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Who'll Plead My Case?
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Years ago I observed a teachable moment which laid a block in the foundation of my future parenting skill—I witnessed a friend on the receiving end of a lecture. Someone told his uncle he did something he didn’t do, and when my friend tried to plead his case, his words fell on deaf ears; his uncle believed the informant over his nephew. A witness to the incident, I knew of my friend’s innocence, but my words also went unheard and he received a scolding. Even though it’s many years later, to this day he carries bitter memories of that confusing incident.

Although he tried, my friend wasn’t allowed to defend himself. He wondered, if I can’t, then who will plead my case? His opinion of his uncle forever changed for the negative.

Many times, simple easy to resolve situations become chaotic and turn into something much larger than need be. "Remember, God is not the author of confusion but order and peace. This principle applies everywhere to anyone who worships God" (1 Corinthians 14:33, my paraphrase).

Pastor and author John Piper says, “Since parents represent God to children—especially before they can know God through faith in the gospel— we show them both justice and mercy.”

Confusion Avoided

As parents, guardians, grandparents, or whomever, when dealing with young children, orderliness and peacefulness is recommended. If an incident arises that you weren’t there to witness, allow the child to simply share their story, whether false or true. In doing so, potential confusion is avoided and opportunities to develop good characters and tell the truth arise. If others were present, their perspectives should be sought and carefully weighed against their character. Our aim as parents should be “to take every thought captive to obey Christ” (2 Corinthians 10:5).

We must always be mindful of the long-term image we leave. If as adults we come across harsh, unwilling to listen to children and hear their stories, then we paint false images of God in their young minds. On the other hand we must build and teach their young characters; failure to do that will prevent them from seeing the full character of God.

In love we chastise, but all the while we teach them they have an advocate in us—and ultimately in Christ.

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By Daniel LaFlair. Copyright © 2013 by GraceNotes. All rights reserved. Use of this material is subject to usage guidelines. Scripture taken from the English Standard Version Copyright ©.

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