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Playing Favorites

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Playing Favorites at karenehman.com

Welcome to you joining by finding your way here from my Proverbs 31 Ministries devotion today called Playing Favorites. {To read it, click here but be sure to come back for the giveaway!}

God’s love shows no favoritism.

But do we? do we prefer one child over another? Treat a coworker we like and are friends with better than one we don’t click with as much? Wave in a friendly manner to a pleasant neighbor and ignore the grumpy one as we walk by them?

James 2:1 states, “My brothers and sisters, believers in our glorious Lord Jesus Christ must not show favoritism.” (NIV)

The rest of James chapter two goes on to give a scenario where a rich man with fine clothes wanders into a church service. A poor man in shabby clothes also attends that day. It states that if we give attention to the rich man, giving him a great seat, but tell the poor man to stand during the service or sit on the floor, we have become judges with evil thoughts. Ouch!

Today, vow to treat everyone you come into contact with in a loving and respectful way regardless of your level of affection for them. Regardless of their economic status. Or race. Or political views. Or religion—or lack thereof.

Jesus showed no favoritism. Neither should we.

PPAnd….if you are a mom who would like a little encouragement in not only loving your kids equally but loving and serving God, check out my latest book Pressing Pause: 100 Quiet Moments for Moms to Meet with Jesus.

This devotional has 100 short daily entries that deal with a woman’s relationship with God, her marriage, her mothering, her home and her influence in the world.

I’m giving away two copies today. To be entered, leave a comment here with your thoughts on showing favoritism as a mom. Have you struggled with it? Find it easier to click with one child over another? Tell us your thoughts.

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  1. Dear Karen,

    I am in the middle of reading your book, Keep It Shut. While I am a writer, I am NOT a Facebooker, blogger, or social(ite) media user. I usually fly low under the radar. However, I just read in your text about all of the negative response you get on your blog site, so I just wanted to stop and tell you WHAT A FABULOUS BOOK THIS IS. I love your style, transparency, and guts to expound on such a sensitive topic. I find it practical and easy to read and and I have gone back to reread several lines. I learned about your book and the Proverbs 31 Ministries from listening to your audio interview on Focus on the Family through WBSN -FM radio in New Orleans. As far as the negative bloggers, they just don’t know JESUS. Thanks, Karen.

  2. It can be hard not to! My kids are all different and some of the personality facets are VERY different from mine! It’s a struggle some days to set that aside and treat them all equally.

  3. I still just have the one baby, but didn’t realize preferring children really was something that could be in my future! Yikes! I do wonder how adding a second baby would affect my daughter all the time.
    I love your blog Karen and would love to read your book!

  4. Also this is my 2nd time receiving your Encouragement for today emails & my 1st time on your blog & find it absolutely amazing & powerful how God brought me to your whole Proverbs 31 ministries & am so thankful for that because I know he is answering my prayers in regards to being an encouragment to others, to build them up, to be loving towards them & most of all to give them hope for their future by sharing the wonderful news of God to them! And all for the glory of God! Hallelujah thank you Jesus

  5. Playing favorites with my children is one thing I try my hardest not to do because that’s something I grew up with in a family of 9 & have seen the damaging effects it causes. And would love any & all resources I can get my hands on to be the mom God wants me to be! Also loving ALL others is something I’ve actualy been praying about so fervently, to be the faithful loving servant our Father wants me to be & teaching my 2 children (& anyone else who wants to hear) so much this week because of a question that came up in our bible study w/ our pastor which was “if God gave us anything we could have like (King Solomon) what would it be?” Which my answer was love. To love ALL others as God loves us & how we love ourselves because I know love covers multitudes of sin, heals all hurts, writes every wrong & conquers every & anything because Our Father is Love!!!

  6. I do struggle with favoritism with my children. Our son lives independently and is “less trouble” than our daughter. I could really use a devotional that would guide my heart toward God, being a better wife and more loving mother when I feel so tired.

  7. I am guilty of showing favoritism towards one child over the other. My oldest daughter actually pointed it out to me about a year ago. I had no idea I was showing favoritism but I am working really hard towards treating all of them equally! It’s tough!


  8. I think I do struggle with playing favorites. One of my children is just more challenging in different ways than the other. I do try to stay conscious of it, and work on it consistently though. It is one of my parental challenges!

  9. I’d like to think I don’t play favorites. However, my son and I are so similar; we click on most things. And my daughter and I are so different that we often don’t click. But I’ve learned so much from the disparity…I have to listen well to Hannah and truly hear her. I have to consider how she might expect me to respond,not how I’d naturally respond. The awareness has changed our relationship.

  10. I don’t think I play favorites outwardly, but I often hear a silent voice in my head saying to my more difficult child, “Seriously, it’s not that hard–your sisters and brother are fine with it (“it” being a large number of circumstances!)–why can’t you just roll with it like they can?” It’s HARD not to want him to be as easy as they are!!!

  11. I struggle with this more in the classroom. I’m a teacher assistant in a 1st grade class. Even though it is not your intentions to show favoritism toward children but I think I probably do with kids who are easier to deal with and not to those who are more challenging. Hope to be more aware of this and catch myself before doing this with the new school year coming.

  12. I have two sons. Both very similar yet so very different at the same time. I don’t think I play favorites, but I’m sure there are times, due to age differences and activities and time commitments, it may seem like I do from their perspective. We are busy folk that could all use some pausing to appreciate.

  13. I am not a mom, just an aunt and a daughter. I have seen the heartache playing favorites with children can do though within my family and looking from the outside in I can understand how hard it can be to treat the kids all the same.

    Would love to have a copy of the book for my beloved friend. We all need encouragement and I know she would appreciate mom specific encouragement. Thank you!

  14. I treat my 3 children the same, but it is easier with one than the other. Pressing Pause would be awesome to have.

  15. I have quite a diverse family so I feel very blessed to see such acceptance and I’m very grateful that my boys get to grow up seeing such love. Although, just in my own little family, I try not to show favoritism. All my boys excel in different aspects so even though it’s easier(and usually more time efficient) to pick the boy who excels in that particular thing to do that job I try to encourage my other boys to do just as good. I do slack often so I definitely needed this reminder! Thank you! I would love a copy of pressing pause!

  16. Hi Karen…I have a question… Should one treat immigrants the same as natives when it comes to jobs that are one offs which could mean the natives have to go work abroad if they don’t get them? In such a case doesn’t Charity begin at home?
    Thanks and regards

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