I was recently at a home improvement store. It was my second trip of the day, as most projects seem to require more than one trip. While waiting in the checkout line, the woman in front of me began calling for her son. With a quick glance behind me, I saw him hiding behind a display. She called again and again while she continued to move closer to the checkout, but still, her child refused to obey. And then it happened.
The kid spotted the jar of lollipops by the cashier. Suddenly, he ran toward his mother and proceeded to say he wanted a lollipop. The mother continued her transaction without giving in to her child’s demands. The kid began to pull on his mom’s arm, clothing, and face to make his point clear.
What do you think happened? After yanking his mother’s face and interrupting the transaction, he got his lollipop–several of them in fact. I wanted to cry out to this woman, “Don’t buy the lollipop!”
Children are a precious gift from God. It is a parent’s job to train them and teach them to make good decisions so that the child can someday make good decisions on his own.
Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it. (Proverbs 22:6)
You don’t get a lollipop for going to work every day. You don’t get a lollipop for paying your rent or mortgage on time. You don’t get a lollipop for obeying traffic laws. You don’t get a lollipop for doing right when it is difficult. You don’t get a lollipop for being kind when others are unkind. That is not how the world works.
When you buy the lollipop just because they demand it, your child misses out on something even greater. Knowing that you have pleased the Lord with your actions is a reward. A sense of accomplishment is a reward. A realization that you have fulfilled your purpose is a reward. Each one of these is better than a lollipop. So, I implore you, don’t buy the lollipop. Instead, point the child toward the greater rewards of life.
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Mrs. Chung grew up around the work of the ministry and now has the privilege to teach the third-grade class at the North Valley Baptist Schools. She and her husband faithfully teach young people and are a vital asset to the ministry of NVBC.