“Do not withhold good from those to whom it is due, when it is in the power of your hand to do so.” Prov. 3:27

The other day, I read a great blog post about a husband’s perspective on adoption. This husband describes how he supports his wife in her desire to adopt children, and how he has developed that desire as well. He mentions a verse that has impacted him, Proverbs 3:27: “Do not withhold good from those to whom it is due, when it is in the power of your hand to do so.”

This verse has stuck with me all week… it explains so much about how we should act towards one another. It is especially significant now, while my husband and I are learning how to relate to and train our children as they become toddlers. We are currently reading a book entitled Raising Your Child, Not by Force, But by Love, by Sidney D. Craig. This book describes how to motivate and train children without causing unnecessary frustration and anger between parents and children.  

In his book, Craig recommends three guidelines for dealing with the many requests and demands that children make. He suggests first, to gratify the child’s requests whenever it is reasonable to do so. Second, he writes to avoid denying a request for an arbitrary reason. And, third, when it is necessary to deny a child’s request, Craig explains that the parent should do so in a way to best protect the closeness of the parent-child relationship. This chapter, and in fact, Craig’s entire book, can be summed up in Proverbs 3:27.  

I have really watched this phenomenon work with Emma, who has an incredible curiosity and desire to learn how everything works. Sometimes, I am tempted to tell Emma “no” for the most arbitrary reasons… I just don’t want her help because I am in a hurry or I am afraid she will make a mess. But, I have learned that every moment is important to her. She is simply making these requests because she wants to learn, she wants to help me, and she wants to be near me. Amazingly, I’ve found that she can do incredible things if I only allow her to try. And, our girls have learned very quickly how to clean up their messes, when trying to do something leads to a spill.

This verse makes me stop and think about the reasons I have for withholding good from someone… whoever it may be. If there a need or a request that I am capable of meeting, then I should not ignore it.

Here’s my Emma, super curious as always!
Emma, Selah, and Caleb in the Garden