One of the hardest things I’m finding as a parent is how to help my son not sink into the deep waves of entitlement. Even with intention, it’s a hard battle to win. I will often hear my son yelling at his little brother for holding one of “his” toys. It’s full freak-out session. To this I often reply, “Is that how you want our family to work? If that’s the case, then that’s ‘my’ TV and you can’t use it.” Usually puts the fire out right there. But that only deals with the surface. How do we take this further and cultivate a sense of stewardship into our children?
We’re in luck. I ran into this blurb off of Verge Network. I think this is brilliant and key to raising kids who don’t become saturated with culture’s message of: “It’s YOURS. You need more.”
Paul Tripp stated:
We want to have that conversation early that our home doesn’t belong to us, our possessions don’t belong to us. This is not our little private domain where we shut the door and shut the world out and we do all the selfish things we want to do. Even our most private spaces belong to God. They belong for His use. Your toys don’t belong to you, but they belong to God. They’re there for His use.
How can we use the good things that we have to bless others…?
I think one of the things you could do, it’s very simple, is choose to make your home one of the most hospitable places in the community. Think about what that means for your children. For my boys, who were skateboarders, that meant for us building a half-pipe in our backyard…In those days there weren’t a whole lot of ramps around, so that was really a gathering place…There would be Saturday afternoons where there’d be thirty guys in our backyard. We’d go out and buy fifteen pounds of hamburger and makes hamburgers all day and bring them out on trays to the kids. These kids couldn’t believe somebody was doing this for them. Don’t love your physical possessions more than you love your children and more than you love the children in your neighborhood. Your carpet will get worn. Your couch will get stained. What are your children into and how can you be involved in it? But make your home a hospitable place.”
What a great mentality for me to reinforce to myself as I teach my children that our things can be used for something far greater than just for ourselves. We can use our things to bless others! I can tell my children stories of people who use their homes not just for their family, but to invite the outcast in and then talk to them about what that looks like for our family? I can tell them about the kids who asked for donations of baby items for moms in need instead of birthday presents and see if we could re-think birthday presents in our home?
Our kids aspire to what we offer them. They may surprise us if we offer them something greater to live for.
To watch Paul Tripp speak about this, click here