Daily Devotion

April 22, 2016

Raising compliant and defiant children (2)

“If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God.”

Jas 1:5 NKJV

Yesterday we talked about children who are compliant, compared to those who are defiant. Every parent with two children or more is probably blessed with at least one of each. When one child is a stick of dynamite and the other is an all-star sweetheart, the cooperative, gentle one can easily be taken for granted. If there’s an unpleasant job, they’re expected to do it because Mom and Dad don’t have the energy to fight with the tiger. When it’s necessary for one child to sacrifice or do without, there’s a tendency to pick the one who won’t complain as loudly. Under these circumstances, the compliant child gets the short end of the stick. The consequences of such inequity should be obvious. The responsible child becomes angry over time. They have a sense of powerlessness and resentment that simmers below the surface. They’re like the older brother in the parable of the prodigal son (See Lk 15:11-32). He didn’t rebel against his father, but he resented the attention given to his irresponsible brother. That’s typical! So you must try to balance the scales in dealing with your compliant child. Make sure they get their fair share of attention. Help them find ways to cope with their overbearing sibling. And, within reason, give them the right to make their own decisions. There’s nothing simple about raising kids. Even the “easiest” of them need our very best effort—and God’s wisdom. And it’s available: “If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all liberally and without reproach, and it will be given to him.”