Our younger son (Noah, 14) confronted Shannon and I a few days ago on how we spend our money. He said we should be giving more to the poor and spending less on ourselves. Among other things, he listed the new HD TV, exercise bike, kitchen table and kayaks. He was particularly adamant the money we’d spent on movies at the theater this summer (Pirates 4, Harry Potter 7B, Super 8, Cowboys and Aliens).
It was hard not to get defensive. “We give a lot to charity…” “We used coupons for those films…” “Those new things were gifts…” (replacing things we’d gotten for free or at thrift stores when we moved back from the UK).
But God was definitely speaking through him to us. I was more radical about my possessions when I was younger, and as we have been doing better financially, it has been easy to become complacent and more materialistic. Perhaps we are unique in this regard?
Yes, it could have been more impressive if he started by telling a story about a rich guy with lots of sheep and a poor guy with only one sheep (“You are that Dad!”). But it was hard not to be proud that our teenage son was willing to challenge us on how we spend our money.