I witnessed something curious while I was out walking the other night. It was a beautiful evening, and people were taking full advantage of it by spending as much time outside as possible. I passed a home with a school aged boy sitting on the porch, two preschool girls eating Popsicles just off the porch, and a mom standing in the driveway. Everything seemed happy and peaceful until one of the little girls walked over to mom, and said, "Mom, he (the brother) called me stupid."
BOOM! The peaceful scene exploded. Out of seemingly nowhere the mom was on the porch yelling at the boy, who gave it right back to her. I was trying to be invisible as I walked on by, but I could hear the mom going back and forth between "Don't ever call your sister stupid," and "Stop yelling; you're embarrassing me."
The whole thing made me wonder: did the boy even call her stupid at all or was the little girl wielding her power to cause a raucous?
Whatever the case, there was an obvious breakdown in heart connection going on in at least three directions. It was sad.
I couldn't help thinking about how the enemy whispers accusations in our ears against our brothers and sisters. Whether the accusation is based on truth or not doesn't really matter, his goal is to destroy the love between us.
If he can get us fighting each other, he knows he can win every battle.
What could the mom have done differently? Maybe:
- Tell the girl to go back to her snack and let mom deal with it.
- Tell the girl to sincerely explain to her brother (without an audience) how his words hurt her heart. Mom may have needed to supervise/mediate.
- Take a moment to talk to the boy alone and hear his side of the story while acknowledging the pressure that goes along with being an oldest child.
- Not parent out of trying to avoid embarrassment.
What other ideas can you think of that might've brought peace and heart connection to the family?
What can you do when the enemy whispers an accusation in your ear directly or through gossip from a friend? Maybe:
- Take a moment to consider the source and motivation for sharing of the information.
- Don't participate in gossip. Quickly end the conversation.
- Get both sides of the story.
- Always believe the best. Even if a person's actions seem sketchy, choose to believe that they truly want to do the right thing.
What other solutions come to your mind? I would love to hear them.