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Amanda Lauer muses on the immediate perks and eternal benefits of making an investment in your family.

When my husband and I started dating 44 years ago, I wouldn’t say that either of us was financially savvy. We were good with handling money but really knew nothing about investing. Of course, what 17-year-old and 18-year-old would?   

That being said, when things started to get serious between us and we began speaking about marriage, there was one investment to which we were both completely committed. We would use our resources, as limited as they were at the time, and invest in children.  


We decided to invest in children

John, who is one of 12 children in his family, and I, the youngest of three, always envisioned having four children of our own — a compromise between a large family and what was becoming the norm in that day and age, a two-child family. By God’s grace, that was precisely the number of children we did have.  

Having children wasn’t a get-rich quick investment by any means. As a matter of fact, through many sleepless nights, bouts of teething, temper tantrums, sibling squabbles, driving crummy cars, and living on next to nothing, at times we wondered if our investment strategy was paying off.   

Yet, all it took was one toothless smile, one baby bear hug, or a belly laugh and we were reassured that we were on the right track.   

The older the kids got, the more money we sank into our investment. There were the Catholic schools, pediatric appointments, sports fees, music lessons, sleep-away camps, uniforms, orthodontist bills, clothing, gifts, and groceries (anyone ever undertake the feeding of a teenage boy?).   

That was just getting them through grade school, middle school, and high school. Then came the big-ticket items: college tuition and weddings.  


It's dividend time

Now that all four have their degrees and are married, and three of the four have children of their own, the dividends are coming back big time. We had a family portrait taken at our youngest daughter’s wedding last October and I was astounded when we finally got the proofs back recently. There were 18 people in that picture (one’s a bit hard to see, as our youngest grandson was in his mama’s belly still that day).  




If I’m doing the math here correctly, the investment of two people, me and John, which now has turned into a family of 18, makes that a 900-percent return on investment. Seriously, what other kind of opportunity has that kind of pay out? Sure, we had to be patient, but investing is a marathon, not a sprint.   

Now we’re able to see the fruits of our investment every time we interact with our kids and grandkids. Whether it’s attending Mass together, witnessing our grandchildren receiving their sacraments in the Church, game night with the adults, holiday get-togethers, or front-row seats at soccer, flag football, running races, basketball, and tumbling classes.   

There is one major difference between this investment and the typical financial investments in stocks, bonds, or real estate. While you can’t take those dividends with you when you go, if you’ve been astute raising your children and are invested in your grandchildren’s lives, you’ll be reunited with your investment someday in Heaven, when the children and grandchildren join you after (we pray) they’ve had long, fruitful lives.  




What is true wealth? 

For those young couples who are considering buying into the life of supposed complete freedom, independence, travel, and worldly goods beyond measure that can be afforded by not having children, think again. Really consider what is true wealth.   

You don’t have to take it from me; Jesus made this point clear:

“Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and decay destroy, and thieves break in and steal. But store up treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor decay destroys, nor thieves break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there also will your heart be.” (Matthew 6:19-21)


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Copyright 2024 Amanda Lauer
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