Children and Worldly Pursuits

Friday, November 17, 2017

“The LORD does not look at the things man looks at. Man looks at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart.” I Samuel 16:7


As we discuss raising children with a heart for God instead of food, what can we do about children who are developing a passion for other worldly things? In other words, how can we get our children to focus on God instead of sports, music, video games, or the computer?


First of all, as we’ve said so many times, make sure that you are focused on God before all other things. Your children will look to you as an example. If they see you overly focused on TV, money, or clothes, they will follow the same path. But if they see you focused on God above all else and simply enjoying the wonderful things God provides, it will be easier for them to follow that path. Many times, we think that a family is “perfect” because they have the “right” friends, hobbies, or school. But what is much more important for a happy, well-adjusted family life is to be a family that seeks God together in all things from day to day.


If you are worried that your children are focused more on worldly pursuits, let them know that you are not nagging them concerning their enjoyment of these things, but that you are more concerned that their HEART is right than about the time they are spending on these hobbies. Teach them how important it is to take care of God’s Kingdom before their own pursuits. If they are devoted first to God, He knows what they enjoy and He wants to give it to them, so He WILL provide them the time and ability to take part in their interests. Everything they do can be done to glorify God! Every person has special gifts from God; if a child enjoys sports and has a natural ability in that area, you don’t want to discourage that gift God has provided him or her, but be sure to teach your child that this gift is from God and should be used in the manner He provides. Teach your children that their goal in life is pleasing and promoting GOD through their daily activities.


Keep in mind that there will be times that God does not mind engaging in an activity that is fun – after all, He created all entertainment – but there will also be times that He touches the heart and wants them to focus in another direction. Remember that children will fall in love with that they focus on. Find ample times every day to point out what God has made and the opportunities He gives us every day. This doesn’t need to be a lecture, but can be a part of everyday conversation. Make God a natural part of your family and you will help your children focus on Him more than all those pursuits that cannot love them back!


(Excerpt from Feeding Children Physically and Spiritually, by Gwen Shamblin)