As parents, we should strive to love our kids equally. We shouldn’t have a favorite child among our children. Favoritism is the one cancer that kills a beautiful family.
Isaac and Rebekah raised their kids, Jacob and Esau, in favoritism:
“The boys [Jacob and Esau] grew up, and Esau became a skillful hunter, a man of the open country, while Jacob was content to stay at home among the tents. Isaac, who had a taste for wild game, loved Esau, but Rebekah loved Jacob.” (Genesis 25:27-28)
This is one of the common humans’ (parents’) sinful tendencies: To love the child who brings us much benefit.
The father, Isaac, loved Esau because Isaac loved his “stomach,” very much like some people, and since Esau was “a skillful hunter,” he always brings to his dad a delicious steak dinner. On the other hand, the mother, Rebekah, loved Jacob because Jacob used to help her around the house, like cooking “some stew” (Genesis 25:29).
There is no genuine, sincere and selfless parental love in favoritism, only selfishness.
All our kids are uniquely created by God with unique gifts and talents. So even their weaknesses and strengthens are different. We parents need to consciously fight against this sinful tendencies towards our kids.
All our children have to know and believe that they are loved and cherished by us, their parents, equally, no matter what they are capable of accomplishing in life starting from day one.
A child who is favored by his parents tend to be hated by his other siblings.
“Now Israel loved Joseph more than any of his other sons, because he had been When his brothers saw that their father loved him more than any of them, they hated him and could not speak a kind word to him born to him in his old age; and he made an ornate robe for him.” (Genesis 37:3)
Joseph’s brothers “hated him and could not speak a kind word to him” – Because Joseph was favored by Jacob, by their father.
Notice how this cancerous thing called favoritism passes through from one generation to another. Jacob was raised in a home where favoritism marked the parenting style and when he (Jacob) himself became a parent, he continued raising his kids in favoritism, making his youngest son, Joseph, his favorite child.
Notice here again the root of favoritism: Selfishness.
Jacob loved Joseph “because” – “he had been born to him in his old age” – Jacob had Joseph when he was old. So, by showing Joseph to all his friends and families (my assumptions), Jacob used to brag about how young he still was for making his wife pregnant even in his old age.
Why did God love us, you and I, in Christ Jesus?
We don’t know! We only know that we are loved by Him. God only has one favorite Child, Jesus Christ, and all of us who come to God through Christ Jesus, are equally loved by God as His Favorite children as if we all were Jesus Christ. What does this truth do to us?
A lot! It makes us love God and it forces us to love one another.
So, please, parents, let’s love our kids equally.
One common outcome of favoritism from both sides is this:
A favorite child tends to be “infected” with “a spirit of entitlement.” He grows up and demands that everybody should love and treasure him because “he is somebody special” when he is not. He demands a lot from others thinking that he “deserves” to be loved and favored by all for no apparent reasons. He may also struggles in opposite sex relationship and in marriage if he gets married. He may also end up struggling with superiority complex throughout his adult years unless he seeks help from a professional. (Good book to read on this topic: “How we love our kids” by Milan & Kay Yerkovich)
A child who didn’t feel like he was not his parents’ favorite child may dare to get engaged in reckless and dangerous sexual activities during his early years, like pre-teen and teen years as he looks for love in all the wrong places.
Yes, when we get rid of favoritism from our homes, we protect our kids’ internal mental and spiritual well-being which are the back bones for building well balanced and disciplined lives in Christ. Let’s tell our kids that all of them are equally loved and treasured by us, their parents. Let’s fill their small hearts and souls with parental love which is just like “Agape’s love,” unconditional love, God’s love. There shouldn’t be any reason to love our children. There shouldn’t be, “I love my child because – – – ” kind of thing.
We love our children equally. Period.
There is no “because” for our love. Our children don’t have to earn our love, for example, by bringing a straight A report card from school for us, their parents, to love them.
This is how my husband and I taught our three children to know and believe when they were little kids, that, they all, three of them, are equally our favorite children and they all are unconditionally loved by us equally.
Of course we need to ask God to help us since we can do nothing without His help (John 15:5). With the mercy and grace of God, let’s all, parents, strive to show love to all our kids even if some of our children may not be as smart as the others or as obedient as the others. Let’s fight against favoritism so we can protect our kids from choosing dangerous lifestyles to compensate or replace the love they were supposed to get from us, their parents, when they were little. ///