Parent or Sibling, Owner or Steward?

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(This is an excerpt from the book 5 Spiritual Solutions for Everyday Parenting Challenges.)

I was sitting quietly in our living room one Sunday after church, reading an article and enjoying a peaceful moment. Our five-and-a-half-year-old daughter Charity bustled in, pulled the magazine down from in front of my face, looked into my eyes, and made a shocking statement:

“You’re not actually my Daddy!” (Is “actually” the favorite word of all precocious five-year-olds?)

“Now what do you mean by that, sweetheart?” I responded.

“Well,” she said, “My Primary teacher taught us that Heavenly Father is our real Daddy . . . so you are really just my brother!”

I smiled and patted her little head and said, “That’s exactly right, Charity, and I am very happy to be your brother.” I picked my magazine back up.

But she wasn’t done yet. “Yeah, Dad, but guess what else? I actually think that you are actually my little brother and I am actually your big sister!”

“Really?” I stammered, trying now to remember who her Primary teacher was.

“Yeah, Dad, because my teacher said that probably Heavenly Father saved his most mature children to come down here last.”

I laughed and patted her head again and then followed her with my eyes as she skipped out of the room, thinking that she was probably right.

A simple thought, one that can be comprehended by a five-year-old child. But is there anything more profound? The perspective of knowing who our children really are should change (and enhance) how we raise them more than any parenting method or technique ever could.

Oh, how much that perspective should affect how we treat these little big sisters and little big brothers of ours!

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