What’s going on biblically when children complain about something not being fair?
Lee had a good discussion with one of our children, who was concerned about fairness when a sibling had computer time that neither of the other two siblings received. Lee mentioned later that people overly concerned with “fairness” are often simply envious. That was a new thought for me.
It’s important to note that parents can sinfully give preference to certain children– I don’t know how to define this or what it’s called. But showing favoritism is bad. On the other hand, treating children differently isn’t always favoritism. (For reference see Matthew 20.)
That’s all for today.
interesting, Michelle. . .my sisters and I chuckle over the idea that we grew up in a “fair family” since our parents wearied themselves in an attempt to make everything fair; of course, it wasn’t fair, and is the attempt even biblical? Then that old cliche, “well, life isn’t fair!” seems to carry with it a grudging attitude. hmmm, so good for your children that Lee is leading them to dig deeper into their heart motives; perhaps selfishness is involved?
Darcie– I’ve also been uncomfortable with saying “Life isn’t fair” (although I’m sure I’ve said it in exasperation some times). My mom would say growing up “It all evens out in the wash.” I think it’s good for parents to make an effort to be equitable in some measure with their children, and I think that it’s good for children to learn to trust that their parents love them equally. It probably is a childish selfishness that wants to make sure everything is equal. Maybe this would make a good teaching conversation. We could talk about Joseph in the Bible, and the problems that favoritism caused in his family. Or we could talk about being a respecter of persons… and of course, we can talk about selfishness and envy.
hmmm, I think it would be a worthy teaching topic, and you’re right, it’s good for parents to try to treat their children with equity and especially to assure each of parental love. I think you should write a post about the comment you made this morning concerning purity. . .how our focus should be to teach our children wisdom from Proverbs.
Darcie, I’m on it. 🙂 I realize that though I wrote a little about this, I didn’t develop the idea, and I’ve not shared how over the months that truth has comforted me. On this topic, what Bible passages would you share to discuss the parent’s desire for equity and loving children equally? Laura, I’m interested what you would share, too. Yes– USUALLY things even out in the wash– not always. And I like how you teach the positive quality, contentment. That’s a good reminder for me.
We try to teach our children that things in life are not always “fair” in terms of how we as selfish people define fair. Someday they are going to grow up and live next door to someone who has a new car, and a great job, and the perfect dog and they are going to say “it’s not fair” and frankly, it’s not, but it’s about being content with what God has given us and not worrying about making sure everything is even. I agree with the envy idea. I also see discontentment with one’s lot and I’ve really learned a lot about that the last few years. Contentment with one’s lot is so essential to one’s joy. We do in general try to treat our children with equity, but we make no qualms about telling them that they shouldn’t plan on things being “equal”. I agree with your mom, it usually does even out in the wash, but we also remind them that age makes a difference and frankly personality does too sometimes. It really is less about everything being even and more about making sure no one gets anything more or better than themselves.