This past Sunday I shared a sermon out of Matthew with Journey Church. This is the story of the Wise Men (Magi) who come to visit Jesus and bring him gifts of Gold, Myrrh and Frankincense. Each of these gifts represent something that will unfold in the ministry and life of Jesus, namely his “Kingship” (Gold), his “Humanity” (Myrrh – this was used in burial, so Matthew is telling us in the birth narrative that Jesus will have to die), and finally Frankincense, representing prayers of the mediators of the people, which represents Jesus’ “Priesthood.”
Gold was a gift for kings – it showed loyalty, prosperity, and generosity. It helped kings have successful kingdoms. It is a substance that has changed little in its value over time, and still has a place in our lives thousands of years later.
We have a place for gold in our world too…a special place. We only give gold as the best of gifts, and it is reserved for precious few…at least it should be. Its color is coveted by memberships and iPhones and credit cards…which are mocked up in shiny luster. If you have a gold card or a gold phone, you have reached the pinnacle of achievement. You have reached the summit and you are in the club.
When I asked Haylee to marry me, I got down on 1 knee (may have been 2 to ensure she would say yes), and gave her a symbol in gold. I know it sounds cheesy, but I set up a kingdom, where I was asking her to be the queen. She accepted, and now we also have 2 little princesses. But, gold is reserved for her, and is not given to the kids. Parents, stop giving gold to your kids, especially when giving gold to them and the less valuable gifts to your spouse. Kids don’t need gold, they need to wait for gold – they need it to represent value when the time is right – not have it before they can appreciate its value and special place. The problem I see in today’s world is that parents are desperately trying to be their kids ‘friend,’ giving them everything… with devastating consequences. Kids have no manners, no respect, no work ethic. I see it all the time. Why? Because we have given gold to kids… or as the Bible may say “throwing pearls to…” well you get the drift.
In fact one of the best things your kids can see you do is giving greater gifts to the one next to you. They will learn to wait for something that has similar value in their own lives. You will teach them to be successful adults, partners, workers, if you deny them a little. Show them who deserves ‘gold’ and they will seek that. Give it to them, and they will feel entitled to it.
Don’t give gold to your kids. Just don’t.