By Dr. James Dobson
Isn’t it curious how in the midst of a nasty family argument we can shake out of the bad mood the instant the telephone rings or a neighbor knocks on the door?
Sometimes those we love are treated the worst, and kids are quick to notice this hypocrisy. Have you ever been brought up short by a small voice questioning this sudden turn to kindness after twenty minutes of fire and brimstone?
The late Mark Hatfield, a longtime senator from Oregon and the father of four kids, said his wife stung him once by saying, “I just wish you were as patient with your children as you are with your constituents.”
He isn’t alone. We’re all guilty at times of what I call “split vision,” treating certain people with forbearance while heaping contempt on others under our own roof. We assume the worst; we pounce on every shortcoming. We never miss an opportunity to deliver a corrective harangue. And in the process, we wound the people we care about the most.
Isn’t it time to cut one another a little slack at home? If, in fact, we love our spouses and our children and our parents as much as we say we do, one way to show it is to give them the kind words we bestow on our casual acquaintances.