Lions and Tigers and Bears. Oh, My!
By Leslie J. Barner
She let out a growl so ferocious, the humans were shaken to their core! She bared her teeth, her inner beast unleashed. What were they thinking, getting between a mother bear and her cub?
Oh, you thought I was describing the animal? Ha! I’m describing myself when our children were young.
I fought fiercely to protect my babies. Uh, until I realized I couldn’t protect them from everything. Especially the consequences of their own choices.
I also learned to be careful with my protective nature when it came to their dad.
One of our biggest disagreements was over a disciplinary moment with one of our daughters. I was ready to pounce. But taking up for her meant siding against my husband in her presence.
That means “Team Us” before anything or anyone else ... including our children.
To honor my marriage as top priority, I had to tame my inner beast and keep Mama Bear in check.
Honestly, those cubs were not angels. Sometimes true protection looked like discipline.
But in your own den, maybe he (or she) didn’t have to speak so harshly. Or take away their privileges for, like, ever! Have you been there, and felt your Mama/Papa Bear’s inner beast rising?
I get it.
I’m not suggesting you don’t confront your spouse for the purpose of protecting your child’s well-being. But agreeing to discuss it privately, rather than in your children’s presence, guards your marriage. It helps them see you as a united team.
And when you conclude the discipline was unfair, apologize sincerely to that child and make it right.
This practice will make both Mama and Papa Bear very happy.
The good stuff: Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and they shall become one flesh. (Genesis 2:24)
Action points: Instead of allowing your children to get in the way of your oneness, what are some ways in which you can ensure that your oneness gets in the way of your children? If you don’t have children, answer the same question but replace “your children” with “others.”
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