What My Kids Hear a Lot…”It’s a privilege.”

“It’s a privilege.”

A while back at Life Group, a couple of the moms were sharing how their young girls (Kinder and 1st Grade) agreed to request needed items for a children’s hospital in lieu of birthday presents.  We all enjoyed hearing how the birthday girls delivered the collected items to the hospital, took a tour, and learned about the needs they were meeting with their gifts.  We moms discussed how our children already have so much and how birthday parties seem to just add to the excess.  The question was posed about how to “encourage” this generous aspect of a birthday party.  Ok, I’ll fess up…I was the one that asked that.  I’ve tried to nudge my children in this direction in the past.  However, they are stuck on the tradition of how b-day parties “are supposed to be.”  So, what tips did these two moms have for moms like me?  One mom pointed out that the birthday girls still received surprises and items from their personal wish list as gifts from family members.  But then she took it deeper.  She added that on a regular basis, even with the basics, she and her husband remind their children that “it’s a privilege” to have these things.  “It’s a privilege to have these shoes, toys, this car, etc.”

The principle of “it’s a privilege” stuck in my mind.  How aware were my children that even the basics are privileges, let alone the extras?  Soon after was back-to-school shopping and that particular day we bought some necessities as well as a few fluff things because of a sale and coupon.  As we were heading out the door of the store, the kids were complaining about shopping.  Ah ha!  A teachable moment!  We got to the car and I reminded them that some families don’t have the money to do back to school shopping.  Here we were able to buy the things they truly needed as well as some fun things…and they were complaining?!   That was the beginning of my children hearing “it’s a privilege” in varying circumstances.

Later the same day, it came to my attention one of my children wasn’t taking care of a certain daily responsibility even though I had been reminding the child.  What a great opportunity to reinforce the earlier lesson of “it’s a privilege” with the idea that if we can’t take care of what we have, we certainly don’t need more!  Back into the bag went one of those “fluff” items to be returned to the store.  The child’s eyes got wide.  Nothing like an example that hits home to make the point and help the concept stick!

Understanding that the blessings in our lives are privileges can’t help but be tied to the topics of thankfulness and contentment.  So when I use the phrase, “It’s a privilege” I try to pull in one of those topical verses to the teachable moment.  Here are a few that are helpful…

1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 – “Be joyful always; pray continually; give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.”

Hebrews 13:5a  – “Keep your lives free from the love of money and be content with what you have.”

1 Timothy 6:6-8 – “But godliness with contentment is great gain.  For we brought nothing into the world, and we can take nothing out of it.  But if we have food and clothing, we will be content with that.”


Monday 10 September, 2012  |  Copyright ©2012, Kara Durbin read more>>

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