The thought struck me as I sat around our backyard firepit after roasting hot dogs and marshmallows with our kids. My wife and I watched as our children went from racing eachother across the acre that is our property, to playing soccer, to having a badminton game. The day’s earlier activities boasted a bike ride, a swim in the pool, shooting hoops in our driveway, and just all around enjoying eachother’s company (for the most part), and the freedom that characterizes our lives. We are truly blessed. Who doesn’t want to provide these comforts and freedoms for their children? I heard somewhere that people like us, people in North America, are among the most affluent people in the world; that we make up the richest 2% of the world’s population in terms of material wealth. But this wasn’t the question that struck me as I sat there.
What kind of attachments am I building in my children? In encouraging them to enjoy these things, am I unwittingly tying their heartstrings to the comforts and pleasures of this life? In so doing, might I be contributing to the formation of a generation “whose god is their belly... who set their minds on earthly things”*, so to speak? I might be able (and that is a BIG “might”), to look at these things as temporal - here today gone tomorrow, but what about my children? Can they so easily make that distinction?
There’s nothing wrong with enjoying the comforts of this life. I’m not wanting to bring condemnation or judgement on anyone. God created all things to be enjoyed by us, stewarded by us. The problem comes when we as believers forget about His kingdom and make the end our comfort, rather than God’s glory. Can we take the context of our little country paradise, and within that serve God faithfully, giving of ourselves and through hospitality spread the love of God? Can we hold the comforts and pleasures of this life at arms length, and teach our children to do the same, so that we can remain sensitive to God’s purposes and plans for each day of our lives? Can we avoid the plague of comfort that brought Israel of old to their knees, as it turned their hearts from their God? The world is waiting - are we willing?
*Portion of Scripture taken from the Bible, Philippians 3:19