Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Choose Your Battles

Last night I chose a battle I will have with my children if they should ever bring it up. And a thought struck me: so many people defend themselves, "You have to choose your battles." But they've never decided how many they are able to fight. So they leave all but the most important (or easily won) battles in their eyes to the whims of their adversary.

My future-Marine brother was present, and we proposed a more military scenario. Suppose you are trying to conquer an archipelago in the middle of the ocean, and you decided to take a stand on only two of hundreds of islands. You are thrilled to have won the two battles, but you could have used your forces better and made more progress toward your goal. As it is, with hundreds of islands remaining in enemy hands, even though some are very small, you have lost the war.

How much more tragic to decide there are only a few battles to fight with your children. You take a stand against violence but let them play video games for long periods of time. You take a stand against fornication but give in on what they wear. You take a stand against hanging out with 'really bad' friends, but you let them gossip. In the end, you have a subversively wicked child who has no respect for you, but who looks remarkably like... the rest of the culture.

So the battle I chose yesterday is on teasing. My little boys will know that teasing little girls is a serious offense. Why? Because taunting is so opposite of what a girl needs from a boy. She looks to him for leadership and defense and courtesy - especially emotional, since girls are such inherently emotional creatures. By choosing this battle my children will be on the path to understanding each other, a skill needed for many things later in life (like getting married and building a marriage).

To God be all glory.

1 comment:

Dr. Paleo Ph.D. said...

I think I agree with you, if I understand what you're saying.

I think that teasing is a vital part of a close relationship between any two people in most cases, including a brother and sister. But "taunting" as you said wouldn't be good, in my opinion.