My language and expectations come from the well-known and ever-prevalent top-down, authoritative, might-is-right approach. Go brush your teeth. Why? Because you need to. It’s that time. I said so. What my kids hear: blah, blah, blah!
Kids speak a different language – a better one. It’s focused on the now. It’s spontaneous. It’s relational. It’s magical. It’s creative. It’s fun. My kids will be having a ball with a piece of string, some scotch tape, and an old shoe. What do I do? I walk in and say STOP! Go brush your teeth.
Why don’t my kids listen to me? I don’t speak their language.
This might-is-right language presumes a lot. Saying “go brush your teeth” is actually a command. Think about it. I don’t know many that “like” to be commanded. Led, included, yes. Commanded, by a mere mortal, not so much.
I’m not so concerned about getting my kids to listen to me. Rather, I’m more interested in thinking outside of the might-is-right culture and mentality, as, I would argue, God is there.
When many think of God, they think of a supreme, all-knowing being. I would agree. But it’s not a might-is-right God – despite what’s been portrayed, taught, passed down through the centuries…etc. God wants to be in relationship with us. He’s interested in leading us to our full potential. Just like we are with our kids.
It’s a different mindset than most are used to. One that can be difficult to envision, let alone put into practice. But it can be done.
Thanks for reading,
~ Ted Olson