Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Is There Any Legitimate Excuse For Not Paying Our Children's College Educations

Financial reprocussions of having a "large" family. I've thought about this subject a lot. Especially when it comes to the reasons people give me for why not to have more children. Not that they'll say that exactly. More like giving reasons why they have not chosen or would not choose to do what we are doing (namely, having more than one or two children). "We want to be able to. . ." fill in the blank with almost anything, and it's probably been said. I've heard things from cruises to college to vacation homes to specialty lessons to carreers to just plain fun.

Honestly, we have not had a lot of negative comments or critisism re: our family choices compared to what we could have. Part of it may be because we don't get out much and I am much too busy with my children when I am out with them, I wouldn't even know if someone looked disparagingly at us, let alone wanted to engage me in critical conversation. But it sounds like some of the people who express these types of thoughts are the ones closest to the couple/family (see the below link).

There are these thoughts out there, to be sure. Just because I have not been personally subjected to the verbal criticism of people who do not understand our values does not mean that these opinions do not exist.

This morning, I came across this post, and found it to be encouraging (apparently, so have thousands of others, so that's even more encouraging!). This woman expresses her family's priorities in response to critisism for not using funds--that could have been directed toward her children's college tuitions--to instead bring another child into their family via adoption. And I heartily stand with her and her husband on choosing priorities that are Biblically sound, despite being socially . . . questionable?

Speaking of college, there are much worse things I could be accused of besides not paying my children's way through college, and I'd love it if I could honestly say that the only thing my adult children may resent me for is withholding a completely free education. Realistically, though, I have more important and far-reaching things to concern me, like being an all-around poor example of a godly woman who delights in serving The One who gave His life for her. The consequences of everyday attitudes and actions . . . how humbling it is to be a parent. There is no room for pride, yet pride digs its heels in and refuses to leave. To have my weaknesses, my frailties, my sins, on display for three tiny ones to witness and take in and then mimic. The ugliness. I can hide a lot from the average onlooker, but my children, they see the REAL me. And they often get the worst of the reality.

No, friends, how we're going to pay for college tuition, or weddings, or the latest trends, or ballet recitals--these are not our biggest concerns for our girls. I echo Missy's sentiments that we most want to see them follow Christ with their whole hearts. For us two sinners to guide them and lead them in this way is not nearly as doable as merely stashing away funds. Thank God for grace, or we'd be in serious trouble, and so would our children.