But if anyone does not provide for his relatives, and especially for members of his household, he has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever.
1 Timothy 5:8 ESV
There is no greater example of a provider than that of God the Father. He has literally everything at His disposal and He is a giver. The caveat is that He only gives good gifts. Sometimes He will give us the very opposite of what we’ve been asking for, but it isn’t to be cruel or to withhold from us. He simply knows better than us what we actually need.
Isn’t parenting like that for us also? We may not have all of the resources of God, but we are able to provide many things for our children. But just as we do when we go before God, sometimes our children ask us for things that we know are not what’s best for them. Indulging their every request would not be good parenting.
In thinking about this, I’m reminded of something that Jesus taught. Let’s take a look at his own words:
“Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives, and the one who seeks finds, and to the one who knocks it will be opened. Or which one of you, if his son asks him for bread, will give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a serpent? If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask him!”
Matthew 7:7-11 ESV
If your kid asked you for food, would you give him a rock? No! Why? Because you know that a rock wouldn’t give him the nourishment that he needs. But what if your kid asked for something that she really wants and your wisdom and maturity tell you that it would be not good to give that to them, even though you have the means to provide it? What’s the good parenting move there?
Our kids are growing up in a generation that’s very fast paced, very self-indulgent, and everywhere they look someone is trying to manipulate their hearts. To keep them on the right path, it’s necessary that we provide the right things in the right timing with the right amount of moderation. That’s easier said than done, but it’s the mission we’ve been given.