A Better Parent

Matthew 7:11 If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give what is good to those who ask Him!

I saw a FB post of a conversation between a mother and daughter. The daughter asked why she couldn’t buy something at the sales event they were at and the mother said they make the money so they can buy. This implying that the daughter can buy when she makes the money. One of her friends posted a picture showing a light switch, the cooktop burner, a water faucet, and food, all with gift bows on them. It amazes me how we think. Our children ask for something and we point to the things we give them that they need, when our children are asking for things they want. One of my friends had her child working for her in her shop, but when the time came to pay him, she pointed to the food in the refrigerator as his payment. I got onto her for that because he cannot learn about earning money if he is not getting paid. By not paying him, they are just frustrating him, and he will learn no work ethics.

What would happen if God did the same to us?

When we pray and ask God for a better car because ours is having problems. What would you do if God put a gift bow on your feet and told you to walk. Or when we pray and ask God for a new job and you woke up the next morning to find gift bows on the sun, atmosphere, and the earth. How would you feel as a child of God if you asked for something you want and God told you that He already gives you what you need. Or what about the preacher who works and works and when he asked God to be paid, God pointed him in the direction of the church’s food pantry.

Sometimes we forget that when God gave us the gift of our children that it was an unwritten agreement that we would care for them, cloth them, provide for them. We promised we would give our children the things they need. That is called being a parent. Being a better parent is sometimes giving to your child what they want. Not because we should spoil them, but because it gives our heart joy to see our children happy. I know that we give to our children at Christmas, but that only comes around once a year. And let me tell you, having the love language of gift giving and only getting a gift once a year…it sucks.

My point to all this is to provide for your children but don’t throw it in their face when they ask for something more. God doesn’t do that. And when they do ask for more than you can give, make them earn it by paying them for chores. I know some parents give their children chores to do around the house, but with the amount of school work the teachers expected, my daughters didn’t have time for chores. When they were too young to work, and they wanted something more, I gave them a list of chores to do to earn money.

We are our children’s first authority figure in their lives. We should teach them about rules and the consequence of breaking them. We should teach them about money and using it wisely. We should teach them about responsibility and what happens when it is put into the hands of the wrong people. We should teach them about love and what happens when it is misdirected. We should teach them about honesty and the consequence of lying. We should teach them about community and the benefits of helping others.

Think about what God has done for you and how He has handled His children. And then model His example.