A Sacred Gift From God
The most sacred gift God gave to the human race, following the gift of life itself, was the freedom of choice.
The very moment the Creator breathed the breath of life into Adam’s nostrils He bequeathed a power not unlike that of His own. God had freely chosen to make the planet we call Earth to be Adam’s home. When it was complete He then said, “Let us make man in our own image” (Genesis 1:26).
Both male and female human beings were “made in the image of God” (v. 27), capable of choosing a course of action, making decisions, determining their own future and fate. This awesome power of freedom was given unconditionally, without reservation or restriction.
And it is ours yet today. Even when Adam and Eve chose the way of sin and rebellion God honored His gift of freedom to the human race, He Himself choosing the route of sacrifice and redemption rather than obliteration for the disobedient pair. God chose the way of love.
A Sacred Gift From Parents
The most sacred gift parents can give their children is to help them develop foundational skills for healthy, positive choices.
Every individual has a life to live which no other person can live for them, be they parent, teacher, pastor, friend, or foe. We all make myriads of choices every day. Strong abilities for making good decisions form the most important resource in a child’s survival toolkit.
A parent’s task is to equip the child for success by training the freewill muscles through exercise and loving discipline. This is done by allowing children to wrestle with issues important to them, coaching them in the decision-making process, honoring whatever decisions the child makes, and standing by them as they live with the consequences – positive or negative.
Following this practice is often nerve-wracking and stressful for parents! Nevertheless, the fruit resulting from this parenting protocol is that whatever the challenge in life beyond the nest, children are thus empowered to live productively within or across the cultural boundaries of their world.