In 1950, a 5 year old owned, on average, five toys. In 2000, a 5 year old owned, on average, 250 toys.*
It’s 2012, and I have no idea how many toys a 5 year old owns these days, but I have a feeling it’s more than 250.
What the heck does a 5 year old do with 250 toys or more anyway? Star on Hoarders: Toddler Edition?
I’ve been participating in a weekly Bible study on parenting, and today’s lesson was “Guarding a Child’s Mind: A godly mother chooses her child’s environment wisely.”
What does this mean? As Christian parents, it’s our responsibility to instil in our children God’s Word and its absolute truths. After all, we are in a spiritual battle for our children’s hearts and minds. God’s way and the world’s ways are two different ways, and we are to help our children “grow” their faith in Christ so that they will one day stand on their own convictions and choose right from wrong on their own.
One of the aspects we touched on is materialism and how we view our belongings and, in turn, teach our children to view their belongings.
Ecclesiastes 5:10 reads, “He who loves money will not be satisfied with money, nor he who loves abundance with its income. This too is vanity.” Hebrews 13:5 reads, “Make sure that your character is free from the love of money, being content with what you have; for He Himself has said, ‘I will never desert you, nor will I forsake you.’”
Living in Canada, my kiddo has been born into “wealth.” Anyone with some dollars in the bank and his wallet and spare change in a cup on the counter is in the top 8 per cent of wealthiest people in the world.*
But what are we teaching our children about this wealth? Are we teaching them that ALL we have comes from God? Do our children have attitudes of gratitude and thankful hearts for His provision? We are called to be content and grateful. Are we as parents showing contentment and gratefulness for our belongings to our children?
God provides for His children. He always has, and He always will. We need to teach our children to be thankful and grateful for all they have and to focus on what they can give and share with others.
Most importantly, we need to teach them to “set their minds on the things above, not on the things that are on earth” (Colossians 3:2).
No small task, but a rewarding one indeed.
Who needs 250 toys anyway?
* Taken from Entrusted with a Child’s Heart: A Biblical Study in Parenting by Betsy Corning