To do justice and judgment is more acceptable than sacrifice
The theme in Proverbs chapter 21 is really about considering the heart motive. Just as God is always more concerned with our heart condition than our gifts we also must teach this to our children. I know the time it takes to discuss heart issues with children. I know the exhaustion you can feel, believe me. I know this is hard yet, I want to share with you a teaching moment that has helped my children understand this verse.
Here is a real moment from my home: My sweet child was asked to do something. Instead of obeying me they went and drew me a pretty card. After some time, I called sweet child to see if they had completed the task. "No mommy I got busy making you this pretty card instead!" (Now, this is a hard one ladies but our response must teach them Truth) "Oh how pretty that card is but did you know that when you do what I ask it is prettier than any card you could ever make me?" With surprise the sweet child looked at me, looked at the card and said, "You mean when I obey you it's prettier than ALL the cards I could make you?" "Yes!" I replied! Sweet child and I took a moment to talk about the following Passages:
John 14:15 If you love me, you will obey me
1 Samuel 15:22 To obey is better than sacrifice
Each of the Wood family children have had to learn this lesson at one point or another. It's hard for me as a mommy to not jump up and down, and 'ooh' and 'aww' over their card. However, I know I must teach them Truth. The Truth is that it is far better to do what is right than to offer even our best of gifts!