Dawn Benson Jones

Growing Deep Roots of Faith for an Enduring Legacy

The Greatest Gift

The Christmas Gift

This past Christmas my husband and I decided that instead of giving our children several small gifts, we would buy them a Nintendo Switch. Even though this was a gift our children would share, it was still quite a financial investment for us. So, you can imagine how I felt when my son came home this week declaring that his friends really wished we would have gotten him an Xbox One instead of the Nintendo Switch.

I wish I could say that I handled the situation with grace, but instead, I was quite indignant as I pointed out the ungratefulness that comment revealed. The reality of the situation was that my child took for granted what he had already received and was looking for the next great thing he thought would bring him happiness. While this caused me great pain and frustration because I was the one who paid for the gift, he really thought nothing of it.

Children of God

While reading Scripture and preparing to write this week’s post, I came across the following verse, and God quickly brought a parallel truth to my attention.

See what great love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are! The reason the world does not know us is that it did not know him.      -1 John 3:1

Can you see the amazing gift described in those verses?

God loves us so much that He made us His own children.

Can you imagine any greater gift than that?

The most amazing thing about this gift is the fact that we get to share it with others, especially our children.

White Elephant Gift Exchange

Unfortunately, instead of embracing this incredible gift, we tend to treat it more like a white elephant gift as we quickly exchange it for what someone else has that we think will make us happier. A few examples of the swaps we like to make include:

  • Trading church attendance for extracurricular activities
  • Trading family discipleship time for entertainment time
  • Trading living a Christ-centered life for living a worldly life

The list goes on and on, but you get the picture. Just like my son wanted an Xbox One instead of the Nintendo Switch he had received, too many times we carelessly dismiss the greatest gift we will ever be given and chase after other pursuits. What’s even more tragic is the fact that we teach our children to value other things above this gift and then wonder why they excel in athletics, academics, or the arts, but eventually end up walking away from their faith.

The Greatest Gift

Moms and dads, the greatest gift you can ever give your children is the gift of helping them know what it means to become a child of God and how to live out their faith. This gift is not represented by works and perfection, but by grace and a transformed heart. Nothing in this world should take precedence over passing that gift on to your children. In Mark 8:36-37, Jesus reminds us:

What good is it for someone to gain the whole world, yet forfeit their soul? Or what can anyone give in exchange for their soul?

All of the things we pour into our children to help them achieve worldly success will eventually pass away, but the spiritual investments we make will produce eternal rewards.

Prayer

Father in Heaven, thank you so much for the amazing gift that is without equal, the opportunity to become your child. Thank you for loving us enough to send your very own Son to purchase us with His blood. Please forgive us when we so casually toss that gift aside and pursue the things of the world. We are not worthy of such lavish love and such an amazing gift, but you give it to us nonetheless. We ask that you would help us keep our eyes focused on You and things above as we walk through each day. Help us to live in a manner worthy of our calling. Thank you for your mercy and grace, and please help us to extend that same mercy and grace to others as you have extended it to us. We love you.    Amen.

Response

As you reflect on the incredible gift of being made a child of God, set aside some prayer time to communicate to God what that gift means to you and what you intend to do with it. Additionally, sit down as a family and examine your current activities and how they are prioritized. Spend time in prayer asking for the Holy Spirit to reveal where changes and adjustments might need to be made.

Memory Verse

Spend time this week committing the following verse to memory:

See what great love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are! The reason the world does not know us is that it did not know him.      -1 John 3:1

 

If you have missed any other posts in this series, you can access their links below.

Last House Standing: Building an Enduring Legacy Introduction

Building a Solid Foundation

I am praying that you and your family have a blessed week!
Dawn

 

4 Comments

  1. I have this problem in ministry. God has a place for me to minister to others, but when I get there, I start looking around and see all these other ministries that I think I would rather do. I need to stop and remember that God picked out my ministry (my purpose) just for me. He took into consideration all the gifts, talents, and interests he gave me and then picked my mission field just for me!

    • I can relate, Stacey! I am constantly trying to remind myself that if I step out of my lane and into that of others, then I am robbing them of their blessings. It’s such a delicate balance. Thank you for taking time to read this and for sharing your wisdom. I really appreciate it!

  2. So very true, Dawn! God teaches us so many valuable lessons by letting us become parents. It’s given me a new perspective on so many things — including the kind of child I am to my Heavenly Father. Praise God that he loves us far greater than we even love our own children — and disciplines us perfectly every time. If God can have such love and patience for me, I can certainly give a little more to my own kids. As for video games, they’ll have to remain disappointed. They’d be appreciative of yours because it’s a huge step up from having nothing! LOL!

    • Yes, RebeccaLynn. I love the parallels between parenting and our relationship with our Heavenly Father. There are so many times I am trying to share a truth with my children, and God quickly taps me on shoulder to remind me that the same lesson applies to my relationship with Him. I will also pass on your comments about the video games to my kiddos. Thank you for taking time to read and share your thoughts!

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