Friday, November 4, 2011

Has Been Bullied...And Here's the Rest of the Story

I wadded up my fist, reared back as I walked over to my bully, and let an upper cut fly.

It was my senior year in high school. I was 5 foot 6 ½” and maybe 105 pounds on a good day, and I had reached my maximum capacity of bullying. I don’t think I had recognized it as such, but now that I look back I think it qualifies. I had to go to a competitor’s school my senior year, and one of the football players had been throwing rocks at me as I would walk across the quad to different classes. This had gone on for weeks. Thing is I liked him as a person, but he had gotten on my last nerve, and I had had enough. ENOUGH.

So, I wadded up my fist, reared back as I walked over to my bully, and let an upper cut fly. When his head came back down to where he looked down into my eyes, I said, “Cut. It. Out.” I turned around and walked off as the other football players were laughing.

Had I thought my actions through? PLEASE! No, I hadn’t. Was there a better way to have handled the situation? Maybe. Was my way effective? (I’m smiling.) Yes, yes it was. Later he would come to me and tell me to let him know if anyone ever bothered me, he would take care of it. I told him I could take care of myself.

My daddy had taught me to fight when I was in elementary school after my first fight with a boy. Could I have held my own with the football player? Are you kidding me? He was about twice my size. But the element of surprise was on my side.

I didn’t think about that scene until recently. During small group on Sunday morning, one of the ladies in my class referred to meeting her high school bully. She referred to the other woman as “my bully.” Then I heard of a girl this week hitting a boy at school who had been bullying her, and then his mother all of the sudden had a problem with it.

Let me go ahead and tell you, my children are not perfect, but if I ever find out one of mine has bullied another person there will be a serious come-to-Jesus meeting in the Mullins’ house. Truthfully, I only have concerns regarding one of them. The other one just gushes mercy…they don’t tend to be bullies (hahaha).

It’s about respect. We are learning about respect in my house these days. Respect for what God says in His word. Respect for parents and authorities. Respect for others. Respect for ourselves. Respect in the way we talk to others. Respect in the way we behave. It all goes towards the showing the world the type of character we have.

I’ve told my kids I want them to do three things, and if they do these three things, they will be doing great. 1) Be Respectful 2) Be Obedient 3) Be Kind. Respect goes a long way. If a young lady respects herself, she isn’t going to allow some boy to disrespect her. If a young man respects his parents and authorities, he has learned to submit his will and will be more likely to follow God’s leadership. Obedience is for the development of their character and for their protection. Kindness means they are looking for ways to bless or benefit someone else – they aren’t just looking out for themselves. I’m praying these lessons stick.

Obedience is not a dictatorship. I totally believe in giving my children choices when it is appropriate and when they’ve earned it. My children are learning about rites and privileges. They now understand rites mean air, food, education, and clothes. Privileges are the blessings in life and can be withheld or removed. We want so much to give our children good things, to bless them with their hearts’ desires…Does this sound familiar? Matthew 7:11-12 “If you, then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask him! 12 So in everything, do to others what you would have them do to you, for this sums up the Law and the Prophets.” That about sums it up for parenting and bullying, doesn’t it? So thankful my God gives good gifts and blesses me even when I don't deserve it. So thankful God is faithful to work on developing my character and loves me enough to not leave me as I am.

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