Papa Proverb #1: Teaching my Son to Share

I wonder every day how I will teach my child about grace and selflessness. I believe the first step comes from teaching him that, ultimately, the only thing he can truly possess is my love for him.

1

My dear son, one day soon you will speak the word “mine”.

You’ll know a kind of dominion over things.

And so you will deem an object “mine”.

You may first associate that word with a valuable toy.

You may insist that you own it.

But your future siblings will desire that toy with comparable zeal.

And you will try to keep possession of it despite a chorus of pleas to share.

And then you will insist upon using the title of “mine”.

2

But as our Father in heaven freely gives, know that I freely give to you.

I placed that toy in your space for your enjoyment, learning and adventure.

The colorful hues of the toy blocks, the slender stretch of the fuzzy monkey’s arms, & the unpredictable bounce of the spiky rubber ball…

These I placed before you to pique your interest in the nature of the world.

However, even as I provide such delightful things, I myself don’t actually own them.

I give the things in life that God has graced upon me.

I am merely a steward, a custodian, a cultivator—and little else.

Even all that I have—my successes, my strength, intelligence, and wisdom—is given as responsibility.

Our home, our table, our beds—these we gather for purpose, not ownership.

Any my labor to gather such things pales in comparison to the Creation that enables all of them.

And so I freely lavish upon you what is not mine because all that is left is to gift the gift.

3

The law assigns ownership—but does so for order’s sake.

Grace is immensely larger than order.

Those who believe they possess objects are oblivious to the sea of grace that surrounds them.

Blind to the source of all things have they become.

They forfeit the greater gifts of grace that perfect the person.

In that confidence, grace offers more fulfillment than all objects in Creation.

So know that all these things are trinkets.

All these things are small.

All these things never define you.

All these things are for gifting.

And all these things will never compare to your papa’s unrelenting love, which you may rightfully possess all your days.

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