by Bryan Matthew Dockens
A. When I was about 10-years-old, give or take a year, I walked into my house with a bloody nose, complaining to my mother that the kid who lived three doors down had just punched me in the face. My mother, whom no one ever accused of being a helicopter mom, just looked at me and asked, "But what did you do?" I have no idea if she had seen me leaving the house with the boxing gloves I?d pulled out of my toy box, but she definitely approached the subject as she always did when I complained about the treatment I received from siblings, schoolmates, friends, or neighbors. She was willing to stand up for me if didn't deserve what was happening, as she did when she got me transferred to another class in fourth grade because my teacher really was unkind to me, but she was not willing to stand up for me no matter what. If I had provoked someone into mistreating me, she would stay out of it. Thank God for that. I didn't grow up with a victim mentality.
B. I would that other parents bring their children up in the same manner, but I know it's rare. A Facebook post by a woman known to many in the brotherhood recently highlighted a very different approach. I will not share this person's name or location; I'll just share what she wrote last week:
On Saturday I got a text from my 16 year old daughter from work. She was hiding in a bathroom at work because a 39 year old manager told her she was so young she couldn't "grow hair down there." After he realized she was bothered by the comment, he continued brazenly laugh and tell her it was "hilarious."
I picked her up and called her father who asked me to please let him deal with it. He immediately called the store owner to make him aware. He also asked that the manager be fired for sexual harassment of a minor. The owner of the franchise said he had to talk to HR and would get back to us.
The next day we did allow our daughter to work a shift with the understanding that she would have no interaction with the man. She discussed the incident with another female manger who said, "I don't think he meant anything by it."
On Monday the manager was still employed and the owner let us know it was brought to his attention that our daughter was party of "bullying" the manager for being bald. At that point there was no plan to fire the manager, although he had been "demoted."
At this point I was feeling like we were being blown off. I felt like the owner and management were justifying the comment.
Our daughter, up to this point, has not been issued an apology.
Tuesday morning I sent this excerpt in an email to the owner:
Now that several days have passed and I have clarity I have made a decision as a woman and as ***** mother. She will not be returning to work there.
As a mother, I am intentionally working to instill a sense of worth in my daughters. I am teaching them proper respect for themselves and proper boundaries. Allowing my daughter to continue to be subjected to this in the work place, from an adult and manager, and what I feel has been a blazae response, is contrary to the message I am trying to instill in her.
No matter ***** participation in mocking *******, sexual harassing comments about female anatomy should never be permitted by management to a subordinate.
We confirmed our daughter was removed from the schedule but no other response has happened as of yet. I have not received anything in response to my email.
So why am I sharing all this?
C. This social media status has generated nearly 700 reactions, over 800 comments, and over 800 shares, so I am likely in the minority, but I would not have handled the matter as these parents did. I doubt I would have involved myself in my child?s workplace problems and I certainly would not have shared the matter with the world because I would have been embarrassed by her behavior.
I. TWO WRONGS DON?T MAKE A RIGHT
A. Romans 12:17-21
No matter how provoked he was, this man should not have said what he did to the girl. Vengeance is small-minded activity.
B. Ephesians 5:3-5
Crude jokes are never appropriate.
II. ACTIONS HAVE CONSEQUENCES
A. Galatians 6:7
When young Jane Doe teased her boss about not being able to grow hair and he teased her about not being able to grow hair, she reaped what she sowed.
B. Proverbs 26:27
The fact the boss should have been mature enough not to retaliate and the fact that his insult escalated the situation doesn't change the fact she fell into a pit she dug herself.
III. OTHERS SHOULD BE TREATED WITH KINDNESS
A. Luke 6:31
Body-shaming is obviously not what this young woman wants for herself, so thinking her supervisor would welcome the treatment is asinine.
B. Matthew 22:39
Loving our fellow humans is second only to the love we must have for God in terms of ranking commandments, but it is not loving to speak to a person the way she did.
IV. SUPERVISORS SHOULD BE RESPECTED
A. Colossians 3:22
Lacking respect for superiors in the workplace indicates a lack of respect for God Himself.
B. Titus 2:9
Backtalking a supervisor is specifically the kind of disrespect the Scripture condemns.
C. 1st Peter 2:18-19
Even if the boss is harsh, a Christian owes him respect, not because of who he is, but because of who the Christian is.
D. 1st Timothy 6:1
Not honoring an employer could result in the God we claim to serve being disrespected.
V. ELDERS SHOULD BE RESPECTED
A. Leviticus 19:32
A 39-year-old man is not old in the abstract, but in comparison to a 16-year-old girl he is. Accordingly, she should show him respect.
B. Proverbs 20:29
If two people are a generation apart in age, the younger should show some deference to the older.
VI. PHYSICAL DIFFERENCES SHOULD NOT BE MOCKED
A. 2nd Kings 2:23-24
The anonymous girl mocked the man about his baldness, but that is not something Scripture treats lightly!
B. Matthew 5:36b
Most physical traits are beyond a person?s physical ability to control.
VII. PARENTS ARE RESPONSIBLE FOR CORRECTING CHILDREN
A. Proverbs 29:15
Parents have a God-given duty to correct their children, and an uncorrected child is a source of legitimate shame.
B. 1st Samuel 3:13
God holds parents accountable for how their children turn out, even in adulthood.