Proverbs 22:6 “Train up a child in the way he should go; even when he is old he will not depart from it.”
Finding yourself in the middle of a family quarrel isn’t always the best position to be part of.
Especially, when the quarrel involves a non-member of the family and you are put in the awkward position of being called upon to take sides.
Last year, a couple that I regard as my friends, extended an invitation for me to join them and other friends at a special dinner party they were giving to celebrate their son’s graduation from college.
These friends are really great people to know. They are kind, generous and actively involved in their church and community. Since selling their family business, they spend a great deal of their time traveling on short-term missions trips in Africa and South America.
When I arrived at my friends’ home, the ambience was serene with a hint of scented candles tastefully spread throughout the foyer and living room. Guest who had arrived was treated to a fabulous variety of Canapés and non-alcoholic beverages.
When the guest of honor entered the room, he was received with warm applause, hugs and pats on his back. Just looking at his facial expression made me to think that either he was embarrassed by all the attention or he just preferred to be somewhere else.
My friends entered the room and gave a little speech about how proud they were of their son and how they looked forward to him entering medical school.
Just after their announcement, unbeknownst to any of us, their son blurted out in a high pitch voice. “How many times do I have to tell you mom and dad…I am not going to medical school. I told you what I wanted to do!”
The entire room went dead silent. It was so uncomfortable and nerve-racking because my friends were the center of attention and not the kind that they expected or wanted.
Right after the son’s announcement, he excused himself and exited the house. My friends were expressing their disappointment and coming up with some plausible explanation to us about how their son was under a great deal of stress after graduation.
After the dinner party ended, I stayed behind to help clean up. While I sat in the kitchen with my friends, their son returned.
My gut instinct said to leave right away but I didn’t do that. Instead, I found myself in the middle of a family battle and being pressured to take sides. This bickering between my friends and their son went on for almost an hour.
Before I knew it, I was nodding left and right. Agreeing and disagreeing and trying hard not to take sides.
Eventually, the family argument came to a head.
And my friends gave their son an ultimatum.
Either he goes to medical school or find a job and move from their home within six months.
Later that week, I received a thank you note from the pair which included an update about their son.
He was not going to medical school and had left home.
I read the note several times and the ironic twist to this story is that their son actually wants to follow in their footsteps. His desire is to devote his life to missions and not medicine.
Yet, my friends perhaps wanted to brag about their son’s accomplishments as a medical doctor rather than a greater call on his life.
Life is short and there are people who are disappointed with the way their life is turning out.
Making a decision isn’t easy. It takes faith in God and in yourself.
However, if you are still desiring and dreaming the dream, you are in the right position to make the decision and live without regrets.
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