Breakfast with Solomon - Proverbs 29:21
"He who pampers his slave from childhood will in the end find him to be a son"
There are two directions that we can take from this proverb. One is negative and the other is positive.
pamper: This is the Hebrew word panaq, which means to indulge or to pamper. It means to lavish attention, praise, time, energy, and gifts upon someone.
Solomon is saying that whoever you do this to will feel the power of your love and will be drawn into "family."
There is a problem in our day and age where people find that it is easier to spend a large percentage of their time, attention, and positive energy at work or on their friends or hobbies. These people are responsive and rewarding and enjoyable. And in effect, these people become your family. This is happening all over. The problem with this is that your actual family is suffering under the starvation diet you have put them on. They get only scraps of your time, attention, praise, gifts, and energy. Most children cannot be fooled for long by what you say; they either see and feel you love them or they conclude that you do not love them.
It is difficult at times to lavish praise, attention, time, energy, and gifts upon children who are not responsive or grateful; but the rewards of a great family are much greater than the rewards of good friends. They just keep going on and on.
Solomon is saying in this proverb that he has seen this phenomena of making work and friends your family even in his day and age. Abraham seriously contemplated making his servant his heir before the birth of Ishmael and Isaac.
The positive side of this proverb is that we can draw people into a familial relationship with us by treating them with a high level of love and appreciation. It is not wrong to have friends and co-workers who are drawn into this type of relationship with you as long as you do not neglect your family to do it.
Spend time today loving your family. Let them feel the power of your love through lavish attention, praise, and time. Find activities and ways to be with them in a positive situation.