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 yet....it 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?