First of all, if you feel convicted to plan your family size based on how many college educations you think you can afford, I don’t think there is anything wrong with that! God will accomplish His will no matter what. High five for being responsible and providing well for your children!
I have a slightly different perspective on this matter.
My husband and I do aim to pay for our children’s college educations as we are able. Our parents did this for us, and it was a significant blessing to start our married life with no debt.
However, this goal is not a measure we use to direct how many children we will bring into our family. Instead it is an intention we are entrusting to God.
There are many different factors in play in our thinking on why paying for college is not a determining factor for us as it seems to be for so many people.
For one, we honestly don’t know where we’ll be financially in 18 years. We have lots of income-generating endeavors, otherwise known as bread cast out onto the water, and we’re watching to see how God will provide.
For two, it seems that the value of a college education has diminished. My husband and I both have undergrad and graduate degrees, none of which either of us are using in our current life situation. Ultimately we chose to learn new trades on our own, which was not difficult to do. We understand the broader possibilities.
However, the ultimate reason why we are not basing our decision of how many kids to have on how many college educations we can afford is this:
A college eduction and a successful career are not the be-all end-all. God’s kingdom is.
This life is a blip on the scale of eternity.
As much as I love having a college education and know that it has served to accomplish good things in my life, I also know that my degrees and learning, along with all their benefits, will go to the grave with me. Education, importance and worldly success don’t last, nor do they matter one iota when compared to that which will endures past this life.
Souls are eternal. God’s kingdom and His word are eternal.
If I bring children into the world, with no guarantee that I’ll be able to give them an all-expense-paid ride through college, but I know that I have everything I need in Christ to lead, shepherd and disciple their hearts to the foot of the Cross, isn’t that worth doing?
Although they must make their own choice to follow God, and I cannot make it for them, God has ordained the home to be a means by which children are raised up in the faith, and His power and grace are available to those seeking to accomplish that!
If my children never got college degrees and ended up as laborers, or if they found themselves at a community college rather than at big university down the line, is that truly worse?
By eternal standards, no.
God’s Kingdom is advanced when we simply know and love Him, and as an outflow obey His commands and love others.
Am I saying that Christians should have loads and loads of children? No. Every family looks different, and that’s good. Perhaps you feel conviction that you could do a better job discipling two children rather than six. Or perhaps there’s room in your heart and home for more. Often God’s agenda does not look like ours.
Let’s be willing to step out of our comfort zone to follow God as He leads us.
Consider what it would mean to trust God with your family size, and open your heart to make adjustments as He calls you to do.