During this crisis, I am having to adapt to having all three of my young sons at home. It’s not been fun, but it has been instructive to watch what causes the most unhappiness in this house. And while these things might be also in your home, they were not always here, or at least I never aware of it till now. But with this lockdown, the things that irritate me have become “sins on steroids”, and they have created havoc in our home. I can see why some folks are questioning whether the lockdown or the virus is worse!
1. The biggest trouble my sons have is telling the truth when something bad happens. Every man lies, it’s been said, but I think my boys have “a corner on this market”. Over the past six weeks I have found them lying about things more than ever, and, worse, they do it with more confidence and even in very minute matters. I thought we had dispensed with dishonesty months ago, but “truth” seems harder for the boy to embrace during the virus lockdown.
2. The second challenge is obedience. Again, I thought that we were making great progress in this area, and we’ve talked ad nauseam about the need to obey “the first time”, along with all the associated threats of being “skinned alive” if they don’t obey, etc. But regardless of sermons and threat, my sons are not obeying.
3. But the third thing, the one that leads us to the most quarrels, is the non-stop competition about who is best…who did the greatest job….who is the favorite…whose super-hero is the most awesome—there’s no end to it! And if one boy does emerge as the clear winner, the other two are quick to call him a cheater, or complain about how unfair the contest was in the first place, etc.
4. Finally, my boys all seem quite cognizant of the short fallings of the others, but seem totally dumbfounded when their own errors are pointed out. They are keenly informed about what is “fair” or “right” if they are the ones that have been slighted, or if I appear to favor one over the other; but they claim an absence of any notion of ethics or moral code if they got the better end of the deal or a bigger piece of the pie.
So why all this blathering about my three young sons and how the act like “little boys”? Well, three things occurred to me. First, they are acting like all little boys all over the world act (except the boys that have more astute fathers).So should this bother me at all? Next, they know that when other people do these things, mentioned above, that it is “wrong” (whatever wrong means, they know it’s “bad”). But they also have discovered how to ignore it or deny it when they do the same “wrong” things, and they somehow are able to live with their failings quite easily.
Finally, it occurred to me that the “adults” in Washington, DC, and my state Capitol (and probably your’s) are just like my three little boys! But when we become adults are supposed to stop misbehaving like little little boys (or little girls) and embrace a nobler way of living, for goodness sakes!
So let me be political for a moment: Should we elect ill-mannered children to run our nations? Does not common sense suggest that we must require self-effacing, intelligent, well-mannered, discipled and compassionate adults to govern our states and countries, and trust them to set into law how we conduct commerce and defend our freedoms as a nation?
But of course I also know that my sons act just like I once acted….as well as how I often behave before my heavenly Father. Have mercy on me, Lord. It’s hard to condemn actions in others that I still commit as an adult before God.
We’re all in need of some “time out” it seems….