Abraham Maslow propounded human hierarchy of needs theory, he focussed on fulfilling innate human needs in order of priority. By Maslow’s Theory, human needs begin with the basic physical to the non-essential intangible needs. Everyone of us humans have needs. Our needs are divided into the physical & emotional.
Our physical needs are met by material provisions, in fact, some when not met may result in death, e.g. food & water. Emotional or spiritual needs on the other hand must also be met, but with intangible resources.
Just like adults, our children also have both tangible & intangible needs in their lives. As we labour to meet our children’s physical needs, we should labour to meet their emotional & spiritual needs also.
In 1 Kings 1:6(MSG), Bible confirmed Adonijah, King David’s son, was spoilt. This clearly shows King David’s weakness. Despite David’s anointing, he wasn’t firm raising his sons, same issue for his first son Amnon who had raped his sister.We see another example in the story of Prophet Eli in 1 Samuel 2:29. Eli honoured his sons above God. The “reward” for Eli’s labour in God’s work was “spiritual alienation” from God for a whole lineage.
Many parents work hard to give the best life has to offer to their children, that’s great by the way. Parents try to provide those physical needs but often fail at providing for the emotional & spiritual. Unfortunately, we cannot meet those spiritual needs until our own spiritual needs are met. As deep calls unto deep and iron sharpens iron so parents sharpen their children.
A pregnant mom once asked for the physical traits of her unborn child such as sex & skin colour. That was the easy part, but she also wanted to know if her unborn child would be honest, kind & will not be a terrorist. Those are very difficult things she’d asked for and not things you know by medical technology.
When a child is emotionally & spiritually fulfilled, it nourishes their soul & spirit. That is the core of the child and that is very much more important than any material thing we can give them. Their “wellbeing” is important for emotional balance or else, we’ll be unconsciously raising dysfunctional children. A generation that can’t build relationships or add value to other people’s lives.
Jesus met a Samaritan woman at the well. She’d been married to 5 men until she met Jesus (John 4). All the men felt she probably had issues or maybe it was the guys who had issues until she met ‘The Man’. Our children need to learn faith, character, charity, patience, values that matter to the family. Jesus’ parents taught him all these things & that eventually shaped his philosophy & perspective to life.
The three finest gifts we can give our children include
i. Introducing them to God & Godly values
ii. Loving our spouses & then letting the children know how much mom & dad love each other
iii. Giving our children good education, not expensive education. Sometimes our vanity impacts on our priorities. It doesn’t have to be expensive to be good. Know the difference.
God will help us raise extraordinary children.