When your child is constantly whining for something,encourage her to love and desire God above all else. As she matures, and at an age-appropriate level of communication, you will want to go one step further and help her understand that only a deep soul-satisfaction in God will give her the power to set aside her demands and her all-consuming, insatiable hunger for the next thing. It is essential that she understands the fact that she is a sinner with a restless soul in search of satisfaction. She needs to grasp that sin alienates her from God and sends her in a restless and demanding search for satisfaction elsewhere.
Again, most chronic whiners are younger and will not easily grasp the concept of how idolatry and self-centeredness is at the heart of their whining. Therefore, it may be best to simply address the issue of self-control as laid out in this chapter while they are young. However, as they mature and you begin teaching the deeper issues, the all-powerful truth of God’s Word will penetrate their hearts, and, accompanied by the Holy Spirit, it will bring about an understanding that we cannot convey on our own.
As your child matures and you begin warning her against the dangers of idolatry, you might simply explain, “Honey, idolatry is when a person or thing is loved more than God, wanted more than God, desired more than God treasured more than God, or enjoyed more than God. Nothing can satisfy us more than God, which is why we are warned in in the Bible, ‘Dear children, keep yourselves from idols’” (1 John 5:21).
The good news is that whining provides a valuable opportunity to teach your child to communicate with self-control and, more importantly, to show your child her need for the grace of the gospel that delivers her from the deep-rooted sin of idolatry.