Wednesday, May 13, 2009

A Nice House

We meet for Bible study in people's homes on Wednesday nights at our church. There are several families with young children like us in the group, and just as many retired empty-nesters. We met at one of the retired empty-nester homes tonight.

As we left the girls were talking about it being a "rich house" and asking me if I wished I had a house like that.

"No. Because you wouldn't be allowed to play. There are too many breakable things!" :)

So we talked about how their children were grown and they could have fancy, breakable things around and how that would be not so good for our family. The girls kept going on about wanting a nicer house.

Sigh. This is all so relative. The home we were in tonight was lovely, but some people would laugh to consider it a "rich house". There are much richer, finer, larger homes in this world. At the same time, OUR house would be considered luxurious in much of the world. We tried to explain this on the way home. S had me drive the girls by the home he grew up in. It's older and smaller. And too would be considered luxurious to many. We talked about how S thought I lived in a "rich house" when we started dating. (The same street we now live on that makes the girls lament their poor surroundings! :)

It's all perspective. And our girls need some.

It makes me want to take them on some mission trips to see how the rest of the world lives. We talked about families who live in dirt houses with one set of clothing and MAYBE a toy. We talked about how fancy things don't matter. We talked about how we've chosen the house and lifestyle we have on purpose. We talked about how we could go buy a bigger, nicer house and I could go back to work to pay for it.

Where does this come from? Where do small children get the desire for riches? Why do first graders covet their neighbor's tennis shoes? How early this folly begins!

Here is what I know:

"Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moth and rust do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also. Matthew 6:19-22 (italics mine)

I'm not saying you are sinning if you have nice, breakable things in your house! If you read here regularly, you know I am always working on the house and trying to make it nice for my family. I'm just saying it's hard to teach this verse to children. Their dad and I have chased earthly treasure and have seen it come up short. They have not experienced that yet.

How do you teach the truth about treasure?


  1. It's hard, particularly with kids in school, middle and high school, no less!

    One of the ways I try to remind them of their good fortune is to take them to serve meals at the homeless shelter. It's small, but it's the best idea we've come up with so far.

    That, and my husband teaching them about the nature of debt slavery and how many of the lifestyles they admire so much aren't lives born of true wealth anyway.

  2. Haha Mrs Brenda is just coz they are kids. Anyhow, feel free to bring them here so they can see a family of four survive just fine (although there are many frustrations) in a one bedroom house. (Although we did turn the "dining room" into a bedroom for the boys, it is still tiny and people say they "don't know how we do it. We do it because this is what we can afford. We are currently trying to buy a bigger house though).

  3. My daughter tends to "oooh, ahhh" more than the boys over stuff. Girls just like pretty things, eh? We are constantly reviewing the "what have you done lately with the time, talent, & treasures God has given YOU". The It's Not What You Have That Matters, but What You Do With It.

  4. Our church association has an orphanage that my honey bunny goes to regularly to help out. Since he used to be a chef, he will help them out when they need it in their kitchen. We give donations of clothes , food, supplies, etc. all year long and the children are very involved. They also have letters and pictures that they send to the children and they send back.

    Also, we have a number of missionaries ( with children ) that are good personal friends. My children use them as pen pals all through the year and learn about the different trials and difficulties that some of their children have to experience in some of the third world countries.

    Also, we participate in the Samaritan's purse starting in around June. The children go around to their friends houses and our sister churches and ask for donations to send as many boxes as possible. They really love this.

    I have not had the problem yet regarding the "rich" syndrome.
    Maybe it is because of this, maybe it is because both of mine have had to experience some trials through out their short lives already, or maybe it's cause they are young ( 7 and 5 )
    Either way, I don't expect it to last forever, especially throughout their teenage years. : O

  5. I think you did teach it...

    Thank GOD, that we have atleast 18 years to pass on the wisdom we have gained. :)

  6. A very nice post Brenda, and I too think you took the right opportunity to discuss with your children....that's whats important.

    LOL, my six year old is just starting to notice that stuff too....we went to a garage sale the other day and she couldn't stop talking about their "Perfect Grass" and "Curvy Bushes"

    We talked about how anytime she'd like to work in the yard, she is more then welcome :)


I don't get to talk to a lot of actual grown-ups during the day, so your comments make me really happy! :)