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Don't Play Favorites

Danielle Murphy

June 21, 2022

Genesis 25:28, KJV

“And Isaac loved Esau, because he did eat of his venison: but Rebekah loved Jacob.”

​​It can be easy to take towards one child more easily then another. It may be because they have qualities that you admire in a person or their disposition is just one that is more agreeable with yours. But, it can be a terrible tragedy not to work on your relationship with a child you have difficulty with simply because it takes so much time and effort. May we be as patient in our parenting towards each of our children as God is with us!

If we love justice then we will act as impartial judges towards our children. We will be careful not to make exceptions to our rules for one child. Now, if a child has earned respect and privileges by their actions, that is a completely different situation. Where another child may have violated trust in the past and therefore has consequences until they can prove themselves trustworthy again. God is faithful to bless those whose actions are not with the wicked—so ought we to be as parents towards our children (Psalm 1:1-3, Proverbs 3:32-34).

So if we find ourselves in a place where we have become partial, what can we do? Praise God for the conviction and ask Him to renew our hearts! We do not want our families to end in tragedy over our own foolishness do we? It is true that all relationships have their hardships at one time or another, but some seem to have more than others. When we find ourselves struggling with a child we need to be going to the Lord in prayer for insight. He is the one who can give us the wisdom we need to lead the relationship in a better direction.

Your child is looking eagerly to you as an example. An example of how to make things work when you can’t seem to get along. An example of forgiveness and grace. For some children our rebuke may bring repentance, but towards another it may give them a sense of rejection. It is good to be mindful of that particular child’s demeanor and to love them according to the way they feel loved. It can be a lot of work, but what can be more rewarding then mending a broken relationship? And what can be more powerful than a child witnessing it?

I recently read of one women’s way of remembering to pray for her children daily. She created a bracelet for each one of them with their name on it. Throughout the day, as she would pray for one of them, she would move that bracelet to her other arm. I loved this idea since it has been my desire for a while now to pray for each of my children yet, I never seem to pray as consistently as I would like to. How wonderful to love our children with such devotion and intention! I pray that if you find yourself in this struggle today that the Lord will hear the cry of your heart and make a way for you and your child to become closer, despite your differences.

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