“How much does a kid cost?” This is a common question asked by young couples contemplating the expansion of their tribe.
If your answer is a specific amount in currency, adjusted for inflation, it would be an obstacle so intimidating that anyone who could do math would die out in one generation., since no one who knew how much it will cost would have children.
Yes, these little lives have big needs. Though it’s free to make a baby, the expenses quickly begin to mount on it’s birthday, and escalate every birthday after that, which is why we buy them gifts they won’t want a year from now: to remind us that it’s time for the next cost adjustment.
It starts with the hospital fees to safely get the tike into the expensive part of the world, car seat to get the our new cargo home, diapers ever 3 hours or so, periodic shots to prevent polio and other frightening diseases, occasional doctor’s visits (usually therapy for the mom who is going insane from sleep deprivation), and clothing that will be outgrown in 3 weeks, and a cot that will be dispensable in a few months. And that’s all before they utter a word, learn to walk and need to be shod.
Once you factor in the rising costs of education, you effectively need a
small fortune handsome and growing investment portfolio before having your first child. The more you calculate the costs, the less you feel you will ever be able to provide for your offspring. And that’s if you only have one.
Good thing mathematics is unbiblical. (A proposition I wish I had in my senior year of high school.)
In the Bible God’s ability to provide for his children repeatedly shatters any algebraic logic. Jesus fed the 5,000 men and their families from a paltry supply of fish and loaves. The most annoyed Jesus ever got with his own disciples was when they worried about where they would get their next meal.
I have three children (so far) and it’s not only because I’m bad at mathematic calculation. It’s because I have read the Bible. And you don’t need a doctorate to pick up one of the recurring themes is that God is pretty good at providing for the needs of those who pray to him.
Psalm 37:25-26 I have been young, and now am old, yet I have not seen the righteous forsaken or his children begging for bread. He is ever lending generously, and his children become a blessing.
Luke 12:29-31 And do not seek what you are to eat and what you are to drink, nor be worried. For all the nations of the world seek after these things, and your Father knows that you need them. Instead, seek his kingdom, and these things will be added to you.
Ps 127:3-5 Behold, children are a heritage from the Lord, the fruit of the womb a reward. Like arrows in the hand of a warrior are the children of one’s youth. Blessed is the man who fills his quiver with them! He shall not be put to shame when he speaks with his enemies in the gate.
Oh, and here’s an interestng tidbit from Steven Mosher, the head of the Population Research Institute based in Virginia, USA:
If Americans averaged three children, the Social Security Trust Fund would be solvent forever, without recourse to raising taxes, postponing the age at retirement, or reducing benefits. America would possess a more robust economy and our standard of living would be higher.
Conclusion: How much does it cost to have a kid? The answer is that it really doesn’t matter.
It is never sinful for married Christian couples to have children biologically or adoptive. If you ever find yourself staring at the mom with 8 kids at the mall, repent and offer her some words of encouragement. And I don’t mean “Wow, lady, you’re brave!” That is what she hears all the time. Rather say, “Your life must be full of blessing. Thank you for your example of having biblical priorities.”
So, if you were thinking its time to have (another) baby and you just need to convince your spouse, try reminding them that God’s vote on the matter is “Yes!” (Ps 127:3-5).