For what does it profit a man if he gains the whole world and loses himself? Luke 9:25
Kim Kardashian’s newest baby, Chicago, was born via surrogate last week. I know: Who really cares, right? Like most people, I have a strong opinion about the Kardashians. But it’s likely not the same one that you do. It may be that I have a small fixation with them. If I had to categorize it, I would say my Kardashian compass is definitely north of having a mild “interest” but somewhere south of a serious “infatuation.”
Now, before you blow up my inbox, I’m not defending their lifestyle and don’t agree with their faith. Let’s keep it real—these are not the Proverbs 31 women we are all striving to raise. But I do find them unbelievably fascinating, and, apparently, I’m not alone. Keeping Up with the Kardashians (KUWTK for those of you hip like me with the lingo) is in its fourteenth season which, for better or worse, is quite remarkable. Although their ratings appear to have slipped some in the last few seasons, their many business ventures are flourishing.
I have a “friend” who records their shows and watches them on the rare instances when said friend is home alone with no sign of her husband and three kids (i.e., almost never). This is not a recommended activity as it requires much skill with fast-forwarding and extreme patience for nonsensical behavior with no redeeming value. But as much as we might want to shake our heads in disgust and not dignify their popularity, we live in a Kardashian-saturated culture.
Even if your kids know nothing of the Kardashian family, they are a metaphor for much of what influences our culture. It may not be the Kardashians when your kids are old enough to “get it,” but be assured there’s someone like them on their heels. (Need I remind you of Paris Hilton?) I’m not suggesting you need to have my level of Kardashian acumen, but at least we need to be willing and able to have the conversation.
So, in an effort to make some reasonable use of my Kardashian prowess, let’s consider the following:
Five Lessons Our Kids Can Learn from the Kardashians
1. Popularity comes at a price.
It may look like all glam and hype when you see those around you with big-time popularity, but it comes at a high price, which often includes anxiety, insecurity, brokenness, and depression.
As Christian parents, the things we pray for you will not make you popular. But having a love for God’s word, a transparent faith, and godly wisdom will give you favor with the Lord and a true hope that long outlives the very short appeal of popularity. You have an audience of one—make it your goal to be popular with the only one who matters.
2. Quick decisions often have far-reaching consequences.
As much as it might seem harmless to post endless selfies, make “funny” videos, snapchat your every move, or spend your time with that questionable friend—be careful. Every seemingly small choice defines your reputation and your name. And the things you think you’re doing in private rarely end there.
Search for what is true and right, stick to it, and refuse to compromise. It’s much easier to make the right decision first rather than trying to fix the wrong one later. As you get older, every decision you make can define your opportunities in your life. Even more problematic, bad decisions can impact the Lord’s ministry for you.
Remember the adage: right is right even if no one is doing it; wrong is wrong even if everyone is doing it.
3. Money buys stuff but not significance.
Range Rovers, the latest iPhone, designer clothes, great vacations, big houses. Let’s keep it real: money can buy lots of fun things that provide excitement at the moment. It’s very tempting to think that if we just had this or that we would be satisfied. Or we can find ourselves jealous of others who have all the cool stuff. But “stuff” is a poor substitute for significance.
Real significance and self-worth come from knowing that you have value solely because you were chosen by and created at the hand of the Lord of the universe. Having more stuff just tricks us into thinking that’s our value. Learning to be content with what you have is satisfying, and it’s the one possession that will never leave you looking for more.
4. Nobody—and no body—is perfect.
Tempted to obsess over a few extra pounds or your bad complexion? Feeling too short, too tall, or is your hair too stringy? No worries. Even the most “beautiful” people among us don’t often like what they see in the mirror.
Our culture makes us think we have to look a certain way to be attractive. The misleading images we are bombarded with every day make us crave perfection, or at least as close to perfection as we can get. It’s easy to be tempted to feel inadequate when we see celebrities who work out excessively, inject their lips, add extensions, change their nose, fix their teeth, etc. The problem with being too focused on our outward appearance is that we start looking more like those around us and less like God.
Remember that inner beauty and strength will not often be celebrated on social media or on the red carpet, but it’s unmistakable when you rest on who you are in Christ.
5. You have influence; use it well.
Although you probably don’t have a hit TV show and millions of followers on Instagram, please don’t doubt your influence on those around you. You can choose to let your influence be shaped by what’s easiest and comfortable for you, or you can use it well for others.
Your words matter. Your actions matter. Your heart for those around you will be noticed. Be the person who makes the lunch table open to everyone, or the one who finds a way to include others in this weekend’s plans. You can be the answer to someone else’s struggle. Be determined to use your influence in ways that require you to make God your comfort—not comfort your God.