Most of the time, I wait until there is a polite request for the milk before I give them the milk. This polite request can take many forms; I am not a stickler for a particular phrase. I am even willing to waive the requirement for a "please" so early in the morning. After all, they are still waking up. And besides, I know (and so do they) the difference between a sincere, polite request and a demand, no matter what words are being used.
It is not that there is a shortage of milk in our house that I must require a polite request, as though I must use such a tactic to ration the blessing of milk. Their mother keeps a sufficient (and often abundant, courtesy of Costco) supply of milk in the refrigerator. In fact, we almost always have two varieties of milk: cow's milk and soy milk, because the younger of the two cannot have too much dairy in her diet.
But still, despite our abundance of milk, I do require a polite request from my girls before they get their milk. I do, however, fully anticipate their request, and I might even have full cups already prepared before they even ask, because I know my girls, and I want to bless them. I know they like milk in the morning, and I know it is good for them.
There are times when they do not desire milk, but instead request a different beverage. Wanting to bless my beautiful girls, I consider such requests carefully. Sometimes the answer is "sure, honey" and they delight in another drink of choice, such as lemonade or juice. But there are also times when I know what their taste buds would find delightful is not what their bodies would find the most nourishing. So, wanting to bless my girls, I give them milk, and I listen to their protests with patience. I know they do not see my perspective on the situation, that I am simply doing what is best for them, even if it is not what they would have chosen.
And then there are times when they desire milk, but do not get any. This can be especially confusing to them, because their parents have told them for as long as they can remember that milk is good for them, and rarely is a request for milk denied. But perhaps they are sick, and their delicate stomachs would not be very happy with milk at the moment. Or maybe I know that they will not eat a good dinner if I allow them to drink their fill of milk in the afternoon. As much of a blessing milk is, there are times when it is best to abstain, and wanting to bless my girls, I make the right choice for them, even when they are not able to.
And so, you see, there are times when my girls receive milk, and times when they do not. Sometimes their desires line up with what they receive, and sometimes they do not. But in all situations, my desire is to bless my girls, and in all situations, they would not receive milk were it not given to them. Such it is with God. And while all analogies break down at some point, I can safely say that being a father--and living analogies such as this one--has helped me greatly in my journey to be a child.