I tucked my kids to bed a few minutes ago.
Two of them had an argument because one said something hurtful towards another.
The easiest thing to do is to tell one to ask for forgiveness and for the other one to acknowledge and forgive. Then life moves on.
I’ve done that so many times.
But tonight, we tried to get to the heart of the behavior.
Proverbs 4:23 (NLT) says, “Guard your heart above all else for it determines the course of your life.”
It is the heart that drives behavior.
I asked both, “When you are mean towards one another, what is really going on? What is the heart of the issue?”
I asked that question because when one is hurt, s/he will try to retaliate to make the other feel his/her hurt.
We talked about the root of the behavior. It really is PRIDE.
“Because I got hurt, I will try to make you feel my pain by hurting you back.”
We don’t articulate this, but in effect, it is what we actually end up doing.
2 QUICK THOUGHTS:
1. As parents, it is good to not just ‘fix the problem’ and then move on. Telling them to go to their room is probably the simplest way to do it. But it doesn’t solve the heart issue. It actually worsens if unresolved.
2. Unfortunately, this type of thing doesn’t just happen to kids. It happens to adults as well… all the time. We retaliate when we get hurt.
Hurt people hurt people. But free people free people.
Lord, teach us to see the folly of our behavior and go beyond the surface to check out the heart issue. When we see the real issue, that’s when we can go to you and ask for grace to overcome. In and of ourselves, it is virtually and absolutely impossible. Yet your grace is more than sufficient.