Oh No He Didn’t!

This weekend while in the mountains I saw the saddest sight.  I was in a gift shop waiting in line to checkout.  To my left, was a young man around twelve or thirteen years of age eagerly waiting on something.  He had a huge pencil in his hand.  It was intentionally huge and the size really excited this young man very much.  A few seconds later, a guy heads in his direction which I assumed was his father.  The young man looked at the guy with the happiest expression I’ve seen from a pre-teen/teenager lately and said, “Look, it’s a huge pencil, and it really works!”  The guy without even slowing down or looking at the young fellow utters, “Put it back” and continues right on walking.  The boy was disappointed, but didn’t linger on it and turned around to go put it back.  It was painful to watch that situation, but not nearly as painful as it was to the young man who endured it.

Colossians 3:21 (MSG)

21 Parents, don’t come down too hard on your children or you’ll crush their spirits.

Basically, he got shot down. How hard would it had been for the dad to say “That’s neat,” “wow,” or “cool” even?  I hurt for that child.  The sad occurrence made me think.  How many times have I shot down my own children?      I do realize I don’t know all the details.  He might have aggravated his father all day long.  It could have been the 100th time he had approached his father that day.  I don’t know, but I do know there was an excited young man who needed his father to acknowledge him, and his daddy failed.

Colossians 3:21 (NLT)

21 Fathers, do not aggravate your children, or they will become discouraged.

I’ve failed before and will probably fail in the future.  But after seeing that play out, I’m going to be more mindful.  When my child (or student) is trying to tell me something, I’m going to try my best to remember that what they’re saying is important to them.

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