Entitlement: belief that one is deserving of or entitled to certain privileges
Last night, I was listening to Family Life on the radio, and I heard an interview with Joanne Kraft about her book Just Too Busy: Taking Your Family on a Radical Sabbatical. The book sounds interesting, but what caught my attention was a short tangent from discussing the book.
Some friends of the family asked her son if he could come to Australia and be a jackeroo on their 3,000 acre sheep ranch. The son figured he needed $1200 to go and asked his dad to pay. His dad responded, “You know what, son, I can pay for that, but I’m not going to pay for that. That’s between you and the Lord.” The son was shocked and replied, “But Dad, I’m only 15! How am I going to earn money to go?” Well, with hard work and faith that God could provide, her son earned the money for the trip. At the end of the story, Joanne Kraft said this:
"I tell this story, when I share with parents at conferences or at women’s conferences, about entitlement and how we are robbing from our children....We’re stealing opportunities. We’re really strangling the Holy Spirit. How do we expect to raise independent, God-honoring, hard-working children if we don’t allow them those opportunities? We can’t expect our kids to want to lean on God if they’re not doing it now....We do, we steal from our kids."
Stealing from our kids.
I've been tossing the idea of entitlement around in my head for a couple of weeks now. I've heard parents tell stories of kids who beg for a toy and then play with it for a day and then they're done. I've heard parents say they are afraid to say no to their teenagers. I've heard of teenagers who have no idea how much their car insurance costs their parents. In my gut, it seems that all this is unhealthy, bad for our kids like eating too much candy or drinking too much soda, but it's much worse than I thought.
Strangling the Holy Spirit.
Beyond fostering ingratitude and unhealthy attitudes about stuff and life and work and responsibility, we are "strangling the Holy Spirit" when we give in to and encourage, however indirectly and unintentionally, attitudes of entitlement in our children.
Interesting. So, it seems, the enemy has done more to harm us through this suburban-lifestyle-entitlement-stuff than we can imagine. I'm pondering all this, but I think it has to do with waiting. Waiting for stuff. Waiting on the Lord. Waiting.