For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also. Matthew 6:21
There are a lot of things to treasure in our world today. We treasure beauty, youth, acceptance, strength, smarts, and money--just to name a few. What do you treasure? What treasures and desires do you want to pass on to your kids?
Many of us have spent time and money meeting with lawyers to ensure our treasures/property is inherited by our children. It is important that we identify what we value and how that plays out in our lives, because our kids will value what we value. My hope is that as I raise my kids I will be able to lead them towards things of eternal value rather than just an earthly value. I want them to have eyes that turn away from earthly things.
How can I help my children understand eternal values?
1. Identify what you truly value.
The best place to start is take a look at what you value… not just what you say you value but where you actually spend your time, money and attention. Seeing and understanding what we treasure can be evasive and tricky. Many times we believe we know what we value. But if we take a step back, what we are actually instilling in our children often is very different from what we hope for or think. We need community in our life to help us to see our blind spots. Here are some questions to ask yourself:
What is the first thing I think about when I wake in the morning? My spouse? My job? God?
What holds my mental attention? The ballgame? My kids? My iphone?
What would others say I value?
2. Pray that God will help you treasure his Word.
If we treasure God and want to help our kids treasure Him, how will we instill those values in the next generation? Treasuring God begins with knowing him. God has revealed himself and his Son through his special revelation, the Scripture. If we want to know God we must look to his inspired Word. Psalm 119 speaks to loving God’s word. Look at this part of Psalm 119 about a young man keeping his way pure:
How can a young man keep his way pure? By guarding it according to your word. With my whole heart I seek you; let me not wander from your commandments! I have stored up your word in my heart, that I might not sin against you. Blessed are you, O LORD; teach me your statutes! With my lips I declare all the rules of your mouth. In the way of your testimonies I delight as much as in all riches. I will meditate on your precepts and fix my eyes on your ways. I will delight in your statutes; I will not forget your word. Psalm 119:9-16 ESV
As we grow in our love for God, he changes us so that we love what he loves and hate what he hates. May we model to our children how to treasure God above all things.
3. Pray that God will help you treasure his people.
Pray for God to change our hearts so we value God and others more. Are you instilling in your kids a love of being with God’s people? This question includes both church and small group. Are you showing excitement for church each weekend? Are you excited to spend time with your small group? Kids are very perceptive. If you want your kids to love the people of God you need to show them how and why.
Do you regularly consider your values? What other questions do you find helpful?