What does it mean to give children the very best? I don’t think it means providing them with expensive clothes, a top-of-the-line automobile, or giving them whatever they want. Some parents seem to have the view that goes something like this: If my child wants it and we have the money, then why not? Yet I think there may be something more to giving a child the very best.
1. Give your child Jesus. Give her the wonderful opportunity to hear the teachings of Jesus. Let her see you, as an authentic Christ-follower, attempt to live out these teachings as you pursue the will of God.
2. Give your child a home where the two great commandments (Love God/Love Neighbor) are front and center. One result of this is that your child will be deeply loved in such a home.
3. Give your child grace. A home where the grace of God is lived out will be a home where there is much mercy and tenderness. There is room to grow and mature. Forgiveness is modeled and practiced in such a home.
4. Give your child direction. We do our children no favors when we provide no direction. Perhaps small children are allowed to run wild through a friend’s home. Some raise their children with no boundaries or clear expectations. Children are blessed who have parents who are willing to spend the time and energy needed to provide some kind of direction for their lives.
5. Give your child time. Time to play with him. Time to do a project with him. Time to just be with him. One elementary school teacher told me recently about watching some parents pick up their children after school. The parents wait in line in their cars at the school until they get to the designated pick-up spot. Then the children can get in their car. This teacher told me about the number of parents who are talking on the telephone as their children get in the car. They continue talking on the phone as they drive away. This after not having seen their children the entire day.
Children need time. There is nothing that a parent can buy that will substitute for giving a child time and attention.
This list is only a beginning. What would you add to this list?