There are many advantages that money can’t buy, but love provided in my life. God has truly blessed my life in many wonderful ways. Children are blessed that are part of a family where there is love, honesty, integrity and godliness. “The just man walketh in his integrity: his children are blessed after him.” (Proverbs 20:7) Jesus was subject to His parents. (Luke 2:51-52) Children today should be submissive to their parents and they should learn from them. Parents are blessed by children who are submissive. Submissive children obey their parents. (Ephesians 6:1) Submissive children honor their parents. (Ephesians 6:2) Submissive children bless their parents. (Ephesians 6:3) The best inheritance that a man can leave to his children is his own holy life. Children are gifts from God; they are blessings from the Lord and should not to be taken for granted. I have learned that children are tough and they are fragile. Children are precious and they grow up fast, very fast. You, as a parent, will give account to God for your child. Be strong and faithful in the Lord and do your best to lead your children to heaven. “In the fear of the LORD is strong confidence: and his children shall have a place of refuge.” (Proverbs 14:26) Here are a few advantages that I have had in my life; advantages that were provided by love.

     The advantage of being genuinely needed: When you grow up with real responsibilities you are contributing to the welfare of your family. This helps you grow in knowledge, strength and maturity. Solomon wrote, “There is nothing better for a man, than that he should eat and drink, and that he should make his soul enjoy good in his labour. This also I saw, that it was from the hand of God.” (Ecclesiastes 2:24) As you deal with responsibility you are able to understand your strengths and your limitations. As my parents provided me with personal responsibility they provided me with advantages money can’t buy, but love provided.

     The advantage of learning to be unselfish: Each of us possesses a mindset that either makes us servants or selfish. The selfish person focuses on self-love, self-indulgence, self-interest and egotism. They often use words like I, me, mine and myself. Selfishness is seen as people seek only to please themselves. “For all seek their own, not the things which are Jesus Christ's.” (Philippians 2:21) I had the advantage of learning early that the world does not revolve around me. Children do not have to have their own way and they do not have to have the best of everything. You cannot be Christ-like if you are selfish. “Even as the Son of man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give his life a ransom for many.” (Matthew 20:28) Our Master gave Himself in service and in sacrifice for us and we need to do as He did. As my parents taught me to be unselfish they provided me with advantages money can’t buy, but love provided.

     The advantage of being surrounded by parents and siblings: At our house there was always conversation and playful interaction. Home was a happy place, a place where even in difficult times there was joy. Older children play with the younger children. Younger children receive love and guidance from several older people, not just their parents. Surrounded by parents and siblings children learn obedience. Children should obey their parents not to get what they want or to somehow manipulate them, but because it is something that honors the Lord and brings glory to Him. (Ephesians 6:1-9) Children should obey parents out of reverence for Christ. As my parents taught me the joy of family they provided me with advantages money can’t buy, but love provided.  

     The advantage of learning to work: Responsibility is not a dirty word. Duty is not a dirty word. Working for something you want is not a crazy idea. Working to support yourself and your family is an honorable thing. Some are just lazy. Solomon wrote, “As the door turneth upon his hinges, so doth the slothful upon his bed.” (Proverbs 26:14) Don’t just sit there, don’t just roll over and go back to sleep. Get up and in the name of God do something. Use your power, use your intelligence, use your vision and use your gifts that God gave you to do something. As my parents taught me to work they provided me with advantages money can’t buy, but love provided.  

     The advantage of learning that people are different: One of the greatest lessons that I have been taught is that people are different, but God loves each and every one of us! People have different temperaments, different talents and different interests. We need to learn to get along with everyone. From their sisters, boys understand and appreciate femininity. From their brothers, girls understand and appreciate what is means to be men. People are different, but God loves us all. “But we see Jesus, who was made a little lower than the angels for the suffering of death, crowned with glory and honour; that he by the grace of God should taste death for every man.” (Hebrews 2:9) As my parents taught me that people are different, but God loves us all, they provided me with advantages money can’t buy, but love provided.  

     The advantage of learning about birth and death: Birth and death are a very natural part of life. Birth and death are realities for animals and for humans. Birth and death are natural. “To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven: A time to be born, and a time to die…” (Ecclesiastes 3:1-2) Life is a great privilege. “For me to live is Christ.” (Philippians 1:21) Death is likewise a great privilege for the faithful child of God. “We are confident, I say, and willing rather to be absent from the body, and to be present with the Lord.” (2 Corinthians 5:8) “Every Man dies, but not every man truly lives.” Many never follow the Lord, so they never find life. “Your life, if you follow Jesus, will look like Jesus’ life. You will experience suffering, you will experience disappointment, betrayal, hatred, backbiting, and you will experience the reality of the cross as you bear it. When we live for and follow Christ, we will inevitably experience what Jesus did in His days while walking the earth.” The good news is that if we are born again and die in Christ our troubles are over. “And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away.” (Revelation 21:4) As my parents taught me about birth and death they provided me with advantages money can’t buy, but love provided.  

     There are many advantages that money can’t buy, but love can provide. The greatest of these is salvation. Money can’t buy salvation; but God’s love made our salvation possible. Are you a Christian? To become a Christian you must, hear the gospel of Christ (John 6:44-45), believe in Jesus (Acts 8:37), repent of sins (Luke 13:5), confess Christ as Lord (Romans 10:9-10) and be baptized to wash away your sins. (Acts 22:16) After your baptism into Christ be a follower of that which is good. Christ "gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works." (Titus 2:14)

By Charles Box, Walnut Street Church of Christ, 306 Walnut Street, Greenville, Alabama 36037