After our evening devotions, I asked Joaquin, “Do you feel unhappy when other kids gets the cool stuff you want?” Joaquin answered, “No, because I already have the best treasure which is God’s love.”
In a society where materialism is encouraged, it is a challenge for parents to make our children realise that more things doesn’t mean more happiness. It happens too often in every household: your son begs you to get him the latest gadget because all his friends have it. Or your daughter complains about her new shoes because it’s not a signature brand and she’s embarrassed to be seen in them.
Everytime we give in to our children’s unreasonable demands, we are reinforcing their sense of entitlement. They will grow up believing that it is their right to get whatever they want, when in fact, a lot of the things they enjoy are a privilege. They will not learn to appreciate the blessings that they have but will always be unhappy about the things they don’t have.
It’s not that we don’t want our kids to enjoy stuff… because we do and we try to provide them with things that are beyond their needs. But we don’t want them getting security and happiness in material things. We don’t them want them to lose sight of the more important things in life.
The best thing we can do for our children to steer them away from the trap of materialism is to teach them that the thing they truly need is not material. What ultimately completes them and makes them happy cannot be bought with money… but it is freely given… and I agree with Joaquin, it is the love of God. It really sounds religious, but it is the truth.
As Blaise Pascal said, ” There is a God shaped vacuum in the heart of every man which cannot be filled by any created thing, but only by God, the Creator, made known through Jesus.” If we fail to make our kids understand this, they will keep filling the void in their hearts with different things and will be trapped in materialism, but they will never be truly satisfied.
It’s one simple truth, but the most important…The best treasure is indeed God’s love.
Command those who are rich in this present world not to be arrogant nor to put their hope in wealth, which is so uncertain, but to put their hope in God, who richly provides us with everything for our enjoyment.