Exodus 20:17 “Thou shalt not covet thy neighbour’s house, thou shalt not covet thy neighbour’s wife, nor his manservant, nor his maidservant, nor his ox, nor his ass, nor any thing that is thy neighbour’s.”


God has a lot to say about the possessions of our neighbors when He says not to covet what does not belong to us. The definition of covetousness is to want something that belongs to someone else and to want it to such a degree that the coveter considers stealing it. This commandment refers to the attempt to unlawfully take another person’s entire estate which includes a man’s wife, property, animals, real estate etc. This commandment reveals that the eye is one of the primary instruments used in sinning which is why Jesus said that “if your eye offends you, pluck it out” (Matt. 5:29). It’s better to be blind than to have eyes that lead you to sin. Sin is that bad when blindness is the better option. Jesus said that it’s better to destroy one part of the body than to have the whole body destroyed in hell.


Now, I’m not saying that you are in sin if you want a better life for you and your children. But parents must teach their children that the lust for other people’s things can destroy their souls if left unchecked and that covetousness must be repented of and gratefulness be encouraged. This can be challenging in our current entitlement/welfare-based culture. Egged on by our covetous civil government, lusting and covetousness abounds in every nook and cranny of society. But nevertheless, we, as parents, must be in the world and not of the world as we teach our children from an early age to work for their own possessions, and to keep their eyes and their fingers off of what other children have. This commandment will serve them for the rest of their lives. God’s law is truly a blessing!