Daughter: Mum can I have a tenner for lunch today?
Mum: Ten pounds?! I just gave you a fiver a couple days ago. What did you do? Buy another dress for your overloaded wardrobe?
Daughter: Ummmm something like that.
Mum: Tell you what, you do the laundry this week and I’ll think about that tenner.
Daughter: [Grumbles] Aww mum! [Thinks quickly] Fine, I’ll just ask dad.
Mum: [Sighs] That man spoils you too much! You give him a run for his money you do!
I’m sure this conversation resonates with many of you. I remember way back in primary school when some of my peers would get the new ‘Just Do It’ bag and I would beg my mum to buy me one even though she had just bought me a fresh, new book bag! The definition of ‘spoilt’ according to The Oxford Dictionary is to ‘Harm the character of (a child) by being too lenient or indulgent.’ Other phrases associated with this verb are pamper, coddle, and over-parent.
Our parents try to raise us by constantly adjusting their parenting methods in consideration of our age which is sourced from their love for us. ‘How much is not too much pocket money for my children? How do I discipline my child with enough sternness and punishment but the right amount of love to show them that what they did was wrong but that everyone makes mistakes?’ I imagine that it is a constant battle of balance.
Nevertheless, with our Heavenly Father I like to think that I am rather spoilt, but not in the way our human mind would think.
Although we cannot see God, and sometimes we may feel like He is far away, He is always there [John 26:29]. Sometimes because we cannot see Him we may feel that it gives us a license to do as we please, and these actions may displease our Father.
In the same way our parents discipline us when we have done something wrong, the same way our God disciplines and nudges us to do the right thing, the only difference is that He has already forgiven you before you even utter the word sorry. We must not take for granted God’s kindness and compassion.
On the flipside, how amazing is it that He loves us more than we can ever comprehend? Not only that, the love that He has for us is lavished onto us (I love that word) [1 John 3:1].
How great it is that He knows the number of hairs on your head [Luke 12:7], He knows you more than you know yourself and He knew you before you were conceived [Jeremiah 1:4-6]. He took so much care and time to craft you with all your talents, characters and quirks [Genesis 1:27] and no matter how much we mess up He is always ready, waiting for us with His arms outstretched hugging us tight and never letting go [Luke 15:20-24].
To top it all off, anything that bothers us that we can’t handle He tells us to cast all (stressing on the ALL) our burdens onto him [Psalm 55:22]. That includes the burden you carry when you haven’t quite made the grades you need to get into university (trust me I’ve been there but that’s another story), that includes the burden you carry when your parents may be getting a divorce and you don’t know where to turn, all your insecurities, anxieties, uncertainties and problems, God’s got it. He really has.
He is the same yesterday, today and has planned your future to the T [Jeremiah 29:11-14]. You have nothing to fear because He is always there, an ever present Father that pampers us to perfection.