There are some parents, like Andrew Garcia (whom my wife and I like a lot and will probably be voting for and whom my nephew knows personally), who are seeking to win American Idol or get a record deal after exposure on the show. The reason often given either by them or Ryan Seacrest who narrates the show, is to be able to have a better life for their child. Along similar lines, the rapper Eminem said a few years ago, “I always feel like what drives me is wanting your kids to have everything that you didn’t have growing up… I want my kids to have the perfect life.” There are several reasons why this thinking is mistaken and unwise.
First, for hip-hop fans like myself who enjoy the lyrical genius of the artist Eminem (regarding skill, not content or message for the most part), we learn and are reminded that fame and money don’t necessarily make a better life for the children. Hasn’t Eminem wished for a way to get back to the days when he wasn’t oppressed by the fame and popularity that comes with the financial prosperity? Eminem said: “Diddy said it best when he said, ‘Mo money, mo problems.’ It’s true. Because now, I don’t got money problems but I got a whole lot of other problems, as anybody that checks the news can see. Just a day in the life. If people really saw it, they may not want it.” Kanye West wrote a verse talking about the fame and said at the end of his verse: “I used to want this thing forever y’all can have it back.” For all the glitz and glam, it isn’t what we or the idol contestants think it is.
Secondly, in my Bible reading this morning, I read Psalm 4 among other things. The verses that struck me were verses 7-8. It says, “You have put more joy in my heart than they have when their grain and new wine abound. I will both lie down and sleep in peace, for You alone, Lord, make me live in safety.” If you want more joy in the heart of your kids than those who have fame, money, big houses, and live in “safe” neighborhoods, as verse 7 says, then bring them to God the Father through his Son Jesus Christ. Safety, peace, and joy are not found in money like some of the American Idol contestants say and the editors of the show portray. If you want a “perfect life” for your kids like Eminem does, then you won’t find it in this fallen world. You can have money and prosperity and yet not be happy, safe, or at peace. Money doesn’t exclude those things, but neither does it guarantee them as we are so accustomed to believing. God is the difference. God puts joy in hearts. God gives peace and safety to those who are his own. God secures the perfect life for his own as their hope. And those who are his are his only through the Lord Jesus Christ.
So in the end, the reason why you shouldn’t think this way is because it isn’t true and you’d be headed for disillusionment and potentially much more disappointment.