I have never been one of those Moms who just buy whatever her children say “I want” about in the store. In fact, I’ve never even allowed them to say that. Sure, I’ve let them browse the toy section, enjoying how cool everything looked; but when it became “I want”, I put the brakes on very quickly.
I refuse to raise selfish kids. Well, let me say, I’m trying to raise children who are not selfish. I don’t want them to continually be thinking about the things they want. I want to teach them that they are so completely blessed with what they have. I want to teach them to be content with what they’ve been blessed with. I want them to appreciate the things they actually get, and not expect them.
I know this is a hard task in this day & age. This is the age of instant gratification. Our children have never known a time where we couldn’t look up something instantly on the internet, order a movie instantly on the television, or get a meal instantly in a drive-thru.
And the honest, ugly truth is that “I want” too. My Amazon wish-list is a mile long with books (although they’re mostly parenting and house-wife organizational type books) and computer and camera gear. That’s right: “I want” too. And I’m in prayer that God will change my heart.
I believe He’s doing that now. I don’t think it’s wrong to know of things we like and wouldn’t mind having. But I think He desires for us to care for others’ needs before our wants. And He’s making that difference in my heart. I’ll give more details of that as they unfold.
This whole thought process came from yesterday afternoon, when we got a Lego Club magazine in the mail for Wes. I signed him up for this Lego Club a few months back, knowing that he absolutely loves Legos, and would probably think it was cool to be in a “club.” So, of course, he was in wide-eyed wonder looking through the magazine.
But I saw a pattern as he turned each page. I was hearing “I want this one, I want that one.” I said “Wait a minute! I didn’t sign you up for this magazine so it would be all about what you want. I thought you would enjoy it. But if it’s just going to be ‘I want’ I’ll go discontinue it now.” He understood and didn’t say it again.
Did he still want? Of course. Do I still want? Of course.
But my heart’s desire is to want the things He wants. Like the chorus of this song:
Heal my heart and make it clean.
Open up my eyes to the things unseen.
Show me how to love like You have loved me.
Break my heart for what breaks Yours.
Everything I am for Your Kingdom’s cause.
As I walk from earth into eternity.
It’s a tough lesson to teach, and a tough one to learn