friend who, needless to say, was astonished at the staggering amount of rationalization that had occurred in the last 5-10 seconds. In response, the story of the pearl of great price. Immediately, my thoughts jumped to the irrelevance of the story, but before I could follow the rabbit trail, a thought occurred to me.
The value is in the cost.
More questions tumbled about inside. What was it that made the pearl so valuable? Was it that it was being sold for that much? Or was it that it cost him that much? My dad always told me that something is only as valuable as what people are willing to pay for it, and that wisdom applies here. A relationship is only as valuable as what it costs you. Your relationship with God is only as valuable as what you invest. The value in raising a family lies in what it costs you to make them happy and see them be successful in life, but primarily successful in Christ. The truth is that it’s not about my controlling things for them, it’s about me investing what I know to be good and right, into them so they choose that life.
It’s about giving what it takes to get what it makes.
About the Author
David Kennedy is a senior student, and employee, of Urshan College, David is studying in the Christian Ministries Bachelors program. He is involved in media, graphics, and sound engineering at the school as well as in his home church, private businesses, and the General Youth Division of the United Pentecostal Church International. To check out his design work, head over to his Facebook page, David Kennedy Media.