Man’s Best Friend?
Ella, the older sister, is my daughter.
Trystan, the younger brother, is my son.
Yesterday at my uncle’s house, Xander, a delightfully energetic yellow lab, came bounding out of the door when we arrived.
Ella is terrified of dogs.
Trystan loves all dogs.
Trystan squealed in delight at the sight of his new instant-best-friend.
Ella screamed in terror.
Let me ask you, my beloved, what would the best strategy I could recommend to Trystan to relate to his sister that she should try to love dogs, too?
Should he say to her:
- ”Don’t be scared of dogs. I know the dog is really big, and can seem really scary, but I’ve found that most of them are big bundles of slobbery love and fun. You just have to take a risk and extend your love to the dog and they love you right back!”?
Or, should he say to her:
- “Don’t ever stop loving dogs, Ella. If you don’t love the dog, then it will eventually bite and attack you. And not just any attack, but it will go for the soft parts first, so the suffering really lasts. So, you should love the dog, because I don’t want you to get hurt.”
The first proposal, right?
The second sounds downright insane, right? Bordering on abusive?
Of course you’re right. It would be insane to use a “better do ______, or else…” on a child. Especially regarding a dog.
So why do we often find ourselves hearing “or else” reasoning regarding GOD?