On each of their birthdays, I address their cards “To My Favorite Child.” When they were younger, it was easy to call “The Boy” (our affectionate name for Eli) our favorite son, as he was the only one. Trailing him, however, were four daughters who all wanted to be the favorite, as well.
As they grew up, I decided early on that the one I was with would be my favorite. As Britain and I drove home from school, I would comment to her, “Britain, you’re my favorite child.” And she would beam. When Mallory would come in from practice, I’d greet her at the door and give her a hug and remind her she was my favorite child. At a track meet, when Eli would come and sit his sweaty body next to me on the bleachers, I would hand him a towel and exclaim, “Eli, you are my favorite child.” Lydia would dance through the kitchen and down through the hall and I would sing as she pirouetted, “There goes Lydia, my favorite child.” And when Emilie would call me from college, for the fourth time that day, I would answer the phone and cheerfully say, “Hello, Emilie, my favorite child.”
I’d hear other parents who carefully told their children they didn’t have a favorite; that they love all of their children equally. How disappointing, I thought. Doesn’t every child have a longing to be their parents’ favorite?
My children are all grown now and beginning to have children of their own. I love the adult conversations we have and listening to the memories they share of their childhood. Interestingly, not long ago, Mallory and Lydia had a conversation where they playfully argued about how they each thought they were my favorite child. And I just smiled.
God our Father has many children. And I think He longs for each of us to know that we are His very favorite. He doesn’t love us equally; He loves us individually, as if we were His one and only child.
On days I feel unlovable, I need only to open my Bible, His personal love letter written to me, and read a few of His thoughts.
With a love that is vastly immeasurable, the Father exclaims to each one of us, “YOU, are my favorite child!
See what great love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are! 1 John 3.1