Do Parents Love Their Children Equally?
My personal experience and research have taught me that parents can share their love equally with their children. But it turns out that different factors can influence that decision. Thus, it becomes a little bit difficult, if not complicated, to wrap up parents’ attitude concerning this topic in one sentence.
It’s an open secret that parents can develop a soft spot for their younger children or younger ones (in the case of twins) as the case may be. That action can become totally detrimental to the other children-elder children. As a parent, where do you stand about sharing your love evenly with your children? Indeed, you may relate to my findings based on research of people who handled these issues long ago before us.
The research and studies carried out are based on the Book of all Ages-the Bible. The Bible provides wide-de range of situations and vivid examples on these issues, sometimes controversial and dramatic. It shows how younger children have carried the day and have not only won the soft spot but, most often than not, have stolen the heartbeat of their parents or grandparents. In the bible days, this was true with Cain and Abel.
Understandably, Abel offered his best gift to God, while his brother did the opposite. “When they grew up, Abel became a shepherd, while Cain cultivated the ground. When it was time for the harvest, Cain presented some of his crops as gifts to the Lord. Abel also brought a gift-the best portions of the firstborn lambs from his flock. The Lord accepted Abel and his gift, but he did not accept Cain and his gift. This made Cain very angry, and he looked dejected.”
The danger of choosing a child over his brothers can have devastating effects on the rest of the children. That single action can give room for hatred. In Abel and Cain’s case, his gift’s rejection did not only grow into jealousy and hatred for his brother Abel. Still, it led Cain to plan to end his brother’s life by killing him. There was no way he could change his mind and be patient to offer something better next time as he was persuaded to do. And unfortunately, he opted for the worse thing to do, by taking the life of his brother. “ Why are you so angry?’ the Lord asked Cain. ‘Why do you look so sad? You will be accepted if you do what is right. But if you refuse to do what is right, then watch out! Sin is crouching at the door, eager to control you. But you must subdue it and be its master.” One day, Cain suggested to his brother, ‘Let’s go out into the fields.” And while they were in the field, Cain attacked his brother, Abel, and killed him.’” Genesis 4:4–8
Joseph moved the boys to their grandfather’s knees, and he bowed with his face to the ground. Then he positioned the boys in front of Jacob. Joseph directed Ephraim toward Jacob’s left hand with his right hand, and with his left hand, he put Manasseh at Jacob’s right hand. But Jacob crossed his arms as he reached out to lay his hands on the boys’ heads. He put his right hand on Ephraim’s head, though he was the younger boy, and his left hand on the head of Manasseh, though he was the firstborn. But Joseph was upset when he saw that his father placed his right hand on Ephraim’s head. So, Joseph lifted it to move it from Ephraim’s head to Manasseh’s head. “No, my father,” he said. “This one is the firstborn. Put your right hand on his head.” But his father refused. “I know, my son; I know,” he replied. “Manasseh will also become a great people, but his younger brother will become even greater. And his descendants will become a multitude of nations.” So, Jacob blessed the boys that day with this blessing: “The people of Israel will use your names when they give a blessing. They will say, ‘May God make you as prosperous as Ephraim and Manasseh.’” In this way, Jacob put Ephraim ahead of Manasseh-this isn’t not ordinary wisdom from a man who was almost blind. Genesis 48:15–16 (NLT).
The attitude of Joseph and his father may seem strange. However, stuff like that is still happening in today’s society even though it may be done silently and secretly to avoid conflicts. Though superficially, Joseph was right trying to make sure that things are done in the right way and attempted to move Jacob’s right hand onto Manasseh (his elder son’s head). But Jacob did not accept it because he knew what he was doing. By the way, in many cultures, the right hand is revered and considered almost sacred. Again, according to culture, you cannot just use your left hand to greet someone if not for some good reason. Otherwise, it can be considered highly disrespectful, or the person you’re intending to greet may just ignore you.
Parents try to love their children equally but some factors can influence or discourage that love-e.g., Abel, the good guy and Cain, the bad guy is the case in point here. Children’s attitudes later in life can sway parents’ decision towards one other than others, most especially the youngest or the last child.