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February 22, 2014

Why I beat your child up at the park…

It’s been pretty cold out lately, so I haven’t been to the park for a while… I just got a good reminder today of who I really work for. Okay, so I’ve been working on maxing out some freebies online, the original reason why I split off to work on these freebies is so that when I get AgapeBeacon.com up and running I can use these freebies to spread God’s word. As a stay at home father I don’t have tons of my own money to give away, our family doesn’t have a huge expendable income. There’s nothing wrong with using the money corporations give out to get users to spread the love of Jesus in practical ways… it’s just that I got very focused on these freebies. There are people out there that make a living by collecting and promoting freebies like this, couponers, and what not. The problem is I really don’t need to be focusing on this stuff right now, it’ll be good to be able to use in the future, but for now I need to keep my focus on developing AgapeBeacon and encourage others to be the hands and feet of Christ.

Anyways, so I got a reminder of this today. I got reminded that I need to play the background because it is not my schemes that will bring Glory to God, but His will. Christ is life, all else is a vain pursuit… so where does the park come in. Well as I was thinking about this my mind wandered to one of my favorite things, when my son lets me play with him at the park. Most of the time when we go to the park he wants me to sit by as he plays with the other kids, but occasionally he wants me to play. When I do play with him it’s inevitable that I will be dragging around 3-10 other peoples kids that I don’t know. I chase other peoples kids, I wrestle with them, I drag them around clinging to my ankles… I have fun with it when other kids want to play with us. Their parents sometimes get angry, either at their kids or me. And with the stories you hear of violence all over the news often against little children… I get it.

About those kids I have to occasionally beat up at the park. You can always tell the kids who don’t get to rough house at home with their parents, those kids are always just a touch too violent, I keep them at arms length which typically frustrates them. A lot of the kids who don’t get to rough house at home don’t get the unspoken rules of rough housing… primarily that it must be fun for everyone, and in that one cannot win all the time. When a child I’ve never met before gets too rough with us at the park, hitting where they shouldn’t, kicking, biting, etc. I grab them, wrestle ’em to the ground and put enough weight on them that they can’t move much, but not so much that they are hurting or can’t breathe. When I let them go I take a couple of steps back and wait for their response… most kids “get it”. What do they get? Well it’s a simple message that kids who get to rough house often inherently know. I am bigger than you, and I am holding back so that you don’t get hurt, I will play with you and have fun, but if you cannot keep it fun you need to find something else to do. Most kids will stand up, calmly look you in the eyes, and give you a little head nod to let you know they understand the message.

So why would I bother playing with other peoples children? I mean, it’s exhausting, you’ve got to deal with kids who don’t know the rules, and it’s more about the fun of the other kids… so why not focus on my own? I believe in rough housing… there’s a lot of good research that shows that rough housing teaches more than just exercise… and contrary to what some believe it actually discourages violence. I love rough housing with my son, and I know there are a lot of kids who just don’t get that kind of attention at home. Psalm 68:5 says that God is the father to the fatherless, Jesus tells us to Agape our neighbors (I say Agape instead of Love because the type of love He is speaking of is an action, a type of love that is practical, and intentional). Jesus wants us to show our neighbors His practical, intentional love… That’s why I will gladly beat your child up if I see them at the park 😉

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