Do Mothers Have Favorites?

by | Jul 12, 2023 | Formation, Reflections

Do mothers have favorites?

It depends on who you ask!

Here I explore whether God has favorite children.

Our experience of parental love

Mothers are generally quick to say they have no favorites. “How could I choose among my children? I love you each equally!

But the answer might vary greatly if you ask her children.

Years of research support what many have suspected — most parents have a favorite child.

However, studies have shown that children often perceive preferential treatment of their siblings by their parents.

Typically, any favoritism has little to do with loving one child more. It is often more about how their personality resonates with one child’s personality more than the other’s.

Psychology Today presents some fine insights into why most parents do have a favorite child.

God’s ”Chosen people”

There is no doubt about it. The scriptures speak of a “chosen people.”

The question is, what does being chosen imply? Does it imply being loved more than others? Or does it mean being chosen for a specific task?

I had never really given much thought to this.

What got me thinking was a subtle unarticulated assumption often made. God loved these people more than other peoples.But the more I thought about it, the more I began to ask. Could God love the Israelites more than others?

Then it came to me! God chose the Israelites for a purpose!   “I will also make you a light for the peoples, that my salvation may reach to the ends of the earth.” Isaiah 49:6

The Israelites were chosen for the task of being “a light to the nations.” They were to learn God’s ways so that all peoples would recognize that there is but one God for all nations.

They were given “ten commandments” to help them understand the God who had delivered them from slavery to others of God’s children. (Somehow these ten expanded to more than 600 “laws”.)

They were chosen for a mission to their brothers and sisters!

Paul spells it out for us

I suddenly appreciated what Paul wrote to the Romans.

For by the grace given to me I tell everyone among you not to think of himself more highly than one ought to think, but to think soberly, each according to the measure of faith that God has apportioned. For as in one body we have many parts, and all the parts do not have the same function, so we, though many, are one body in Christ and individually parts of one another.

Since we have gifts that differ according to the grace given to us, let us exercise them: if prophecy, in proportion to the faith; if ministry, in ministering; if one is a teacher, in teaching; if one exhorts, in exhortation; if one contributes, in generosity; if one is over others, with diligence; if one does acts of mercy, with cheerfulness.

He spells it out further, writing to the Corinthians.

Now the body is not made up of one part but of many. If the foot should say, “Because I am not a hand, I do not belong to the body,” it would not for that reason cease to be part of the body. And if the ear should say, “Because I am not an eye, I do not belong to the body,” it would not for that reason cease to be part of the body. If the whole body were an eye, where would the sense of hearing be?

Might this have any implications for listening to one another today?

Originally posted on Vincentian Mindwalk