Counting the Cost in Marriage
In order to live life fully and happily, we must be people who are able to count the cost in almost every area of living.
Marriage is one of those institutions which demand a high personal cost. The church's wedding ritual begins with these sobering words, words that are so often taken too lightly. It says, marriage is "not to be entered into unadvisedly, but reverently, discreetly, and in the fear of God." Each person makes a covenant to love, comfort, and honour and takes care of the other in sickness and in health. That can be a difficult commitment to keep if a spouse becomes critically ill or severely disabled. The husband and wife agree to stay with each other "for better, for worse, for richer for poorer ... till death do us part." A man and woman must count the cost of what they are getting into in marriage.
So it is also with having children. Did you see a recent letter to Ann Landers in the paper? It struck a chord with this expectant father heading toward his 40th birthday. The writer was talking about the mixed blessings of raising children in your 40s and 50s. It is true, I think, that an older father is more patient, and in a way, more appreciative of children.
However, as this letter-writer rightly suggests, raising children at a later age is also more difficult in many ways. Men or women in their 40s and 50s generally have a lower energy level, so taking the kids to Little League, attending PTA meetings and so forth tires parents much more.
Indeed, there are tremendous physical, emotional, and financial costs to raising children. Before having them, a couple should count the cost. There are just too many lonely and neglected and deprived children out there with parents who have not done so.