Over the past couple of weeks, I had the pleasure of celebrating the birthdays of both of my sons. While there is an age gap of several years between them, they both were born weeks apart in the month of June.

I can honestly say there has been no more fulfilling and rewarding experience in my life than fatherhood. Knowing that it my job to prepare these boys for adulthood is both scary and exciting. Ethan, who just turned 12, is a kind and compassionate young man who loves history and swimming, while my younger son Owen, who turned 8, is an intelligent and logical kid who is great at baseball and fishing. Besides my desire to express how proud of them I am, and how much I love them, I promise I do have a point in bringing them up this week.

In my weekly column, I often write about the proper uses of money and how I believe we are given money by our Creator to steward it for the betterment of both ourselves and others. I can honestly think of no more noble way to use one’s wealth than using it to support children. Yet, a new study by the Red Bridge Group finds than half of 18–34-year-olds do not plan to have children because it’s too expensive.

With the cost of living so high, and so many drowning in debt, there is part of me that can understand why young people may see forgoing parenthood as the fiscally prudent, and wise thing to do. I will say from personal experience however, that what they would be sacrificing by having children is significantly less than what they are sacrificing by choosing not to raise a family.

Outside of faith, I don’t believe there is anything that can bring a person more joy, or sense of purpose than devoting oneself to their spouse and children. I’m not saying someone who is single can’t feel contentment, or that couples without children will always feel like something is missing in their lives.  But I would argue the likelihood of finding a sense of joy and purpose is exponentially higher for those who have children and later on grandchildren.

It seems like our popular culture tells us the complete opposite. The world says that self-love is the way to eternal bliss. That is a lie that, unfortunately, too many have begun to believe. The truth is selfless love for others is the actual secret to finding true happiness and success in life.

Now I certainly won’t defend all of what Chiefs kicker Harrison Butker said during his controversial commencement speech last month. However, his primary point that no job or title in life is more rewarding or fulfilling than the role of parent is true, and I applaud his bravery in saying it to those recent college graduates. Young people need to be directed away from a life of self-centered narcissism by those who have experienced the magic of being a parent. If they aren’t, they may make choices they regret forever.

I will be the first to admit that kids are expensive. The older mine get, the more they seem to cost.  But there is no amount of money I would trade for what they have given me in return. If there are young people in your life considering foregoing children, I challenge you to encourage them to reconsider. It might just be the best advice you could ever give them.

(Past performance is no guarantee of future results. The advice is general in nature and not intended for specific situations)