Friday, June 17, 2005

Counting the Cost

Ben's Mom has a great post on one of those weeks when one doesn't feel like doing it anymore. And one of the posters asks questions I also get from time to time from single people (and was asking myself a few years ago): Is it really worth it? Won't I regret my old life too much? Do the rewards really outweigh the pain?

But those sort of struggles don't come just from being a housewife. They're the struggles of being a Christian, or even just an adult. They belong to anyone who's ever started a business, written a book, begun a ministry, or done anything that requires trading in short-term pleasures for long-term gains. Sure, there are great pleasures that go along with the temporary struggles, but they're not what it's all about.

Long-term investments pay off better than short-term ones. High-risk investments get greater returns (if they work out) than low-risk ones. The most valuable thing in the world is the souls of people. Is it any wonder that investing in them is a difficult, risky, and often painful business? Is it any wonder that you often have to wait a long, long time before you see the payoff?

There are plenty of short-term rewards of course. Often the short-term rewards of marriage and family are well worth it even here and now. Then again, is the delight of a child’s first discoveries and the pleasure of having someone to curl up with at night worth the pain of being sleep-deprived, five months pregnant, and spending eleven hours alone with a teething toddler? Um . . . sure. Thank you for not asking me that on Tuesday.

What I do this week isn’t about me, and it isn’t about this week. It’s about five years from now when we see our children growing in understanding and character. It’s about fifty years from now when we see the life choices our grandchildren make. It’s about five hundred years from now when we see our great-great-grandchildren standing before the throne of God.

It’s not going to be as fun as living for now and living for yourself. It’s good to count the cost before you start to build the tower. But when you look at the bill, don’t forget that it’s a tower you’re building, not a sand castle. A tower in an eternal city.


Ben, Kyri & Rachelle said...

Thank you for your post. I appreciated it and your comments on my post. I was a little shocked at the response to my post and I think that a few people intertwined "marriage" and "homemaking." I am still working on a response to try to separate the two. While I am sure there will be a time when marriage is tough, I haven't yet really arrived there. It was the homemaking part that was growing dull. I think you got that. But you took the opportunity to address it on a wider spectrum. Thanks! -rlr

Queen of Carrots said...

And of course the two do intertwine, both because most of us wouldn't be keeping house if we weren't married, and because our attitude toward keeping house affects our marriage. I've been realizing this more lately. Sure, I may only be complaining about the mess in the house and how I feel and never think a word against my husband, but it still is, subtly, an accusation against him--after all, who put me here? :-P In the long run, I can see that really hurting our marriage. So I'm trying to work on it.