With all the negative things facing today’s families, one of the worst is materialism, which, quite simply, is a way of thinking that gives too much importance to material possessions rather than to spiritual or intellectual things. It’s basically just plain greed! Kids keep the pressure on parents to have what their friends have. Husbands put pressure on their wives to go to work, 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, advertisers add fuel to the fire by convincing us that every product is the gateway to happiness.
Materialism, often rationalized as a concern for the family, has an unfortunate way 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 does have to do with priorities that help the family stay together.
God unites the family. Materialism pulls it apart.