Overheard this conversation between a mother and her 2 kids yesterday while shopping at Target : Mom “We aren’t going to get that today, maybe next time.” Son “You’d better, or else.” Mom “Or else what?” Daughter “Or else we are going to smack you in the face.” Mom “You need to watch your mouth.”
To be honest my first reaction to hearing this was “Man, I can’t believe she let them talk to her that way”. Immediately, I felt guilty. I don’t know what their situation is. She could be just be exhausted from working and no energy left to fight with her kids in the store, or has been working on discipline issues with her kids and just choosing to pick her battles. I know we have all been guilty of judging others for their parental skills or lack there of in public. You hear a screaming child in a store or restaurant and think “Can you please shut that kid up?”
It is hard to know what any parent is going through at any one moment. A single parent that just wants to eat out one night a week, a stay at home mom who has felt trapped in her house all day, a working mother who doesn’t have time to get everything done, a father who just went through a divorce and only has his kids for the weekend , they all have their challenges. A little grace goes a long way. Instead of being judgemental or giving a look to the person, smile and be kind. The smallest of actions can have the greatest impact on people.
Ephesians 4:31-32 Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice. Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.