Poor Rich Children

Are our children rich and happy? Or do they feel sad and poor, even in the middle of all this prosperity?

Peace, Freedom, Prosperity

How fortunate are children who can grow up in peace and freedom, in a country that is shaped by Christian values and which God has also blessed in the natural realm. Rarely has there been a period in world history in which children can grow up with such security and be so carefree. In addition, public education, enhanced by the Internet, offers them an education that we could not have imagined years ago. Rich children. 

While their great-grandparents’ generation was still characterized by the scarcity and deprivation of the Second World War and the post-war period, the generations of their grandparents and parents grew up in prosperity and lack of cares in general. What grace from God that we have been spared existential worries for so long. However, we have no guarantee that this will go on forever. We don’t even know how 2020 will go. 

Our own history and example is the template on which the life scripts and value systems of our children are created.

The general standard of living shapes us and our children. We have not only become accustomed to it, we have actually become dependent on it. And with our lifestyle and attitudes, we shape our children as we were shaped by our parents. Quite subconsciously, our children learn from us and largely adopt our attitude: about them-selves, about the family in the narrow and broad sense, about other people, about the world, about material possessions, but also about God and the church. If, for example, the child comes first in our lives and God only comes third or fourth, the child will learn exactly this: “I am the center of the universe! Everything serves me, and when things get really tight, I ask God to help me – or serve me.” As an adolescent and young adult, the son or daughter will enter into life with exactly this expectation – and experience painful disappointments. However, if parents let their child participate in their spiritual life and the child is involved in answers to prayer and experiences of faith, it will shape his concept of God. If the child learns at home that God and His matters always have priority, that our life is in the service of God, then this concept of God will guide the young person and lead to personal experiences. 

The dictate of the Zeitgeist in Christian families 

In John 17:14-16, we find Jesus’ prayer for the disciples. Here, Jesus addresses the conflict of His followers with their environment. This relationship has changed completely through salvation and regeneration. Before conversion, man was entirely coessential with the sinful world around him. But through regeneration, he is moved from the realm of darkness to the realm of Christ (Colossians 1:13). He receives a new attitude (Philippians 2:5) and is led by the Spirit of God (Romans 8:14). 

Whereas the spirit of God now rules in his heart and life, outside is the domain of the Zeitgeist, a spirit from hell. The Holy Spirit wants to gently guide our lives, both personally and as a family. But the Zeitgeist takes its toll. Can it also implement its will in our families? 

The showcases of vanity are full of offers that modern man cannot possibly do without. Father, mother, and the children – everyone is sensitive to these temptations. Needs are awakened, which should then be urgently satisfied. The mother notices this when the child loudly insists on the purchase of a certain toy. And our children notice whether we are constantly chasing the latest trends in a wide range of consumer goods. Unfortunately, a life with such demands is often more expensive than the means allow. 

Is it worth it if the child no longer knows how to play outside due to the abundance of toys and digital media? Is it worth the expensive vacation, the big house, the expensive car if there is no time left for the child due to the sheer amount of work and career expectations? When both parents have to work to guarantee a certain standard of living and all the debts are being paid – but the child has to deal with his needs and homework alone? A poor rich child! 

Does Zeitgeist not dictate the rhythm of our life with its demands? Would the speed of our everyday life not be different if we were only guided by the Holy Spirit? Would our life have a different quality? Wouldn’t we have much more time to discover something together with our child – and thus give the child an unforgettable experience and tremendous joy? Do our children perhaps have much more than they need – and yet are actually poor, alone, and helpless? 

The modern value system is not compatible with the Word of God. The Word of God comes from heaven; the modern value system is conceived in hell. Our children learn modern thought in public schools. The pulse of our economy beats to this rhythm. More and more laws are being adapted to the humanistic worldview, and biblical order is being thrown overboard. Are our Christian families still a fortress against moral decay and godlessness? 

Life according to divine order

If we want to protect our children from the grip of the evil one, it is not enough to just monitor the use of the Internet. We have to strengthen our sons and daughters so they can swim against the deadly current. Even as children, they should learn to see the difference between good and evil and should have the will to choose what is good and right. 

God’s Word does not promise us that this path will be easy and hassle-free. Rather, Scripture shows us that the narrow path is, in practice, associated with many struggles, including pain and tears (Luke 9:23). 

Blessed are the children who have learned, even before they can talk and walk, that obedience pleases their parents and is something very beautiful. Blessed are the children who have learned that a “no” to their wishes and plans is normal and no reason for agitation. Blessed are the children who learn to do without. Blessed are the children who have learned to share and give joyfully and thus make others happy. Blessed are the children who are so steadfast in themselves and confident in a positive way that they do not define their place in life through fashion trends, brand mania, or status symbols. Blessed are the children for whom God is a reality and a firm footing in life. 

The future needs strong people who are inwardly healthy and free, people who live from the power of God and who are dependent on the grace of God, people whose inner wealth makes them externally independent, who cannot be corrupted by luxury and convenience. Their assets are invested in perpetual, invisible equity and makes them independent of the changing circumstances of the present. They are people who are grateful and happy, regardless of whether they live in wealth and abundance or in poverty and need. They are people who stand with both feet in life and whose heart and home is in heaven. 

We achieve inner and lasting wealth only by the way of the Bible, in a divine order. Only God’s blessing makes our children rich, even without a big bank account. 

Hermann Vogt

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