Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Our Home

We have prayed about our home on numerous occasions, that it would be our ministry (specifically Mallory's) and that people would always feel welcome here.  We want Christ's love to emanate throughout it like the warmth of a fire. I think a part of that will come from the way our kids are raised, and therefore act. Recently, after Emery went down to bed for the night, we sat up and discussed how we desire to raise our kids.

This is a strange topic, because many people seem to think it is unnecessary to discuss it past "Are we planning on spanking?"  I won't go into that right now, but I do have a strong opinion on that subject.

We were discussing more about what we wanted the environment of our house to be like.  The first thing that came up was material possessions.  Since the number one treasure we want to instill in our kids' hearts is the affection for Christ, we don't want to let material things get in the way.  I don't want my daughter to think more of her doll, or her set of figurines, than Christ.  Not that there is anything wrong with toys, or having more than 10 different hats, but when the affection for these is present...  But where is the line drawn so that a love is not created for finite, eternally worthless material possessions?  True, material objects can be used to teach lessons (i.e. how to properly take care of a baby, or how to set a table), however finding that balance is what we are working on.  We don't want to have so many toys in our home that they are taken for granted ("Oops, I broke my G.I. Joe, oh well I'll just be getting another one now"), when they are a simple means of entertainment that so many in this world lack.  I want our children to think, "Wow, what a blessing!  I got a new toy!"

Wastefulness is rampant in nations of plenty, and ours is no different.  Now don't misunderstand what I'm saying here; by no means are we tree-hugging environmentalists who worship 'Mother Earth!'  However, we do recognize that we need to be good stewards of what God gives us.  Part of that is not being wasteful; whether we're talking about food (primarily), money, time, etc.  I want my children to see how responsible we are with the resources God has blessed us with.  The USDA said back in 1997 that 27% of all edible food gets tossed out.  The Lord never promises to give us abundance in this life.  To waste what He gives us is showing our lack of thankfulness for the gift.  

Managing our money responsibly with either a budget or a similar way of tracking our resources (giving is extremely important here) is very important in not only teaching stewardship, but also preparing our children to survive on their own.  I am not convinced we as Christians are required to tithe (10%) regularly, as that was an Old Covenant law for the Jews, however I do believe giving is an essential part of one's walk with God.  Showing mercy and love to others who are in need is one way we should feel obligated to give, but even as a mere way of preventing us from becoming greedy giving is spiritually helpful.  The less money we have, the more we are required to depend on God.  Greed is easily overshadowed by a desire to be 'financially secure.'  If you can show me a section of Scripture that portrays 'financial security' as a good thing I would be willing to listen (Matthew 19:24; Mark 10:25; Luke 18:25).  It is when we have all we need to physically survive that we feel we need God the least.  

...this has turned from a recommendation to not waste money to a dissertation on giving it all away; but the way one spends is in direct correlation to how one gives.  The more we spend (on ourselves) the less likely we are to give (to others) because there is always that one thing we want to buy:  the latest iPod, the newest style of clothing, a hyped-up video game.  If we have a heart for others and a repulsion for idolatry, we will be moved to push our monetarial blessings in a direction that will stimulate our affection for Christ versus material possessions.

Maybe more importantly, we discussed how we will teach what it is to live a Christ-centered life.  Prayer before every meal; not as a religious, repetitious rule but as a moment we stop and thank our Lord for blessing us with food for our bodies when we deserve starvation.  Daily devotionals as a time when we stop our busy lives and rest for a moment in prayer and meditation on the Word, and thank our Lord for blessing us with food for our souls, for "Man shall not live by bread alone..." - Matthew 4:4.  Memory verse of the day/week recited at dinner.  Time spent outside and not in front of the tv.  Only God-honoring tv shows/movies.  All of these are practical things we can implement once we get over our mere laziness or idolatry of what we enjoy - good thing I'm done with 24!  :)

1 comment:

  1. Love it. Look forward to many more!