Bullies love to attempt having influence by gaining power through putting down others.
Recently my thirteen year old son returned from a baseball tournament that my husband and I were unable to attend. My husband and I were clear about the fact that our son was to act respectfully, graciously, to be a leader, and to be kind. Because he is thirteen, and we were 3000 miles away, we had to trust that he would heed our request.
The boys who attended played baseball together, ate meals together, slept in the barracks together, sweat together, and pursued goofiness together. They did all things boy-like.
When the boys returned a week later a mother of one of the boys approached my husband as she was outfitted in a straw hat and sunglasses. Her emotional state of mind was obviously on edge and her voice cracked as she wiped the tears from her face.
She talked about the fact that her son had a rough time on the weeklong trip, hanging out with the boys. She mentioned that there were a handful of boys who were unkind to her son and made the week difficult for him.
As my husband was telling me the story, my mind was racing as I thought “Please tell me that our son was not one of the boys.” While I know that Biblical guidance does not insure well behaved children, I do know that my boy doesn’t often fall into peer pressure and err on the side of bullying others.
She continued the conversation while fighting back more tears and informing my husband that our son was the only one who stood up for her boy and discouraged the bullying. He sought to be different and to protect her boy from the comments as opposed to joining in on the cut downs.
With a sigh of relief, my husband hugged her and told her that she had a great kid and that he was glad that in this instance, our son made the right choice.
This moment made us very proud parents and served as a huge learning opportunity however, our son won’t always make the right choice. Our son will decide that it isn’t always easy standing up for other kids, and that being a reflection of Jesus is tough. Our son will make teenaged decisions that don’t necessarily make good sense to others. Our son is not perfect.
In light of my imperfection, I must decide, what I can do today that goes against what culture says is okay to do. How can I be a reflection of Jesus to a searching world? How can I make decisions that please God?
How can I reflect more of Jesus and less of me?