TITLE: Bah, humbug, Children.
DATE: March 11 2019
TEXT: Proverbs 17:6 – ESV - Grandchildren are the crown of the aged, and the glory of children is their fathers.
The comedian, W.C. Fields made a livelihood out of being a Scrooge-like-curmudgeon. It was a part which fit his personality and even when the cameras stopped, he stayed in character. In one of his films, Tillie and Gus, he was asked, ‘Do you like children?”
Fields reply was a simple: “I do, if they are properly cooked.”
Recently CNBC ran a story which reflected the same spirit as that of Fields… except CNBC wasn’t being funny and the story wasn’t promoted as a joke.
The program’s original title held this out as a teaser: “You can save half a million dollars if you don't have kids.” Eventually someone at the studio headquarters woke up and changed the program description to: “Here’s how much you save when you don’t have kids.”
The story’s arguments reflected the headline. It said things like:
Finally the story got to the heart of their argument when it said: if you don’t have kids, in short, you’ll save a lot of money,”
And if you’re wondering, “Did the story have anything positive to say about parenthood?”; the answer is, ‘yes.’ The story maintained if your kids took care of you and kept you out of the nursing home, they could be a blessing, because they would keep you from spending all your money.
So there you have it. The family reduced to dollars; the happiness and sorrow of family translated into cents. I can tell you there were a lot of people who wrote in and complained about the tone of the program.
One person wrote in and said, “I could save money by not giving to charity, not helping a friend in need, the list goes on and on. It’s not always about the money.” Another, tongue in cheek, wrote, “You can also save lots of money by being swallowed whole by a shark. Think of all of the expenditures you'll make in your life that you wouldn't make if you got swallowed whole by a shark.”
I looked through most of the people who wrote in. I just wanted to see if the Lord had voiced an objection to the program.
While I didn’t find anything from a heavenly desk, I’m pretty sure I know what He would say. He would talk about how He first established the family in the Garden of Eden. He would speak of humankind’s rebellion and how He promised His Son as the payment which would restore His family. Then He would make a heavy sigh and say, “If saving money is your first concern when you’re thinking about having children, then you’re probably right, you shouldn’t have kids.
They’re simply too much fun, too much of a challenge and joy for someone as serious as you.
THE PRAYER: Dear heavenly Father, I give thanks for Your Son Who has saved me. Grant that I may be a blessed member of Your family. In Jesus’ Name I ask it. Amen.
Today’s devotion was inspired by various articles, amongst which is the one written Michael Foust on January 28, 2019 for Christian Headlines. Those who wish may check out this link which was, at the time of writing, fully active: https://www.christianheadlines.com/contributors/michael-foust/cnbc-s-children-cost-too-much-story-sparks-major-backlash.html
The music which introduces and concludes our devotions was written by Guy Baumann, one of my long-ago confirmands. He is singing with three brothers. This song comes from the album: The Baumann Brothers which may be ordered here: http://thebaumannbrothers.com/index.html