Fries, bread, braids, toast, and population decline. Yes, we're talking about the French. Have you heard the latest? The government of France is offering mothers $916 a month for every child they have past their second one. $916 a month!?!
And here we are, one family amongst many in our Christian community, who plan to willingly accept as many children as God would see fit to give us....for free. What are we, chumps? I had no idea this whole baby-making business could be so lucrative! I was expecting the blessings of having children to come from the Lord, but that's before I knew they could come from the government, as well. Hmm...perhaps we're living in the wrong country.
But then, all kidding aside, are we really that far behind here in America? Isn't it still ideal for couples to have 1.7 children so that they can afford to indulge their every whim and send them to Ivy League schools? (As if either of these were good ideas.) And doesn't our government offer parents $500 per child in tax refunds each year? (We don't qualify for this, by the way, since we are non-filers and don't include our children in the Social Security system, but shhh...don't tell anyone.) Are we surprised to see these kinds of incentives being offered in other countries when America may not be as far behind as we think?
It's interesting, really, to see godly families growing larger in pockets all over the nation. Quietly, without much fanfare, Christian communities are encouraging parents to accept children as blessings from the Lord, and raise them in the fear and admonition of Him. Homeschooling amongst Christians is on the rise as parents realize the harm of leaving their children in the governments' control. They want to instead train them in godliness "as they rise up, and as they lie down, and as they walk along the way."
What a stark contrast from areas where the godless are literally killing themselves off. Abortion is, of course, rampant, and in other areas it's merely a matter of limiting the number of children people will "allow" themselves to have. Hmmm. Could it be that God is building His ecclesia, one tiny covenant member at a time, that we may be better able to take dominion for His glory?
As a good friend once put it, we have such a short window of time where we are able to assist in the miracle of bringing these eternal souls into being. Garfield and I have been convicted that this is a blessing we want to accept willingly from the Lord.
Is it enticing to think of being paid to have children? Certainly. But the rewards of being fruitful and multiplying are worth far more than $916 a month.