Since the birth of John in 1979, Bethany in 1981, and Mary Evelyn in 1983, one of my guiding principles has been to treat each of our children fairly. After these photos were taken when Mary Evelyn was six weeks old, I figured out a fair way to put two pictures each of three children in five openings. “Even Stephen” — that’s one of my mottos! It is one picture frame that has never changed since I first put in the pictures.
I learned this fairness principle in childhood. Because an older member of our family was known for playing favorites, I was determined that would never be true of me. Believe it or not, I learned the lesson, not because I felt jealous of those who seemed to be favorites, but because I was one of the favorites. The role of favored child is one I would never assign to anyone.
I am reminded of the importance of this principle each time I have the opportunity to be with more than one of my grandchildren at the same time.
While we were enjoying a visit from our daughter Bethany and her family last week, Mary Evelyn and her family spent almost every waking minute with us (ah-h-h-h, it was fun). One afternoon we all took a walk. Afterwards, while four generations of us stood around in the yard, I asked Bethany to set Eva on an old farm wheel. I snapped their picture as she held her there.
A short time later, Mary Evelyn’s Wesley acted a little unhappy. He didn’t want to be held and he didn’t want to be set down. When he indicated that he wanted to go to the farm wheel, Mary Evelyn took him to it and let him play on the axle. When he wasn’t happy with that, she picked him up and held him on the wheel. As soon as he sat down, he put on his best “Cheese!” smile. Naturally, I took his picture.
I certainly didn’t mean to slight little Wesley. We had no idea he wanted to do the same thing that his cousin Eva had done. The desire to be treated the same starts early! Wesley is 18 months old!
My brethren, do not hold your faith
in our glorious Lord Jesus Christ
with an attitude of personal favoritism.