Bullying | Wretched TV Episode 2878
Why the church has not tackled the subject of bullying? Meet Tim Keeter, speaking at the Association of Biblical Counselors Conference. Tim provides examples of what bullying can look like. He specifically mentions cyber bullying, which can feel like a continual beating for the child that they cannot escape. The anonymity and permanence of online material also makes this form very problematic. The parent can fall into sin by responding wrongly to their child being bullied, become vengeful, sorrowful, regret at not being able to prevent it, or annoyance as to why their child isn’t more “normal”. These responses can move us away from wisdom and self-control.
Our immediate response to our child being bullied may be to fight back, or teach our child to fight back, we should not be sinning in response to sin. How do we respond when our hearts are broken? Our aim needs to be glorifying God, even in the midst of dealing with bullying. The thought of glorifying God will constrain us from acting in the flesh.
Six principles for responding to bullying
First, he says we need to discern the urgency of the situation. Don’t jump to conclusions, but gather information first. Todd says we need to make sure the child is safe, and take the situation very seriously. Avoid sin and glorify God in response to bullying. We have an obligation to reserve judgement and trust the Lord. We need to be careful, since not all threats are real and eyewitnesses are fallible.
Second, see Proverbs 18:13 as a guide for responding rightly to bullying. It’s important to reserve judgment about God, as to why He is allowing this to happen. Even when we don’t understand why this is happening, we must trust that God understands.Before we spend time investigating the situation, we need to examine our own heart, and need to think of how Christ would have us respond. Our inclination may be to get mad at some kid, and even mad at God.
We want our children to trust God
The 3rd principle is to pray for and seek wisdom. As the parents are dealing with the bullying, the child is watching very carefully how they respond. Do we want our children to trust God as we trust Him, to respond to being wronged the same way we respond, to pray the same way we do, and to find the same hope in the scriptures that we do? There is wisdom available in the local church, as other families have already walked through the same situation.
The 4th principle is to gather information. We must be slow to speak and slow to anger. Todd says we need to be thinking wisely, Biblically, and not relying on ourselves to model for our children how to respond in a Christ-like way.
Before we can help the hearts of our children who are being bullied, we need to work on our own hearts first. Tim Keeter’s next principle is to expect only good from God. Tim says we need to rest on God’s character. Todd says that we can avoid sinning in our response by trusting God’s goodness and sovereignty. Tim reminds us to disciple our children. The goal for the child going through bullying should be to grow in their love for Christ. We need to endure what is common to mankind. We need to think Biblically about our response as parents.
Sponsor in Show: MediShare
More resources: The presentation that you’re seeing from Tim Keeter is just one of the many lectures in Drive by Biblical Counseling 3, short lectures you can listen on your way to work every single day that will immerse you in the world of biblical counseling.