Biblically Leading Children through Conflict at School
Parents have various expectations when they send children to school. One expectation--one of the most basic of all--is that the school provides a safe educational environment. As parents, we understand that accidents happen. Unfortunately, such is life. However, at some point parents are often forced to lead one of their children through even more difficult situations than accidents: the sinful actions of other students. Sometimes, these sinful actions threaten the well-being of our children. How should we help prepare them for such challenges?
One of the biggest advantages about a classroom setting is that children are able to grow socially by being around other students. One of the biggest challenges about being in a classroom setting, though, is having to interact with other students. Have I stopped making sense? A classroom setting provides abundant opportunity for student-to-student conflict. Within this conflict are great opportunities for your child--and you--to grow.
My question for you is simple: how do you help your child through conflicts? How do you help your child prepare for school when he knows that at recess, someone might be mean? Or, how do you help your daughter who knows another girl might pick on her? God's Word is sufficient--and in God's sufficient Word I have yet to see that you should counsel your child to answer evil for evil. I don't see that God wants us to be angry with those who show anger to us.
First Peter 2:20-21 teach us that suffering after we do good is a way that we follow in Christ's steps. First Peter 3:9 teaches that we are not to return evil for evil or insult for insult. 3:11 teaches that we are to turn from evil and do good, and we are to seek and pursue peace. Is there a time to answer violence with violence in the school setting? Perhaps. Can children handle doing that without sin? I would say that needing to answer violence with violence in the school--and having a student do so in a way that is not sinful--is extremely rare and hardly ever best. Instead, let's stay with solid Biblical teaching. Should your child still have trouble with another student, the teacher is your next option--talk to the teacher. If that does not help, talk to me. Disagree? Stop by and chat. I care about this topic; I care about student safety.
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