Playing Favorites

We all know that we are not supposed to play favorites because in doing so we tell others that they are unimportant or unloved.

If you really keep the royal law found in Scripture, “Love your neighbor as yourself,” you are doing right. But if you show favoritism, you sin and are convicted by the law as lawbreakers. – James 2:8-9 NIV

for all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ. There is neither Jew nor Gentile, neither slave nor free, nor is there male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus. – Galatians 3:27-28 NIV

Consider the example of the pain that favoritism caused in Abraham’s family. Have you experienced any of these things in your own family?

Abraham and Sarah favored Isaac over Ishmael.

Jacob was favored by his mother, Rebekah but his brother Esau was favored by their father Isaac.

Jacob favored Rachel (his second wife) over Leah (his first wife).

Jacob also favored Joseph over his other sons.

What a mess!

My husband and I have tried very hard not to show any type of favoritism between our son and daughter. Sure, there have been times when we each have felt closer to one or the other of the kids but feeling closeness is not the same as favoritism. If they ask me if they are my favorite, I can say with confidence, “you are BOTH my favorite”


  1. This is a really good post. Growing up, I always thought my brother was my Mother’s favourite and I was dad’s. My brother thought that I was the favourite, because as a blind child, I needed a little extra help and a little extra time. It turns out, our parents loved us both equally, just in our own way. I think that playing favourites, or believing that parents are playing favorites, can mess up family relationships. God blesss you.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Good advice, Barbara.
    I remember the family that lost a grandmother, and one of the grandchildren said, “I was her favorite. She told me.” And the others argued that no, THEY were her favorite. Seems she had told each of them privately that they were her favorite. 😏💕

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  3. Wonderful post! I tell all 3 of my boys that they’re my favorite! I bought a book at one time about a little bear family named “You’re All My Favorites” by Sam McBratney…it sits in my living room even though my boys are all grown.

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  4. Yup – with two boys and now seven grandkids I can identify with the battle (especially when one enters the good old rebellious teenager stage! We all know theoretically what we ought to be doing it but keeping to that in practice is a skill we are still working on!

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  5. Great thoughts Barb…it always gets me that Jacob favored Joseph over his other sons given the fact he lived without being favored by his own father, you’d think he’d have been more sensitive to this but what a good lesson for us to learn from!!!

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  6. Yep, playing favourites is so damaging. We’re living with the generational effects of that on both sides of the family, sadly. I’m glad God doesn’t play favourites. I’m glad He loves us all equally, albeit differently, according to our need. Your FMF neighbour at #3 this week.

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  7. We never wanted to play favorites either. Oddly enough, one of my best friends IS the favorite child to her parents (they actually say that) and she does NOT like that. It makes her feel bad for her siblings.

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  8. Favourites are not for me,
    I treat everyone the same,
    and the benefit, you see,
    is I need not recall the name
    of whom I may be talking to,
    a guy is mate, a sheila’s lass,
    and I even say, hey you
    when I want to show some class.
    I wander on my happy way
    in my lager’d Fosters fog
    and will stop, perchance to play
    with a name-forgotten dog
    who does not give me lower marks,
    ’cause as for my name, he just barks.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. While my kids joke about being the favorite, I always tell them I have enough room in my heart for each of them. I can’t imagine loving one child more than another. They are each so special.


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