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We all want the best for our children, no doubt. However, somewhere in the messiness of raising and “loving” our children we cross a line to overindulgence. It’s not hard in our culture. In fact, sometimes we are blind to the fact that we give our children their every ask, want, need and desire. In the natural relationship of caring, providing, and fulfilling our task as parents it’s difficult to help our children think outside of themselves, to fight that urge of thinking everything is “mine” and that the world exists to meet every want that is voiced.
It comes quickly friends. Before you know it you have an, “I want it! That’s mine! I need it!” monster on your hands and you sit in surprising awe of the whining/screaming/throw themselves on the floor little person that belongs to you.
So what do you do?
First, you must check the mirror.
How do you act, speak, relate to stuff that you posses or don’t?
Are you being an example to your children?
Are you content with what you have or are you constantly looking on the other side where you think it’s greener?
Today’s post will give 5 more ways you can help this entitlement phenomenon that has plagued your children and mine. Check out today’s Link We Like: Orange Parents.
Matthew 19:16-22 (HCSB)
The Rich Young Ruler
16 Just then someone came up and asked Him, “Teacher, what good must I do to have eternal life?”
18 “Which ones?” he asked Him. Jesus answered:
Do not murder;
do not commit adultery;
do not steal;
do not bear false witness;
19 honor your father and your mother;
and love your neighbor as yourself.[c]
20 “I have kept all these,”[d] the young man told Him. “What do I still lack?”
21 “If you want to be perfect,”[e] Jesus said to him, “go, sell your belongings and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow Me.”
22 When the young man heard that command, he went away grieving, because he had many possessions.
If you are like me, it would be easy to read this passage, point our finger, while shaking our heads, judging this “rich young ruler” and thinking, “what a dumb choice he made, choosing riches over following the Master of the universe”. Unfortunately, I think I am more alike to this young man than I think.
The Holy Spirit has a way of revealing our true heart, and as I have read this passage since I was young the Lord over time has shown me my true wicked self.
As an adult, I no longer read it and separate myself.
I no longer read this passage and frown upon his choice. No.
I read these verses and I see what Jesus is trying to explain to me in this short yet complex story.
Greed, covetousness, desire, call it what you will. It’s my sin…pure and simple.
I am the rich young ruler.
In a culture that screams, “YOLO. Have it your way. You deserve the best today. The customer is always right.” It can be difficult to discern on what and where our hearts should rest.
Being natural born sinners it can be difficult to make wise choices with our money, our time, and our thoughts.
In addition, I have four sets of eyes and ears watching and listening to me as I go about my day.
Watching where I spend my time. Watching where I spend my money. Watching what gets me excited and happy.
Listening to the words I use. Listening to how I verbalize my dis-contentedness with what I possess or don’t.
The enemy wants to destroy me…and you.
It would be easy for you and I to get bogged down by these things, because naturally we can’t win this fight by ourselves. The desire for things, more this, less of that, can become overwhelming and cause us to throw up our hands. But don’t give up just yet friends.
You see, Jesus has already won.
After 40 days and 40 nights of no eating, in His weakness, the enemy twisted God’s words and tempted Him with things that for you and me would have been easy to act like Esau, in Genesis, and give up our rights for some lentil soup and bread.
After sweating blood and counting the cost in His human tiredness He still carried out His blood offering of Himself for you…for me.
He has already won.
He has conquered death.
He has victory and in His graciousness has offered it to us.
Yes, you and I will still struggle with being greedy, being selfish, being discontent.
And yes, your children will struggle too.
But instead of being defeated, instead of getting frustrated at your children because they are selfish and egocentric, rather be encouraged.
Remember the man/woman in the mirror, the rich young ruler, and make a better choice than the one he did long ago.
Choose Jesus today.
God started the human race with a wedding and He will finish it with one.
Friends, if you are married, its important.
If you are single, its important.
If you are divorced, its important.
Marriage is important.
No matter what status we have on the matter, no matter what we have been through, as believers, we need to uphold the sanctity of the covenant of marriage.