Comes Great Responsibility.
I may not have a superpower but our family has powers that are unique to the 21st century.
· We have the power to make anyone’s birthday into an unscheduled party.
· We have the power to clean a messy house in ½ hour.
· We can paint a whole house in 3 hours…..well, maybe when everyone is all grown up.
· We have the power to be the loudest singers in Mass (never done it but I bet we could!).
· We can gather around a hurt child and have them smiling and playing within minutes.
· We can scare away a park full of people just by jumping out of our van one by one.
· We scare away bad guys.
· We can make any event not get cancelled because we always have the minimum # required.
· We can shovel the elderly ladies driveway in 5 minutes flat
· We bring people hope for the future of our children in an immoral world
This is just a small list of what a large family can do that smaller families cannot. BUT, we also have the power to cause great harm. I have seen too many large families take advantage of this and it makes it worth blogging about.
We can totally destroy the spirit and annihilate and ostracize anyone who hurts one of us
Yes, a small family can do this but nowhere near to the magnitude that a large family can.
You know the drill. Someone picks on and bullies your 10 year old and out comes big brother to defend his sister. NO ONE bullies his sister except him!!
Can you imagine if everyone in a large family does this? Oh it happens! And when it does, it is UGLY. It is a long and nasty relationship for months or years on-end. The power is overwhelming and terribly sinful.
Just as a priest has a greater punishment for a sin than you or I commit, so does the way a large family treats someone who wronged another member of the family. We have a greater responsibility because the harmful effects are greater than that of a small family. (Still wrong……just greater and uglier)
I have had this talk with my kids repeatedly. I remind them that if anyone hurts a member of the family, the proper way to ban together is to do whatever it takes to IMPROVE the relationship. Never will it be to collectively hurt, criticize, mock, unfriend or end relationships. Never. It is hurtful and sinful yet so many families use this power for great harm to others. Even though parents may teach their children that EVERYone is made in the image and likeness of God, that undeniable fact seems to get thrown out the window when a much less important outsider wrongs one of them.
I’ll admit that the first thought in my mind sometimes is “GET EM GUYS!!! NO ONE CALLS YOUR SISTER A BRAT AND GETS AWAY WITH IT!!!!” But then I settle down and remember what my superpower responsibility is. It is to unite and not divide. It is time to pull out the big guns called virtue and prudence not avenge and revenge. It is time to pour on the kindness and compliments and bring that person to know that everything will be ok. Everyone in the Christy family is safe.
When I meet large families, I pay close attention to how they operate when friction happens with an outsider. If I catch that they unite and conquer poor imperfect children, we stay far away. I wave and smile from a far distance and make sure to never get close. It is toxic and dangerous. It can leave scars on a person for a lifetime. No thank you.
If I care at all about my children’s salvation, I will never train them that other people are less important than them. I will never tell them that the best way to solve friction between 2 people is to gang up and destroy their spirit with hurtful comments, gossip, eye rolls, laughter and the cold shoulder – “That’ll teach em to mess with my sister!!”