Have you ever been in a restaurant and witnessed the interaction between a displeased customer and their waiter? It can be pretty tense depending on how difficult the customer makes it. But it is not the customer’s behavior that is the most interesting part of the interaction, it’s the response of the restaurant employees that is of particular interest to me.
The waiter will try their best to ensure that the customer is pleased, doing whatever they can to make sure the interaction ends well. If they are unable to bring about the desired resolution they will usually involve the restaurant manager. But whatever the case, the restaurant employees will hang in there with the customer until the issue is resolved peacefully.
Have you ever been in a restaurant and witnessed the interaction between a child behaving poorly and their parents? Like the previous scenario, it can be tense, but not for the same reasons. Because like the customer/waiter interaction the behavior of the child is not as interesting as the behavior of the parent. What is interesting though, is how different the parent usually responds to the child when compared to the waiter’s response to the customer.
When faced with a difficult behavior in public, most of us have compliance as our primary goal. We’re not interested in connection we just want the behavior to stop. We are more concerned about what others think of us in that moment instead of focusing on the relationship with our kids. And we fail our children when we seek compliance over connection.
In the same way that we must rest in the knowledge that the Lord will never abandon us, our children must also be secure knowing that we are always with them. That we will hang in there with them and that we will see every the situation to the end. We must not leave them alone. We must always be there for them. They are a blessing from the Lord and need us to love them well no matter what.
“I will never fail you. I will never abandon you.” – Hebrews 13:5 (NLT)
This post also appears on The Ryan Blog.
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