How do we help our children understand the importance of Kingdom investment over worldly investment? Jesus taught, “Use your worldly wealth to gain friends for yourselves, so that when it is gone, you will be welcomed into eternal dwellings,” Luke 16:9. Now, this isn’t about buying or earning our way into heaven, or buying friendship. It’s about using our money and resources to benefit others. Worldly goods are temporary, but the relationships we build by helping others in need are an investment that will last forever.
This isn’t always easy for adults, let alone our children. My son told me the other day a good friend of his just got a $900 motorized scooter. Very cool! Especially to a 14-year old boy. Let me tell you, it’s tough to compete with a $900 scooter when trying to help your son understand the importance of Kingdom investment!
Because we are up against what the world says we should do, it’s important to create a foundation of understanding for our children about why we give to our church and to other Kingdom causes. We want to help others learn about the love of Jesus through us. One huge way we do this is to help others through our church or other opportunities. We need to set examples of giving and serving for our children to see. Our children need to see us attending church, Bible studies and retreats. This shows them we are investing in developing our faith. They need to see us giving of our time, talents and treasures to those in need. We need to serve alongside our children so we can experience being the hands, feet and voice of Jesus together. All of these things give us opportunities to talk to our children about how God has blessed us so we can go and bless others.
I believe God provides opportunities for us to invest in His Kingdom every day. We just need to be open to seeing them. A couple of years ago on Spring Break, our family was checking into a hotel for the night. A woman in front of us was clearly in an awkward conversation with the hotel employee. She turned around to walk out and we stepped up to pay for our room. God nudged me to follow that women out to see if she was alright. She was in tears holding her 16-month old daughter and said she just wanted to stay in a hotel for the night because her boyfriend had come home with several of his friends and they would be up drinking most of the night at her house. She was short $20 for the cost of the room. I offered her the $20 she needed and she thanked me profusely. She and her daughter would now enjoy a peaceful night of sleep.
What came the next morning was more than I ever expected. We saw the woman again at breakfast. My kids had fun playing with her daughter while she ate breakfast. As she shared more of her story, I asked her if she would take us up on watching her daughter in our room for a few hours so she could shower and have some time to herself. After a bit of hesitation, she said that would be wonderful! So my kids played and read books to her little girl in our room. They had so much fun entertaining that little girl, they completely forgot we were going to head to Arches National Park.
God gave us an incredible opportunity to share His love with this woman and her daughter. It’s amazing what He can do with $20 and a few hours of our time! We did make it to Arches a bit later than planned, but I think we enjoyed the beauty of God’s creation even more than we would have had we not met that woman in the hotel.
I wouldn’t be being completely honest if I said I didn’t enjoy my worldly possessions. I do think God wants us to enjoy our lives, but He definitely doesn’t want us to love this world over Him. I know I need a reminder from time to time about how temporary my worldly possessions are. I want to invest in what will last forever…..and that is the love of Jesus and the promise of God’s salvation. – Dee Ann Lord, Family and Children’s Ministry Coach