Sometimes it seems the easiest thing to do is to give our child what he wants and make him happy. It is such a temptation to be the answer to our child’s wants and needs rather than teaching him to believe God for it or to work for it.
When our daughter, Janina, got her new puppy, Briggie, it wasn’t without faith, hardwork and tears. When she first brought up the idea of getting a Maltese, we told her that she will have to use her own savings. Not only that, we wanted her to be the one to look for one that is affordably priced. Paolo and I thought that this would be good training for her. We would pray with her for the puppy but we expected her to do all the legwork necessary.
We saw Janina spending hours online and on the phone looking for a Maltese and comparing prices. She learned what questions to ask the sellers and how to haggle for a lower price. There were nice, accommodating people and rude to very rude people, and she learned to deal with all kinds. One night, after weeks of doing that, she was in tears because she couldn’t find one that fit her budget. It was at this point when Paolo and I almost gave in, and thought of just raising the money ourselves to help out our little girl. But somehow a voice inside us told us to step out of the way and teach Janina to wait on God and believe Him for His provision. Janina was already getting impatient and desperate, yet God commanded us to stay away from the situation. That is not always easy for us parents especially when we see our child distraught and discouraged. We realized that this was as much a lesson for us as parents as it was for Janina.
A few days after that incident, Janina auditioned for the musical “Sound of Music.” Thank God for His favor, Janina made it! With the money that she will earn, she could finally buy the Maltese she’s been wanting and be able to pay even for the dog’s food for life :D. No wonder God told us to step out of the way–He has already set His plan in motion!
I think about that and wonder what would have happened if we took matters into our hands and made things happen for Janina. Then Janina would have missed out on experiencing first hand the faithfulness of her Heavenly Father as her provider. And we as parents would have missed God’s assurance for us that He will take care of our children.
I realize that sometimes our goal for our children is so short-term. They want something, we give it to them. They’re happy. End of story. But God is not just concerned about our children getting what they want and making them happy. He wants our children to get to know Him better and to grow in their faith as they wait upon Him. He wants a relationship with our children.
“Oh how great is the love the Father has lavished on us!”