Know: Self-indulgent living does not provide lasting peace and fulfillment.
Think: Always be mindful that selfindulgent choices leave us empty and disappointed.
Do: Seek to Please God, enjoying the blessings that come from walking with Him.
READ: LISTEN TO GOD
Read Ecclesiastes 2:1-26. Solomon decided to use his great resources to see what was truly worthwhile in life. Architecture, landscapes, immense wealth, sensual pleasure—it was all just chasing the wind. Even more frustrating was his realization that he would one day die, just as any fool, and leave it all to others.
PRAY: TALK TO GOD
Seek to please God and others, rather than self. Pray that God will help you and your family to put your selfish desires aside and seek to please God above all else.
DO: WALK WITH GOD
OPTION 1: People are constantly trying to find belonging, happiness, and purpose through things of this world, like romantic relationships, wealth, or popularity. However, they are looking in all the wrong places. Solomon teaches us that self indulgence is an empty pursuit, and the only thing worth pursuing is pleasing God. Show your children a variety of pictures depicting fashion through the decades. You can use pictures from the Internet or some family photos. Explain to them how the definition of what is “cool” changes over time. Taking the time and effort to try and fit a changing definition is meaningless. Instead, they should spend their time investing in Someone who never changes, God.
OPTION 2: Take the potato chip challenge! The long-time advertising slogan for Lay’s Potato Chips is “Too good to eat just one” (or formerly, “Betcha can’t eat just one”). Open a bag and try it. Can your family members stop at only one chip? Look at the nutritional values on the bag and talk about why it is easy to overeat potato chips, even though they supply very little of what our bodies need to be strong. Like potato chips, some of the things that the world system offers are not good for us and do not satisfy us. We need to make wise choices in life that build us up and have lasting value.
Today your child learned the young girl who trusted God told Naaman’s wife about a prophet in Samaria who could heal Naaman’s leprosy. The young girl’s faith was strong and she trusted God to heal Naaman. I Can Trust God like the young girl did.
Today your student learned people try to find fulfillment in life through relationships, activities, material things, and pursuits. He or she learned none of those areas are bad, unless they become more important than our relationship with God, which is the only way to true happiness.
Solomon searched for meaning in pleasure, wealth, study, and work, but still did not feel fulfilled. Illustrate this to your teen by making a fake cake. Spread icing on a couple of Styrofoam discs—add flowers and candles if you wish. Google “fake cakes” for ideas. Ask your teen to cut and serve it for dessert. Just because something looks good does not mean it is going to satisfy you. What “fake cakes” can your teen identify in today’s culture? How can you test them and avoid being tricked by them?