A Child Custody Devotional – Matthew 25:29
“For whoever has will be given more, and they will have an abundance. Whoever does not have, even what they have will be taken from them.”
This is such a great verse, and such a universal truth, that there’s even a recognized term in sociology known as “the Matthew Effect.” Though maligned and oversimplified at times as “the rich getting richer,” understanding and implementing this principle is simply about (1) appreciating what you’ve got and (2) making the most of it. Basically, it’s good stewardship.
Child Custody is surely not immune from such a universal truth. If anything, the Matthew Effect is exaggerated. Is a non-custodial parent entitled to more time with their child than he or she is taking? If so, is there much chance a judge or co-parent, or even a maturing child, will ever want to give that parent more time? Unlikely.
On the other hand, is a non-custodial parent maximizing his or her time with the child? Respectfully demanding each moment to which he or she is entitled? Putting the phone down and making the most of that time and opportunity?
This is harder than it sounds, even if you are physically there for each moment of your time with your child but your heart is poisoned and your mind is focused on the time you don’t have or how terrible the Other Side is or how unfair the judge was, then you’re not there, you don’t “have” in the sense that Matthew writes about. This is difficult, too, and that’s internal stuff no lawyer or Judge is going to fix for you and where a professional or pastoral counselor can be a huge part of your Child Custody team.
On the other hand, are both custodial and non-custodial parents and caring relatives maximizing their time and energy away from the children? Are we 100% dialed in at work, staying on task and off Facebook so when we clock out we leave a job well done and can actually check out, leave work at work and engage at home with kith and kin.
Why this biblical and universal principle is so important is that it doesn’t matter where you start. Richness, wealth and “having,” in Child Custody and elsewhere, starts right where you are. If all you have is your next breath, take a deep one and say “thank you.” For you already have everything you need.