We have all heard it said, “Don’t spoil your kids! They’ll turn out to be brats.” Is such a statement true? I imagine it is. I’m sure some study out there has shown that spoiled kids grow up to be unpleasant adults. Parents should heed this advice.
There are always two sides to a story, though. Rules have exceptions. In this case, the exception comes from Jesus himself. He gives us a compelling theological reason why we should spoil our kids. Jesus says this in Matt 7:11,
If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask him!
Jesus’ argument here is a comparison from lesser to greater. Jesus compares the goodness of a parent to the goodness of God the Father. If parents, “who are evil,” show love to their children by giving them “good gifts,” then God, who is eternally good, will most certainly give good gifts, too. Based upon Jesus’ argument, the Father’s goodness is magnified when parents give their children gifts.
Jesus teaches that gift giving is a platform to understand the goodness of God. When we lavish gifts on others (like our children), we show them, in a dim yet true way, the goodness of God. If people can give such kind gifts, how much greater are the gifts of God?! God’s gifts far surpass ours. This principle extends to more relationships than just a parent-child one. It extends to any relationship.
Now I am not saying that we should give kids (or anyone else) everything they want. “No!” is an important expression. Nevertheless, we should be generous. We should spoil others. For, as Jesus says, our generosity is a window to God’s generosity. When we give good gifts, we show others the goodness of God.