One night this week I sat in my 7-year-old’s Star Wars bedroom, listening as he read to me from a storybook. We cuddled close on the bed and I glanced around the room. Over the summer we re-decorated the kids’ rooms. Our daughter now has a pretty purple room with flowers and butterflies; our son wanted Star Wars. This room has everything a 7-year-old boy could want; a custom made Lego shelf, Darth Vader stuffed pillow, a lightsaber nightlight, Star Wars everywhere you turn! I will admit that my husband and I are pretty proud of the work we did. But on this night he just seemed so small in this big room filled with things.
I listened with pride as he read aloud to me. It is an amazing thing to witness your child learning how to read. First grade has been so good for my son – he learns quickly, and reads more clearly and confidently each week. He goes to a good school with great teachers, and has guidance and support as he seeks knowledge and success.
Oh, how fortunate this child is! He has everything he needs – and then some!
We are in the midst of our annual stewardship campaign at church. It never fails – every single year fall arrives; the leaves start to turn and we’re talking money at church! So my thoughts and personal conversations have carried this theme forward through the week. We’ve focused on the gifts we’ve been given, our call to share, identifying wants versus needs and seeking to be content with what we have.
Does my son recognize how much he has? Does he see how fortunate he is to have a safe, healthy home and his needs met every single day? Does he waste his time coveting more, or is he content with what he has?
My husband and I try to have these conversations with our kids. I actually read the draft of this post to him and he wanted me to put a big YES after each of those 3 questions!
But society fights against us! We live in a world where companies try to sell us more; try to convince us to always want what our neighbor has. We live in a world where what I’ve earned is mine and I shouldn’t have to share it. These are powerful forces to fight against.
I think the best way to guide our children to share what they’ve been given and be content with what they have is to live that way ourselves, deliberately and consistently. We have SO much and it is too easy to take it for granted. If we as adults can live content with what we have, how much easier to share what we’ve been given; how much easier to live in joy and show God’s love!
But godliness with contentment is great gain, for we brought nothing into the world, and we cannot take anything out of the world. But if we have food and clothing, with these we will be content. But those who desire to be rich fall into temptation, into a snare, into many senseless and harmful desires that plunge people into ruin and destruction. 1 Timothy 6:6-9