A Ken doll and contentment

By Stew

My oldest daughter recently turned eight years old and our church has started to have activities for young people her age. Elise loves to attend and enjoys the games and listen to the Bible teaching.

When I picked her up last Friday,  I asked, “So, what did you learn about tonight?”. Her answer: “We talked about contentment and how Paul and Silas were content, even though they were locked in prison for teaching about Jesus.” (You can read the story in Acts 16:22-30.)

Then I asked if during the lesson, she thought if there were any areas of her life where she needed to have more contentment. Elise responded immediately that she did not like her dresser and that many times she gets a little angry because it is not the color she liked and sometimes she had trouble getting all of her clothes to fit. Elise said that she needed to be more content with her dresser.

As we talked further, we spoke about some thoughts about her dresser that will help her to be content. She needs to be thankful for any dresser at all, the dresser fits her needs and she needs to focus on being happy for her younger sister who happens to have a nice dresser. We got to the end of that discussion and it seemed like she had a pretty decent grasp of the idea of contentment.

The whole dresser thing kind of caught me by surprise, but I was glad for her application of biblical truth. Not knowing where this was going, I asked her if there was any other area where she was not content. I figured that I am at least four years away from her saying that she wished she could trade in for a “cooler” father, so I was curious about any further thoughts that she might have on the subject. She then said, “I wish I could take my Ken doll back to the store, I should have been content with the one I already had.”

The day before, I had come home to find her playing with her Barbie dolls (hate ’em, but can’t keep her away from them) and she announced that she had purchased a new “Ken” doll for thirteen dollars. Trying not to show my shock, I went to ask Mrs. Stew if this was correct. Mrs. Stew confirmed both the purchase and the purchase price. I said to her, “Why in the world would you allow her to spend $13 on something like that!?” Mrs. Stew responded that Elise had the money and she wanted that doll badly. Shaking my head, I went back about my business and did not give the matter another thought until Elise’s response after the church youth event.

She was starting to feel the full impact that a $13 purchase makes on an extremely low income person like herself. Even though that Ken doll was one of her favorite toys at the moment and even though her old Ken doll was lacking in some way, she realized that having the latest and best does not really satisfy. As she and I talked further and as I reflected on the incident, I eventually told her that even though the loss of the money stings a bit at the moment, $13 is a small price to pay if she truly learns the lesson of contentment.

The lessons in contentment get a lot more expensive as time passes.

Article by Stew

Photo by whatsername?

One Response (including trackbacks) to “A Ken doll and contentment”

  1. Paul Williams Says:

    Very great story, Stew! It sounds like your daughter is learning a valuable lesson. Let’s pray it sticks with her!!!