Of our seven children two of them are girls. They are 12 & 13. I just imagined a collective sigh of understanding from all the parents of teen and tween girls across this vast land. Honestly, I would have expected myself to have been able to expertly handle them as I was one myself. And yet, too many times I find myself in the exact place I was only last night. Let me explain.
The two girls were in conflict. Emotions were running rampant. Hormones were obviously raging. Tears were coursing down the cheek of one girl in the face of what she obviously considered a GREAT injustice. A frown of defiance was in place on the face of the other girl as she adamantly stood her ground. I had to make a decision. I had no idea what the right call was in this particular situation.
I tried reasoning, lecturing, scolding, cautioning, discussing and listening. Finally I felt my own temperature rising, my own feelings getting tender, my own melt down pending. It was at that moment I noticed my husband.
There he sat, engrossed in a tv show of some sort, happily allowing me to deal with the emotional upheaval before me. Suddenly I knew what the right decision was. It was crystal clear.
I asked Henry to pause his show. I told the girls to go stand before their daddy. I gave him a very brief explanation of the crisis. I told each girl they could each in turn present their case and Daddy would make a judgement call. He did appear a bit startled. After all, I’d never taken this route before. But, he complied.
They began. This time I was observing from the sideline. I was observing them in all their drama and distress. I was observing him and his lack thereof. Then, without hesitation, he decided. That was that. The girls did not argue, whether they agreed or not. After all, due process had been adhered to. Henry went back to his tv and I told them to go clean their room without another word to each other.
I can not begin to explain to you how eye-opening this experience was to me. Now, in retrospect it is all so clear. If this man has managed to still be the love of my life after 30 years if marriage and has calmly dealt with my intense emotions, tender feelings and enormous passionate personality, who better to do the same with his daughters? Lesson Learned.
“My child, listen when your father corrects you. Don’t neglect your mother’s instruction.”
(Proverbs 1:8 NLT)