One of the toughest pressures working against the family is materialism. Kids keep the pressure on parents to have what their friends have. Husbands put pressure on their wives to go to work–to keep up with the Jones’–though she may prefer to be at home. Wives often make it clear to husbands how dissatisfied they are with what they have, causing the husband to feel like an unappreciated failure. To top it all off, Madison Avenue adds fuel to the fire by convincing us every product is the gateway to happiness. Materialism, often rationalized as a concern for the family, has a way, unfortunately, of creating enormous dissatisfaction within the family. We’ve seen evidence of that through our economic downturn, when families, once able to buy whatever they wanted, are no longer able to buy their way into what they considered “happiness.”
Jesus has a better idea. It almost seems un-American in our culture of consumerism: “Seek first His kingdom and His righteousness [as described in the Bible] and all these things shall be added unto you.” Does that mean we don’t work hard? Absolutely not! We are called to work, but it has to do with priorities that help the family stay together.
God unites the family. Materialism pulls it apart.