John Lynch not only talks a lot about grace, he embodies grace in his interactions with those around him. And when he doesn’t, he’ll talk about that too. Besides his transparency, we love John because he is good at seeing people as God sees them, and calling it out to them. Plus he wears fun shoes. John will be speaking at Sandy Cove this summer during Family Camp Week 4. This article is shared from JohnLynchSpeaks.com
One night, a while back, a dear friend of mine called me; he was exasperated. He immediately said, “My son! He's done it again! I’m going to take his phone! I'm going to ground him! He did it again, he hurt his sister’s feelings, she's crying right now. I'm about to lay the law down in front of him, his sister, his mom... I really want to nip this in the bud but I'm calling you first because I want to make sure I'm doing all this right.”
I said, “Well, you’re absolutely entitled to do everything you just spoke of... and more if you want. Or... or you could take your son out for ice cream.”
I remember listening on the other end of the line as he stumbled over his words; finally blurting out, “Do what?!” I repeated myself,“You could take him out for ice cream! You could get him out of this situation of shame. Yes, he's done wrong, and yes, there will be consequences, but get him out of the situation right now and take him out for ice cream.”
I took the moment to continue, “There, where you're not in any hurry, maybe after his first round, before you guys go for a second round, you’ll get to ask him what happened. And yeah, maybe at first he’ll start with his bravado and blaming, but then you can ask him, ‘What did you do wrong, do you think?’ He’ll say, ‘Well, I... I... I... She just bugs me so much! Alright...I hurt her feelings.’ And eventually you’ll get down to it and that’s when you get to ask him if he loves her. He may struggle to come up with an answer at first, but eventually he gets to say what he did wrong and you get to ask him if he wants to tell her.
By the time you get home, he’ll be ready to go knock on her door and tell her what he did that hurt her and apologize. And that’s what can happen when you stop carrying the relationship for him and, instead, let it be about the two of them and their love for each other.”
Of course, in a situation like this it would take time. And yes, there would still be ramifications and consequences. But I told my friend, “Maybe in doing it over ice cream, your boy won’t be alone in all that. Maybe by doing it this way, he’ll know you’re standing with him. Prompt him to consider what he thinks he should do next, but let him tell you. And when he decides how he’d like to move forward, you say, ‘Yeah, that sounds about right.’ And then he owns it with you. You're not the bad cop. You're not the tough guy who wins, but actually loses. And you get to be his dad. You get to be his friend. You get to be his parent, and you get to free him to love.”
So, next time you’re in a situation like this, just take your time. Take a breath and ask yourself how you can woo someone’s heart instead of appealing to their flesh. And maybe, just maybe, you get to take someone you love out for ice cream.