Once in a while, somebody asks me “Who is your favorite among your 4 children?” And why not? Everybody has a favorite drink, favorite movie, favorite brand. So why, not a favorite child? Maybe the most obedient, or the most good-looking, or the smartest, or the most affectionate one?
I have seen how favoritism can tear a family apart. Probably not physically, but emotionally, yes. Favoritism for one child results in rejection for another. Favoritism passes on wrong mindsets to the children. It teaches the favored child that he can have everything he wants and that he can get away with anything he does, whether it’s right or wrong. It teaches the un-favored one that he is not good enough, that he needs to be a certain way, needs to accomplish certain things before he gets accepted. It destroys the relationship among siblings. It causes rivalry and alienation that can even be passed on to the next generation.
This afternoon, I asked Ryan “Do you feel that I love Joaquin more than you? Or your ate? Or kuya?” And he answers “no”. Every now and then, I would ask Nathan and Janina the same question too. And they would always answer a no. It is always good to keep ourselves in check. Paolo and I make a conscious effort to make sure each of our kids feel that they are favored equally.
So who is my favorite child? They’re all my favorites. Nathan is my favorite firstborn. Janina is my favorite daughter. Ryan is my favorite middle son. And Joaquin is my favorite bunso. I admit that sometimes I struggle with giving all my children equal treatment. There are days I prefer one child over the other, just because he has been behaving better and not giving me a hard time. There are days when one child is more affectionate than the others and I tend to show more affection to that child too. But at the end of the day, we love them all equally. God has given us the eyes to see that each of our children is special in his or her own way. Each one is gifted, each one has a great destiny. Each one is a blessing to us. And we are grateful that God has given us each one of them.
Ps 127: 3 Sons (and daughters) are a heritage from the LORD, children a reward from him.