In May 1995, when our first child was born, my wife and I were living in Northern Virginia. I had just completed the course work for my doctorate, and mv wife was the exhibitions registrar at the National Building Museum in Washington, D.C. But just two weeks later, the day after our daughter was baptized, we packed all of our belongings into a Ryder truck and headed north.
Although I had no job lined up (nor even any real prospects), we never once doubted that we had made the right choice. Several mouths before, as the reality of Rebekah's impending birth had begun to sink in, we had realized a number of things. We wanted my wife to stay home with our children; we wanted to bring our children up in a more healthy environment than Washington, D.C., could offer; and we wanted them to have an advantage that we had both enjoyed—growing up close to family, especially to their grandparents. And so we headed back to our home state of Michigan.
After four years and two more children, I still have no doubt that we made the right decision—although there were some anxious moments during the seven months without a paycheck. Some cliches become clichés because they are true; and our children are truly the most important responsibility that God has given us.
That is why it surprises me to realize that we had never given much thought to our children's education. We had uprooted ourselves, cut our...