Pharisee Parenting

Tonight at dinner I felt my anger rising as I watched my boys eat their supper. Their manners were awful. They were hunched over and had their elbows on the table. I might have even heard some grunts and saw their food in their mouths while chewing. It was unpleasant to say the least.

At one point, one of my kids threw a piece of corn into his friends mouth. I was not very happy. I asked for the boys to mind their manners.

My two boys often fight and are at each other’s throats. I have noticed a big improvement since they got home from camp and they have really been trying to get along better. It has made our lives much more pleasant. When my oldest started the game of throwing corn in my youngest childs mouth, the instant anger was gone. It is more pleasant for me to see them getting along and enjoying each other than my concern for manners.

I wonder if God feels the same way about us? I have to think that maybe that is the way Jesus felt about the Pharisee’s? They cared more about the rules than they cared about each other.  God taught me a lesson at the dinner table tonight.

Do I care more about their manners than I care about their relationship? I can often be the Pharisee parent. I often just want them to mind their manners and not allow them to enjoy each other.  Now, I am not saying that rules and manners are not important, neither did Jesus but the heart behind why we do things is important.

Tonight, it was more important for my boys to try to get the corn in each other’s mouths than the rule of no throwing food at the table.



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