The danger of quick judgments

Posted on May 18, 2013 · Posted in Authority, Communication, Parenting, Teenagers

Parents will sometimes have heated arguments with their older children and teenagers. I know this is not exactly breaking news. But, here is something to consider. There is a danger of forming lasting opinions and judgments based on the arguments. A heated conversation is a bad time to form lasting opinions.

For example, a father may conclude that his son is totally rebellious and has no desire to do anything he is asked to do. This is because in a heated argument his son defiantly refused to do obey.  Dad tells mom later on that he is so disappointed with their son and his bad response.

However, if Dad would calm down for a moment and he might realize that perhaps he had provoked the argument by not being respectful of his son. He had confronted his son while he was having a text conversation. Dad automatically assumed his son was not doing anything important and admonished him to cut the grass like he was supposed to. One thing led to another and the conversation ended with the son saying there was no way he was cutting any grass today or any other day.

Dad was convinced his son was about to go and join the Hell’s Angels, disown God, and had become a slave to his phone.

Mom listened without immediately responding. (A wise move on her part.) Then she said, “Remember that sermon we heard on I Corinthians 13 and that love believes all things and that love is not easily angered?

“Yeah, I remember. May I was a little too pushy.”

Mom, “A little??”

“Okay, a lot. But he was so disrespectful. He will never cut the grass.”

Mom replied as she handed Dad her bible, “Here is something I think would be good for your to read. I love you.”

Dad sat down at the kitchen table and read the following passage:

 

“What do you think? There was a man who had two sons. He went to the first and said, ‘Son, go and work today in the vineyard.’

“‘I will not,’ he answered, but later he changed his mind and went.

“Then the father went to the other son and said the same thing. He answered, ‘I will, sir,’ but he did not go.

“Which of the two did what his father wanted?”

“The first,” they answered. Matthew 21:28-31

 

As he finished reading, he heard the sound of the mower starting up.

 

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Jay Younts
John A. (Jay) Younts is the Shepherd Press blogger, and is a ruling elder serving at Redeemer Associate Reformed Presbyterian Church in Moore, South Carolina. He has written Everyday Talk, Everyday Talk About Sex & Marriage, Finding the Right Track, the In Touch With Paul stewardship series, and What About War. He has studied and taught about biblical childrearing for 30 years. He and his late wife Ruth have five adult children.