Ephesians 6:1-3 “Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right. ‘Honor your father and mother,’ which is the first commandment with promise that it may be well with you and you may live long on the earth.”
Genesis 22:2 “Then He said, ‘Take now your son, your only son Isaac, whom you love, and go to the land of Moriah, and offer him there as a burnt offering on one of the mountains of which I shall tell you.’”
In Exodus 23 and Deuteronomy 16 it talks about a judge accepting a bribe. But what about a judge giving a gift. A judge while receiving something might look like he is accepting a bribe but what about him giving a gift?
According to Rabbi Daniel Lapin: “Ancient Jewish wisdom explains that when one person transfers something material to another, paradoxically, the giver tends to gain more affection for the recipient than the other way around.”
Didn’t Jesus say that it was better to give than to receive?
Ancient Jewish wisdom basically brings out that when we do give a gift or a favor that we have a subconscious tendency to like that person. We looked at the word ‘love’ in a previous letter and saw basically the Hebrew word is made of two shorter words – “I give.”
Daniel Lapin brings out that when the first time the word or concept is used in the Bible it is important. The first mention of love is Abraham and his love for his son Isaac. Genesis 22:2 “Then He said, ‘Take now your son, your only son Isaac, whom you love, and go to the land of Moriah, and offer him there as a burnt offering on one of the mountains of which I shall tell you.’”
There is a lesson for parents here. We as parents have given to our children our time, energy, resources, etc. and the question arises then: Who loves the most? This is why it is important for us to allow our children to give to us as soon as they are able to.
My youngest daughter was telling me about her seven-year-old daughter wanting to come and help in cooking, washing dishes, etc. This is good, because the daughter is building affection towards her mother. Sometimes we do not allow our children to do certain things because it might be somewhat inconvenient or we do not want to take the time, but by not allowing the child to help takes something away in the child/parent relationship that is very important.
You are building up your children’s affection towards you as well as building up their abilities to be responsible when you allow your children to be involved and to give. This also applies in other relationships as well – husbands and wives, coworkers, or those that you might feel alienated from, and by reaching out and giving to them feelings can begin to change.
I have seen this in my own life in regards to my wife. Since her stroke I have been put into the place of giving of my time, energy, etc. in order to meet her needs at this difficult time. In so doing I have found a more loving aspect towards my wife and a sense of truly wanting to meet her needs. In other words, I have found my relationship with my wife going into a deeper level.
So, the question is: Are we givers or takers?