I have been working on learning “Christian” counseling methods lately so I can volunteer in that ministry area. I like talking to people and listening to them and their issues. I do it enough throughout the day, that I think it is a calling. I have even looked at going back and getting my masters in it so I can practice full time. So many full time things I think about doing, we will see how the volunteering situations pans out to see if it is the right direction.
What gets my about Christians and counseling is some of the stupid things that people do trying to “help” out a person who is suffering or struggling in an area that the church deems wrong. We got a recent reminder of one of these things from Sean Harris, pastor of Berean Baptist Church in Fayetteville over the past weekend. It seems that he thought it would be funny to suggest to parents that if their sons are acting a bit too effeminate, the fathers should punch them. I guess the punch from a father should help them man up, right?
“Can I make it any clearer?” he yells on the recording. “Dads, the second you see that son dropping the limp wrist, you walk over there and crack that wrist. Man up. Give them a good punch. OK?”
Laughter and a few shouts of “Amen” can be heard in response.
The sermon saw Harris urge parents of girls who are “acting too butch” to make them “walk like a girl and talk like a girl, and smell like a girl.”
I know he is back peddling and trying to say that it was just a bad joke, but it goes further than that. I can guarantee that some people truly believe that is the way to deal with kids who “act gay”. Beating them could help them butch up a bit, but not that it will take away the effeminate thoughts. Instead you will see some of these kids terrified of being beaten changing to act a certain way in order to appease their fathers.
I have a nephew who told my wife last night that he was stressed out from spending so much time practicing baseball that he needed a break. This kid is only 7. He should not have stress in his life from a leisure activity. He pushes himself hard to impress his dad and win his affection. I have seen his dad inadvertently bully him into eating olives, so I can only imagine the pressure he is going through over baseball. If a kid can put this much stress on himself for something that is a choice, what are these kids going to be doing when they are worried about either being hit by their parents or living in a state of disapproval.
People, let a kid be a kid and develop under a covering of love and nurturing. Your kids are going through stages of development, so how they act today is not necessarily how they will act tomorrow. If you see the kid becoming violent towards them or others, then by all means step in and deal with the issue. Discipline when needed, but acting a bit girly is not something that should be punished.