I let down my guard for a few days.
I allowed the children to play with a boy they met in the village. He is American and I think the kids and he were excited to meet and be able to speak easily to each other.
I was happy they met a friend and were getting out of the house. I want them to be children and to play and have fun and explore.
How much trouble could they get into riding bikes and scooters and playing at the village playground?
Then they went to his house one afternoon.
I walked the trail around our village and went back to pick them up.
Liz had gotten on their Internet and broken my rules. The irony is that the boy tattled on her to me the moment I walked through their door.
Then, while I chatted with the woman, the boy played a violent video game in front of my younger three kids.
I think I caught on in time since I heard the TV blaring and excused myself to go investigate and called my kids to come. I don’t think they saw much.
The boy argued that there was no blood. Like that’s the least of my worries.
He backtalked his mama and me. He snapped at Kate.
I snatched up my babies and left.
His mama apologized to me as I walked down their steps and started down the sidewalk to home.
It was too little, too late and I wonder how sincere it really was. Mere moments around them informed me of their priorities and values.
I should have been more careful.
A framed marriage prayer on the wall doesn’t make anyone a Christian, but the lack of parenting certainly was blaringly obvious to me and I don’t want my kids influenced by them.
I must remain diligent at all times.
I get so worn out meeting new people, getting excited about potential friendships, just to get disappointed and hurt that they have such different standards and lifestyles.
Personally, I am tolerant of so much, but I cannot allow my children to be exposed to anything contrary our worldview.
I am reminded of Matthew 10:16:
“Look, I am sending you out as sheep among wolves. So be as shrewd as snakes and harmless as doves.”
My kids didn’t even question me when I told them they were not to go back to that house.
I know my younger three kids were a little disconcerted. Liz was ashamed, perhaps more at getting caught than what she had done.
Luckily, they’ve met a few German kids who seem nice, but I will be more careful before they go inside any other houses.
Updates: The boy came to the house the next day when I was out. Liz answered the door because he was so loud and obnoxious: ringing the bell, banging on the door, and hollering for them. He wanted to apologize to me, but I wasn’t there. So he apologized to Liz and then asked if they could come out to play or if he could come inside. Liz obeyed my rules and said that they could not leave the house nor could he come inside while I wasn’t home. He got huffy and left and we haven’t seen him again.
Weeks later, the mom confronted Liz at the village park. She demanded to know why our family wouldn’t accept their friendship.
No adult should ever bully a child.
This mom has never come to my house. She has never asked to speak to me directly. Liz stumbled over some excuses. This woman frightened my teen daughter. Inexcusable.
They have since moved out of our village. Their house is vacant and for rent.
If you were bullied when you were younger, the reason you freeze at genuine compliments is because fake compliments were a prelude to an attack.