Should You Wait to Have Kids Until You Can Afford Them?


According to the USDA, that’s how much it costs to raise a child (not including college). I don’t have an extra quarter of a million dollars sitting around. Do you? Kids are expensive. The culture loves to remind us of this fact. Baby talk is usually accompanied by singing the blues over the rising cost of almost everything.

If God calls children a blessing, is it possible that He will bless that blessing?

The Bible is clear in passages like Proverbs 21:5 and Matthew 6:19–21 that God cares about your bank account, and He wants you to steward your resources well. So, if God wants us to be wise stewards of our resources, surely He would have us wait until we’ve got the money in the bank to cover all those diapers before having children, right? For those already parents, certainly God wouldn’t want you to add to your family until your checking account is robust and your house has more square footage, right?

Maybe. But maybe not. When it comes to planning for kids, here are four things to consider beyond your checking account balance.

God calls children a blessing.

“Behold, children are a heritage from the Lord, the fruit of the womb a reward” (Ps. 127:3).

It’s a simple truth really, but one many of us miss. Children are a blessing. Yes, they are expensive. Yes, diapers, and school shoes, and college educations cost a lot, but none of that changes the fact that God sees children as a blessing. Does the Bible call a fat savings account or total financial security a blessing? Nope. But it does say that children are. Perhaps we are pursuing the wrong gift.

If God calls children a blessing, is it possible that He will bless that blessing?

God is your provider.

My third-born just turned one year old, and I just bought my first box of diapers for him. Friends threw an unexpected shower for me that stocked me up. Family members bought diapers for him for Christmas and birthdays (because what baby really needs toys?). Other mommas whose babies had outgrown diapers passed their leftovers along to me without me ever asking them to do so. Bags of baby clothes have been given to me in the past year without me ever seeking them out . . . so has fresh produce just right for turning into baby food, new shoes for my little guy, and other gently-used baby items right when I needed them.

I know what you might be thinking, I don’t have friends that just drop stuff on my back porch!

Honestly, I might have said the same thing before I started having children. But God has used the people in my world over and over again to meet the practical needs of my family.

There’s no economic formula that can account for the generosity of God and His people.

I’m not the only one. I have friends who recently took in two girls in need of a stable home. God has provided everything from dressers to extra cash in order to fund the transition. I have another friend who received thousands of dollars through an IRS error for her international adoption. (Yes, God can use the IRS!)

There’s no economic formula that can account for the generosity of God and His people.

Philippians 4:19 promises, “And my God will supply every need of yours according to His riches in glory in Christ Jesus.

It’s good to budget and plan. It’s wise to live within your means, but don’t get caught up in thinking that the buck stops with you. God is ultimately your provider, and He will be the provider for your children. It may not make sense on paper, but if God is asking you to start or grow your family, you can be sure that He will provide.

Fear is not our friend.

“Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand” (Isa. 41:10).

Fear not. It’s a commandment found throughout God’s Word.

It makes sense for those who don’t know Christ to operate out of scarcity. They don’t know what’s around the corner, so they stockpile and fret and do everything possible to avoid potential land mines.

Any decision that is made out of fear is out of whack with how God calls us to live.

But we know the God who is the beginning and the end (Rev. 1:8). He commands us not to worry (Matt. 6:25–34), not because there is nothing to worry about, but because He has our backs.

Any decision that is made out of fear is out of whack with how God calls us to live. Choosing not to have children or to add to your family because you are afraid of what may or may not happen or what you may or may not be able to pay for doesn’t line up with God’s call to fear not.

God’s economy doesn’t deal in the same currency as the American economy. He doesn’t have recessions or bear markets. He owns the cattle on 1,000 hillsides (Ps. 50:10); surely He can handle the expenses that come with growing your family.

Remember the goal.

Sometimes we avoid having children because we lose sight of the goal of parenting.

Psalm 127:4–5 says, “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.”

Jim Elliot applied that verse this way, “Remember how the Psalmist described children? He said that they were as a heritage from the Lord, and that every man should be happy who had his quiver full of them. And what is a quiver full of but arrows? And what are arrows for but to shoot? So, with the strong arms of prayer, draw the bowstring back and let the arrows fly—all of them, straight at the Enemy’s hosts.”

God doesn’t call us to raise well-dressed kids or kids with well-stocked playrooms. The ultimate goal isn’t just to get them through college in a car we managed to pay for. The goal of parenting is to raise kids who are dangerous to the Enemy. What resources are needed for that calling? Prayer. Discipleship. Bible study. More prayer. Living out God’s will in front of little eyes. Repentance they can see. Tons more prayer. Constant preaching of the Gospel to little hearts and heads.

Sure, these things are costly, but they won’t drain your bank account. It’s great to buy stuff for your kids. It’s fine to save for their future, but ultimately these are not the tools you most need to raise great kids. God is able to provide for your deepest parenting needs.

If you enjoyed this post, you may want to read “Trusting God with Everything.”