#2 – You cannot give what you don’t have

Everyone wants the best for their children.  That is the presupposition of Jesus’s statement when He discusses giving gifts to our children and the Heavenly Father’s gifts (Luke 11:9-11).  However, just because we want the best for our children is not the same thing as giving them the best.

This is very obvious in the material sphere.  You cannot give your children a million dollars if you do not have it.  Some parents might set that as a goal and works toward it.  While I applaud that they are setting goals to give to their children, I believe focusing on the material inheritance is robbing your children of greater gifts.

Their character will last into eternity and working with your children to shape that is of paramount importance.  As parents, we are more influential in the shaping of the character of our children than anyone else on this planet (at least we should be).  As such, you will shape their character more than anyone else.

However, you must understand, just like not being able to give money you don’t have, you cannot give your children character you don’t have.  If you want your children to be diligent, you must be diligent.  If you want them to be merry, merciful and full of thanksgiving, you must be merry, merciful and full of thanksgiving.  It is not enough to simply want something for your children.  We have to make sure we have what it is we want to give to them.

Love your children enough to make sure  you are the kind of person, they would naturally want to be.  Like anything in life, you cannot give them what you don’t have.

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