Joey and Carla Link
May 3, 2023
“It’s not fair!!” You have most likely heard these words come out of your child’s mouth at one time or another. I (Carla) have a sister with blonde hair and one is a brunette. Me? I have red hair. I have 21 cousins on my dad’s side of the family and not one redhead except me. When I would get teased I often ran to my mom crying “It’s not fair!”
As a parent, you want to help your child understand life is not fair but to some kids they just can’t seem to grasp this thinking. Why? Let’s just say my red hair did not go away, and neither did the teasing. You can only listen to “Bozo the Clown”, “Freckled Face Strawberry” and “Redhead the Deadhead” so long before you begin to understand that life is really not fair.
Jesus had to deal with a similar question from Peter in John 21 when Jesus told Peter what kind of death he was going to go through, and Peter looks around at the other disciples and he looks at John who was called “the disciple whom Jesus loved” and said, “But what about him?”
Jesus replied, “If it is my will that he remain until I come, what is that to you? Follow me” Jesus was telling Peter to mind his own business and stay focused on what He was calling Peter to do. When we compare ourselves to others, red hair and all, we lose our focus on what we are supposed to be doing.
It’s natural for kids to compare themselves with each other. In fact, parents set the example for them when our kids hear us doing the same. We start comparing our kids with others when they are babies! “My 6 month old has 3 teeth already! Does your 6 month old have any teeth yet?” “My son made the honor roll at school again. Is your son getting good grades because making the honor roll gives them a head start as they are moving into high school.”
We all compare ourselves with others, when in reality, God created us all unique and different. I (Joey) like how pastor, author and teacher Chuck Swindoll describes Proverbs 22:6 “Train up a child in keeping with his individual gift or bent.”
Every child is like a unique branch on a tree. There are no two branches the same. Similarily there are no two kids that are the same. Why? Because God has a special plan and purpose for every one of His creations. Just like the hyena looks more like a dog, but is actually a part of the cat family. Carla may be the only one in her extended family who has red hair, but she is still a part of that family and always will be.
God never forgets the path He has planned for you to take that was mapped out before you were born.
Jeremiah 29:11 says,
“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord,
plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.”
When God made your kids, he made each of them uniquely fit for the very special purpose that He plans for them to do. He has entrusted you to raise the children up in the way they are to go to accomplish that purpose.
How do you do this? My (Carla’s) mom took me aside when I was still complaining about my hair color when I was in my teens and told me that every time I complained about my hair I was shaking my fist in God’s face and yelling at Him for giving it to me. That got my attention and I have lived by that ever since. God created me because He knew what I needed, even the color of my hair to accomplish what He would set before me and I needed to be ready.
My mom taught me how to be strong and not let those who teased me get the upper hand. How was I to do this? By shrugging and walking away, thanking God for choosing me to wear that color of hair. And that’s what I did.
This may sound ridiculous, but I believe being unmercifully teased was intended, among other things that happened in my growing up years, to make me internally strong. We were in that car accident so many years ago, I still deal with major medical issues as a result. When you have to gut through RSD nerve pain every day, the strength God already knows is there is what is called upon along with endurance to tough it out. When medical professionals comment on my positive attitude, I tell them I know God will get me through so why whine and complain.
Life is not easy and it certainly is not always fair. But God is. When He created each of us He gave us what we need to survive all the bumpy, unfair roads ahead of us. To God be the glory, great things He has done.
“Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous.
Do not be terrified, do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God
will be with you wherever you go.”