Not that I am speaking of being in need, for I have learned in whatever situation I am to be content. I know how to be brought low, and I know how to abound. In any and every circumstance, I have learned the secret of facing plenty and hunger, abundance and need. I can do all things through him who strengthens me. (Philippians 4:11–13 ESV)
For my children to be content with what they have is much harder than it was for me at their ages. They are subjected to an unending stream of stuff, food, experiences and entertainment that simply did not exist when I was a kid.
There is big money to be made from targeting children as consumers, and it is generally easier to convince a child than an adult that this next new thing will bring happiness. There are people out there greedily wanting money.
They are happy to use our kids in order to get it.
A learned state of heart
Learning to be content is a battle for all of us. From outside ourselves there will always be more to have, while arising from within is a constant stream of desires. These may both be neutral, but we are naturally primed to be always wanting more than we have.
Contentment is learned. It has to be learned from God because the world does not want us to be content – economics depends on our dissatisfaction!
Ask God to give your children contentment and for yourself also. Pray that we parents will learn how to be content so our kids have examples to follow.
But godliness with contentment is great gain, for we brought nothing into the world, and we cannot take anything out of the world. But if we have food and clothing, with these we will be content.
(1 Timothy 6:6–8 ESV)