She made me mean, David said. I didn’t understand what he meant at first.
Bethel had knocked over his tape measure (on purpose or accident, I know not) and David let loose with angry words. If he knew any swear words, he would probably have used them.
I’m not sure what I said, but at some point in the discussion, David said She made me mean. David knew he was unkind, but he blamed Bethel for his outburst. I wasn’t prepared for this line of thinking, so I just told him we’d talk about it later. Now, how to talk about this… I suppose talking about Adam and Eve might be a good start. Or even Jesus, who did not react when He was mistreated. People cannot choose how they are treated, but they can choose their reactions. Maybe the old tea bag illustration might be appropriate.
Perhaps it was the precise expression in child-like terms that struck me, but I suppose all blame-shifting (like he hit me too) involves an attempt to diffuse guilt. We probably don’t help matters when we use language like “What did Bethel do to make you angry?” Blame shifting reflects a false belief about sin that will hinder him from seeing his need for salvation.
Lyn Marshall says
Michelle, I’m enjoying your blog! Anyway, I was wondering if, in a situation like you describe, you could use Berg’s tea bag illustration as an object lesson to help David understand and assess his own comment–that is, have him get you a tea bag and put it in a cup you have filled with hot water. Explain that he is like the tea bag and that the hot water is the difficult situation that will reveal what is in the tea bag. Let him put the tea bag in and watch as the tea diffuses into the water while you explain the significance and symbolism of what he is seeing. Just a thought. . . .
I’ll try it and post on their response. What Bible passages do you think are relevant?
Thanks for your comments!