I gave my 7 year old son, Will, a raise in his allowance today. From $1.50 a week to $2. Big money.
He was excited, but then quickly turned cautious. “Does this mean I have to do more work?” Maybe he would have refused the raise if so. However I explained that extra work is not required. A raise rewards you for doing great at your current responsibilities. His caution reverted back to excitement.
This made me think of the scripture, “To whom much is given, much is required.”
Most of us give a lot to our kids. More than we ever received and I’m sure our parents felt the same.
Cell phones, Xboxes, Playstations, summer camps, extracurricular classes, perfect teeth, etc, etc. This is all fine really because we love our children.
I think we miss the boat when we forget the scripture above. We give much, but we don’t require much. That’s a formula for failure. A recipe to raise rotten kids.
We give and give, but get lax on the expectations. At age appropriate levels we can require our kids to do some household chores, keep their rooms clean, cook some meals. We should insist on their honor and respect to us and other elders, kindness to each other, great grades, service to their communities and churches.
When we give without requiring anything in return…well, that’s welfare. That’s not how we want to train our children.
God had a better idea.