A PARABLE: THE WEALTHY FATHER AND HIS DAUGHTER
There once was a father of great wealth. His daughter saw a dress in the window of an upscale fashion center she liked, but did not have the money to make a purchase. Then she said to herself, “My father is wealthy; I will go to him and ask for money. He will buy me the dress, and it will be mine.” So, she went to her father and she asked for the money, but her father denied her stating she did not need another dress.
In defiance of her father’s answer (knowing where he kept money in the house), she went and took what she wanted to purchase the dress. Later at a dinner held in her father’s honor, she wore the dress. Her father noticed the dress and that it was expensive. He wondered to himself where had she gotten the money for a new dress. He also knew that she was aware of where he kept money in the house. He went quickly to count his money knowing exactly how much was stored away. Money was missing.
He confronted his daughter, “Did you steal the money for the dress?”
His daughter looked at him in the eyes and said, “No!”
Her father knew she lied and it brought him great heartache.
The father wanted to confront the issue and prevent his daughter from ever grieving him again by lying. He thought to himself, “I will go to my daughter and confront her and if she confesses to lying to me, I will arrange it so that she always can buy clothes and never be tempted to sin toward me in this way again.”
He confronted her. He stated that there was money missing. He then offered to provide for her all the clothes she wanted if she would just confess and never lie again.
She confessed. From that point on, the father provided her with the money for all the clothes she desired.
The father’s plan to keep his daughter from ever lying to him in that way again was achieved by affording her any clothes she wanted. Under the agreement, she would no longer receive clothes if the behavior of lying was repeated. Thereafter, she grew up rich in attire.
“You are so blessed,” said her friends.
“Yes, I am. I never need to lie to my wealthy father,” she always replied.
One day suddenly the father became ill. His daughter presented herself to him in her finest attire. On his death bed, she praised him and thanked him for all he blessed her with.
“Father,” she said, “You give me so much. You are a giving father. I know the riches of the creation because from your wealth I am covered head to toe in splendor and others desire what I have because of you.”
His heart sank as he realized his failure.
He failed to fill her heart with his love as he covered her from head to toe in the riches afforded by his wealth. It is true she had never again stole or lied to him, but neither did she know him. He was grief-stricken two-fold more than when she had previously stolen and lied to him.
He knew his provision to keep her from sin. In turn, fostered great neglect in her heart producing a poor value for life’s fullness.