Gary's blog for couples and parents plus resources for individuals, leaders and churches.

Monday, June 17, 2013

Teaching Our Kids To Value The Right Things

I remember when a number of years ago now a friend's home went up in flames. One moment he and his family had a beautiful home, minutes later it was ashes. They lost most everything except their lives.  However, I remember his comments when I among others arrived there to see if we could do anything.

He said,  "Well, it's just stuff."  And he was right. Yes, he and his wife went through some emotional challenges losing so much in one night. But I think his faith in God reminded him that the most valuable things he had not lost that night. The rest was just stuff.

It's replaceable and temporary. It's really not what makes us happy.

But I'm pretty sure that most of us, even with the best of intentions, put way too much value and focus on what we have - our home, cars, equipment, special objects and other things of value. We say they don't matter that much but deep down they count for more than most of us would admit. If we're honest we know it would be hard to live as happily without those luxuries, comforts and things we so often take for granted.

How can we learn to live more with a stuff-less mentality and a focus on the eternal while modeling a less is more way of life?

First, I think it helps to cut back drastically.  No, I'm not suggesting go live under a bridge but cutting back could include getting a smaller home, selling a big ticket item, dropping one of our big vacations or just spending less on things we don't need.  How about saying, It still works so why buy another one?

Second, get more intentional about giving resources away.  And not just money though that counts. Give away your time, a car, clothing and whatever else could be used to help someone else.  Think about a Christmas where everyone gets one small gift and the rest of your normal spending goes to help others.

Third, try going and serving somewhere.  This goes along with sharing resources, but you will also have sweat, tears and relationship in the game.  You will actually go and care for someone yourself and not just give them money. You will become friends with someone likely outside of your social strata and become personally involved. And your kids will remember those interactions forever.

There are lots more ideas.  You can come up with your own.  But whatever you do, find ways to involve your family in activities and practices that will take their eyes off of things and give them new eyes for loving people and valuing things . . . the way Jesus did.


Gary Sinclair Writer | Speaker | Leader

Gary is currently a consultant, teacher, speaker and chaplain providing resources for families, leaders and churches.

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