I’ve been sorting through baby things in the last few months, and am trying to decide which baby things I want to put away, give away, or keep handy for company. I’ve also been thinking over the toys that the kids have and play with. We have a lot of toys.
Some things I want my children to learn, regardless of how many toys we own.
- Everything comes from and belongs to God.
- Giving is more fun than receiving.
- We use things to serve God’s people.
- Our security does not rest in the things we own, but in the God who loves us.
- Any enjoyment from things must ultimately send us back to worship God. Things can be idols if we don’t respond in this way.
We’re all, by Bible standards, in this “rich” category here.
Charge them that are rich in this world, that they be not highminded, nor trust in uncertain riches, but in the living God, who giveth us richly all things to enjoy; I Timothy 6:17
When David was a baby, we began using our house for hospitality, and we found certain things, including toys, useful for this endeavor. Some toys we’ve deliberately purchased for this purpose. Some toys have come to our children from grandparents. A few things came before the children, like the doll house two of my grandfathers made for me when I was sixteen. We have space at our house, unlike others, so we’ve been accumulating toys without the need to thin them out.
Many of the toys have good play value: bikes, building materials, the doll house, art supplies. And I’ve kept multiples of several items because we frequently have other children over: three or four dollies is not too many when four or five little girls are playing in the bedroom. But is that sufficient reason to keep all those dollies?
I’ve been holding on to some toys that my children no longer play with, simply because they’re fun for company kids to play with. And I’ve set aside a number of toys to get rid of, but then, I’m not sure what to do with them. I could sell them, but I don’t really need the money. I could give them away, but I’d rather not give them to a toy-saturated family. So some things I’ve been hanging onto because I’d like to find a church or a family that these things would be a blessing for.
What should I do?
- For sure, I need to be praying that God would give me wisdom as I make some decisions.
- I need patience. I’d rather take my time to make sure the things that belong to God are put to good use for his glory.
- I need diligence to respond when God gives me wisdom. It would be easy to be apathetic or cavalier about our possessions, but I don’t think that’s an option for a Christian. For example, I could think how lovely it would be to stock a new church nursery, but there’s more that I can do besides think about it.
I’ve got more questions that I’ll be thinking through. Writing is one way I can think through my actions and my reasons for those actions.
Tomorrow is a guest post about how one mom is responding to the lure of materialism. It’s been an encouragement to me, and I’m sure it will be an encouragement to you.