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Oft-times when I meet with parents, there is a challenge to devote themselves and their time to communicating well for the health of their relationships. There are a number of unspoken sacrifices that must be made. However, the sacrifices are not as great as most think they are. People often view sacrifice in the form of money. I get it, spending their hard-earned wages on another isn’t always easy. Money in our society has become such a huge thing, but it isn’t our main problem. Love is.

"For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil" - 1 Timothy 6:10

The phrase that we often quote but so often forget its meaning doesn’t demonize money, but rather the love of it. In essence, it asks us to question what it is we love and where our hearts truly lie. And evil doesn’t always present itself as a devil with two horns. Sometimes it can be something as small as a distraction from the things that really matter. I’ve dealt with young people who have wealthy parents. In this setting, there is nothing – no single object or thing – that the parent cannot provide for their child. Yet this young person still might have thoughts of harming him or herself or suicidal thoughts. This young person still does not feel loved. The obvious question is: why wouldn’t someone feel loved if their parents worked hard for them to have provisions? Food on the table? Shelter over their head? Clothes on their back?

Parents tell me that they work hard to provide for their children, but what I’ve noticed is that some fail to recognize the most important provision of all: love. And love needs to be demonstrated through communication. You may be giving them love, but if they don’t interpret it as love then they won’t feel loved. A lot of parents I meet are fearful that if they do not buy their child the hottest, latest, or best gift, then their child won’t love them. They forget that communicating love is essential to creating an open, free and fostering environment.

So rather than striving for material things we think are very important, let us understand that there is something even more powerful behind that. One of the greatest commandments is love – love God and love your neighbour just as you love yourself. And not only does that mean showing your version of love, but understanding the way that person interprets your love.

In the same way, what I encourage you to do is to switch your focus from provision meaning “things”. They’re definitely important, but not the most important. Rather, it is the seeds that you sow in water. Love, communication and experience.

Merry Christmas.