What We Take From Our Children When We Spoil Them

It’s hard to understand why anyone would want to spoil a child. And yet, these days, it has even become somewhat fashionable to indulge the little ones, to give them what they want – NOW – that it’s totally ok to spoil them. Also, experienced parents – otherwise affectionately referred to as grandparents – often see it as their right and privilege to spoil grandchildren.

Perhaps, these have never really understood the meaning of the word “spoil” and what it entails. Hopefully, the following definitions might help.

As a verb, to spoil means to ruin, to mar, to corrupt, to damage, to diminish, to destroy. Or as one dictionary puts it: “to damage severely or harm (something), especially with reference to its excellence, value, usefulness.”

Let’s apply this, word for word, to our son or daughter. When I spoil my child, I am practically ruining, marring, corrupting, damaging, diminishing and destroying him. With reference to his potential of excellence, his value and and his usefulness, I am consciously or unconsciously doing harm to him and what he could be!

As a noun, spoil refers to booty, loot or plunder, as in “the spoils of war”. In the context of spoiling children, we are in essence, plundering and removing what is valuable from them – the opportunity for discipline and character training that pertains to right and godly living.

Given this understanding, why would anyone want to spoil their children? It runs counter to everything a parent seeks and desires for a child.

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