by Marc A. Fey

I told my son the story of what happened to me in secondary school. There was a particularly awkward and painfully shy boy in my class who was often the target of merciless teasing, bullying on harassment.

I didn’t participate, but like many of the other students, I got used to standing by and seeing it happen.

One day, things went too far. One thug in the class started pushing this boy, then for no apparent reason except for sheer cruelty, he punched the boy in the nose. Before anyone knew what was happening, blood came gushing out this boy’s nose. Everyone scattered.

Even today I can hear the question the head master asked me later that day as I sat in his office explaining what happened: “Why didn’t you do something to stop it?”

That question, of course, changed what I did in every circumstance from that day forward. And it serves as a great picture for my son, when I ask him, “What would you do?”

To revisit the story of the Good Samaritan, do you remember what the young man’s question was? “Who is my neighbour?” As was often the case, Jesus didn’t answer the man’s question, but rather dealt with the underlying issue. Instead, Jesus told him what a good neighbor is. Then, in effect, he said, “Go and be a good neighbor to everyone you meet who is neglected, outcast, or wounded.”

Action Point

Engage your son or daughter about what he or she sees and experiences at school. Rehearse what standing up for a person who is the target of teasing might look like. Help your teen to consider what it might cost to stand up, then to be prepared to pay that price on behalf of this person.

Imparting a Christian worldview is, at the core, about getting to know God better. As you journey with your teen learning to live a selfless life, if you make the target knowing God, you will be better able to see the world as God does.

Modified from an article by Focus on the Family. Copyright 2005 All rights reserved. International copyright secured.

Other Resources You May Find Helpful:

  • Hope Story: Frank Peretti
  • Article: How to Deal With Bullying
  • How to Drug Proof Your Kids
  • Responsible Kids? From How…to Wow!
  • Secure Daughters/Confident Sons
  • Article: How Your Teen is Wired