Playing Favorites


We are studying the book of beginnings, Genesis, in BSF this year. From Adam to Noah and Abraham and his grandsons, Jacob and Esau. Isaac, the promised descendant of Abraham waited 20 years to have a child. Rebekah had a difficult pregnancy and had inquired of the Lord,

23 And the Lord told her, “The sons in your womb will become two nations. From the very beginning, the two nations will be rivals. One nation will be stronger than the other; and your older son will serve your younger son.”

24 And when the time came to give birth, Rebekah discovered that she did indeed have twins! 25 The first one was very red at birth and covered with thick hair like a fur coat. So they named him Esau.[b]26 Then the other twin was born with his hand grasping Esau’s heel. So they named him Jacob.[c] Isaac was sixty years old when the twins were born. Genesis 25:23-25

While still inside their mother’s womb, one can sense that trouble is brewing for the twin boys. Though twins, they grew up with very distinct personalities. Esau, the firstborn, is a wild child as exemplified by his red hair. He loves the outdoors and has taste for wild game. His twin, Jacob, who was described as having smooth, skin is the quiet one. He is probably more domesticated than Esau because he prefers staying indoors.

Now Isaac became fond of his Esau as the firstborn would hunt wild game and cook his favorite stew. He became his father’s favorite. Rebekah on the other hand, trained Jacob well and shared a unique bond with his son.

We know what happened to the twins. Esau despised his birthright and gave it up for a bowl of stew while Jacob deceived his father by pretending to be Esau and receiving the blessings of the firstborn.

It is so easy to connect with Isaac and Rebekah. I know parents don’t have the slightest intention of favoring one child over the other but somehow it happens in a subtle way.

Isn’t it easy to love the child who easily obeys or the one who hugs you a lot and says I love you all the time? How about the child who makes you coffee or snack without even asking? Or the one who props up a pillow on your back when you are working on the computer? Isn’t this the child who want to smother with hugs and kisses too? It’s easy to love a child like that. You tend to do the same for that child. You shower her or him with affection, encouraging words or even gifts sometimes.

But what if you child delays obedience or pretends he doesn’t hear what you are asking him or her to do? How about the child whom you have a hard time teaching? He or she seems to be having trouble with all the subjects and you are at your wits end at times? How about the child who makes you loose your temper? Or the child who always gets the smack on the butt? Isn’t this child difficult to love?

I am blessed to have a boy and a girl who are two unique individuals too. Both have their own ways of showing how they love me. At the same time, they also know well what makes Mama upset or disappointed.

There is no question, I love both my kids equally. But I need to remind myself that I need to reciprocate this love to them the way they want to be loved. I don’t want them to feel that I favor the other because I know it will bring insecurity, hatred, indifference, sibling rivalry and even bitterness in the future. This negative emotion if left untreated would be carried on even to their own sons and daughters.

If time permits, I take one of them to the mall when I do errands. There was a time I took Coby out for a snack, just the two of us. He said he enjoyed it so much and it’s one of his best days. We were even HHWW (Holding Hands While Walking) 🙂 On other days, I take Jianne with me when I teach bible study to a group of women friends. She enjoys being with the “girls” too.

When I go out, Jianne would always call me to ask me to buy her something. Even if Coby does not ask for anything, I would still get one for him too. I don’t want him to feel left out. Their faces would be beaming if they see the box of Nerds being handed to them.

I try my best to speak their love language. Coby needs words of affirtmation. So I would try to say encouraging words to him especially when he feels frustrated on a certain subject. It lifts his sould knowing that I still love him inspite of.

Jianne wants to be touched, hugged and kissed all the time. So I connect with her when I hug her and kiss her or comb her hair. She craves physical touch so I give her the kind of love she wants to receive although, I am personally not a physical touch person (it’s the least of my love languages).

I am an imperfect mother but with the help of the Lord, I try to be the best mother to my children. I believe that the greatest influence a child can have is his or her parent. That is why I’m taking parenting seriously. As I said previously, I only have one shot at this and I have to make it good.

Direct your children onto the right path, and when they are older, they will not leave it. Proverbs 22:6