This season comes with a lot of expenses. It got me thinking about our motives and the impact of financial debt on the family. Decorating the house, buying household items and gifts on credit just to keep up with societal expectations is sadly associated with this season. Instead of spending to keep up with the Joneses, let us think family first and think about buying time with our children.
Are you buying a gift just to impress the receiver? Are you buying your children gifts so that they can brag about it or to keep up with their friends and cousins? Are you going into debt just to keep up with your visitor’s expectations? It is good to reflect on my motives. Check your heart.
It is easy to buy expensive gifts and engage in activities that do not bring us closer to our spouses and children this season. Perhaps, your children value those gifts more than time with you because you have made it so and you feel pressured to continue meeting their expectations. As parents, contentment begins with us and our children learn from us. Instead of going into debt to buy gifts for our children, we can teach them to believe God for those gifts and take time to ask what their desired gifts means to them.
Often, the burden of financial debt makes it difficult for one to put family first. One cannot afford to take some days off and spend time with the family when there are monthly payments due. Working overtime instead of spending time with one’s child(ren) would become inevitable with financial debt. As we make financial decisions this season, let us think about the impact of debt on family time. Every time you save money, you buy time with your family. The pressure of paying back loans and bills often keep us away from the family. Keeping up with the Joneses prevents us from enjoying a life of contentment.
But godliness with contentment is great gain. For we brought nothing into the world, and we can take nothing out of it. But if we have food and clothing, we will be content with that. Those who want to get rich fall into temptation and a trap and into many foolish and harmful desires that plunge people into ruin and destruction. 1 Timothy 6:6-9 New (NIV)