What Cows and The Israelites are Teaching Me About Parenting

(I heard this comparison in church one day, and couldn’t help but share)

Cows

If you’ve ever watched cows in a field, you’ve seen how they always seem to think that the grass is greener on the other side of the fence. Often, I see cows reaching through the fence, stretching the wires so they can get to the “better” grass. Unfortunately, their actions have a negative side-effect.

By stretching and bending the fences, they weaken them and make openings that-while not big enough for themselves to use as an improvised gate, are big enough for their calves to squeeze through. And, following the example of their parents, they push their way through the fence in search of better grass–often getting lost or killed by vehicles.

Is my home similar to a cow’s field? Do I, as a parent stretch the boundaries, knowing it won’t hurt me, but not thinking about the danger my actions pose to my children?

Israelites

Another example came from the children of Israel. In Judges we read that they were told by the Lord to wipe out the inhabitants of a land so they could take possession of it and keep their purity. But the older generation decided that they could handle the temptations, and it would be better to allow them to remain and become their neighbors. What they didn’t think about was that their children weren’t as strong as they, and many fell to the temptations and evils of the people.

Now, obviously we aren’t supposed to annihilate all bad examples around us. But do I have to invite less -than-good influences into my home. I might think, “This movie has a few bad spots in it, but I can block that out. I’ll close my eyes and then it’s ok.” But do I realize that my kids might not be closing their eyes?

And that they will dwell on the bad spots, just out of curiosity at first, until they eventually will find a time when I’m not around, and play the movie to satisfy their curiosity.

Do I swear every now and then, believing it doesn’t really hurt me. Do I stretch the borders of truth just a bit, hoping my kids won’t catch me?

Every time I make exceptions for myself, I’m opening a hole in my home’s moral fence that my kids can squeeze through. Do I really want them out there, past the protective moral boundaries?

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