A surprising “fact of life”

Posted on July 28, 2015 · Posted in Culture, Parenting, Worldview

That’s not fair is a statement that has come to define our culture. From the playground to the court room being fair has do to with getting what we think we deserve. This “fairness doctrine” is the reasoning behind the same sex marriage decision of the Supreme Court. Concentrating on what is fair rather than what is right is destroying the moral fabric of our country!

This has profound implications for parenting. Is fairness making sure each child gets the same number of minutes to play with a toy, or making sure that each child has the same number of toys to play with? Is this concept of fairness what God wants you to teach your children? Let’s see.

In Matthew 20:1-16 we find the parable of the workers in the vineyard. The owner of the vineyard sends workers out at various intervals throughout the day to work in his field. The first group started at sunrise and agreed to work for a full day for one denarius. Then throughout the course of the day more workers are hired, up until the last hour of the day. The owner tells each of the subsequent group of workers that he will pay them what is right. Notice the landowner says he will do what is right, not what it is fair (see vs. 4). Each group then agrees to work for what is right.

At the end of the day the owner paid all the workers the same pay, one denarius. So, even though the first group agreed to work for a denarius they were upset that others who worked less hours got the same money. Was this unfair? The landowner didn’t thank so!

The landowner says in effect to the unhappy workers, “I have paid you what you agreed was right. I have not been unfair to you. Are you upset that I have chosen to be generous with these other workers? Don’t I have the right to do what I want with my own money? Take your pay and go home.”

This is the point: fairness is not determined by comparing how others are treated. Fairness is determined by what is right by God’s standard, not by your understanding. This is one of the most “important facts of life” for your children to know and embrace. Many of life’s upsets will be avoided if you and they accept God’s definition of fairness.

“So the last will be first, and the first will be last.”

Shepherding a Child's Heart DVD 2014

Jay Younts
Jay Younts is the Shepherd Press blogger. He is the author of Everyday Talk and other materials on parenting. He has been teaching and speaking on parenting issues for 30 years. Jay and his wife, Ruth, live in Fountain Inn, South Carolina. He serves as a ruling elder at Redeemer Presbyterian Church in Moore, South Carolina. He and Ruth have five adult children.