Once children lose their value in a culture, so does the work of bringing them into this world and tending them once they are here. Instead of being revered, respected, and supported by society, mothering is devalued. Even when lip service is paid to the value of family, there is still the underlying assumption that only “real” work - financial performance, career achievement, or some other contribution outside the home - counts in terms of value and success. Often, as a result, women feel confused and torn between the cultural messages they hear about what is important for them to do and the eternal message God has written on their hearts. The minority of mothers who choose to devote their lives to the nurturing of godly heritage by focusing on their homes as the center of life find themselves unsupported and unaffirmed by a culture that does not value their contribution. The hard, daily, repetitive work of making a home a haven, providing healthy meals, correcting and training little ones, and constantly cleaning up messes is perceived as menial labor instead of the stuff from which godliness is built.
[A] consequence of straying from God’s plan for children is that they come to be regarded as a burden, the often-inconvenient by-products of sex. When the mission and reason for having children is lost, they easily come to be seen as a time drain, a monetary expense, a career impediment, and a curtailer of personal freedom. Such devaluing of children can have devastating effects on both personal and societal levels. It leads naturally to a preoccupation with birth control, a high abortion rate, and to child abuse and neglet, all of which are evident in our culture.
A young husband should say to his bride: ‘I have taken you in my arms, and I love you, and I prefer you to my life itself. For the present life is nothing, and my most ardent dream is to spend it with you in such a way that we may be assured of not being separated in the life reserved for us.’
The man who owns two coats, not only should, but is obliged to pass one on to the man who has none.
Saint John Chrysostom
Being ‘poor in spirit’ (a Christian virtue) means being detached from things - being able to possess goods without being possessed by them. It means…putting people ahead of possessions - and seeing material things only as instruments for serving God and the needs of others.
James Stenson, Upbringing
The love of worldly possessions is a sort of bird line, which entangles the soul, and prevents it from flying to God.