Matthew 6:21 says: For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also. This is a familiar verse and many great sermons have been preached on it. I agree with this wisdom from the Lord completely. The prior words warn against storing up treasures on earth……and the ones that come after verse 21 gives more great advice about keeping the eyes healthy, and being light in the darkness. Again…..yes and amen. These are such great challenges from Jesus to us, giving us clear instruction on how to live.
I wish, today, that after verse 21, the next verse would explain how to parent children who are also learning to have their treasure and their heart dwell as one. My teen daughter does and it makes living in this world really hard. It is easier for us parents to make the sacrifices, to make choices that are not popular in worldly ways than it is to see your children have to suffer through those same sacrifices and choices. I am praising the Lord in deep humility and celebration for who He is making her to be…….but struggling with how to comfort her as she wrestles with the battle between her heart and her world as an American teenager.
The latest topic is the spring prom/banquet. What should be a joyful tradition with anticipation, primping and joy is, instead, a burden she is trying to bear and survive…..not wanting to let the upper classmen down and meet all their expectations (because she is an officer, of course, and on the team that has to plan this event), wanting to avoid unnecessary costs…..and the worst part. The dress. She is a beautiful girl and wears clothes well. She is absolutely disabled over trying to find a dress she likes that is not hundreds of dollars. We have been shopping the bargains, the used, etc. and today we tried on the bridal shop version just to have a hands on experience. She cried on the way home saying, “I just cannot spend that kind of money on a dress. I cannot.” I know her. She is thinking about all the ways she could help the kids at One Vision in Haiti with that money, and how far she would get in saving up for the next Haiti trip if she did that with the money instead of spending it on a gown she will only wear a few hours of her life.
I tried to help. I did. I tried to tell her it was ok if she bought a spendy dress if she loved it and it made her feel special and beautiful. Not every one gets to have a wedding day and if something ever happened to her, maybe Prom would be as fancy as she ever got to be. I have an uncle who had a car accident 5 days after his wedding…….and never walked again. Maybe the spendy, beautiful dress is important sometimes? I don’t really know. I’m totally shooting blind on this thing. She is my oldest…….and I have ruined her for all things shallow and petty and fleeting. I am praising the Lord today, and feeling broken-hearted for her that she has to have even one bad day over this issue…….because she is my treasure and she is my heart and I want her to smile and feel that all is well, inside and outside of herself.
This will pass and another moral crisis will happen soon again and over and over. If any readers have some awesome scripture that comes to mind that I could squeeze into my heart between Matthew 6:21 and verse 22……..I would love to have them. If not, we will just move forward into making our eyes healthy so that our bodies can be healthy and be light in the darkness…….and protect our treasures.