Every now and then our kids get into a situation that calls for an unbiased arbiter. Mom and Dad have many roles in a family and judge is one of them.
When I am called on to fulfill this role, I typically pray for the wisdom of Solomon and then begin to gather information. I call for each child in question to describe the situation from his/her perspective.
From the bare facts, those stories are usually pretty similar.
The next step is to discover motive. This is where stories typically become quite different.
Its actually quite entertaining at times to hear the differences…
“He wouldn’t listen.”
“She was bossing me around.”
“He broke (insert one of thousands of cheap toys and trinkets here).”
The next step is to call for witnesses…this is when it gets even more entertaining/difficult. Actually calling the witnesses is easy, deciphering whether they are staying loyal to alliances or actually telling the truth is never easy…especially if the star witness in the case is a two year old who can be bought off with a single piece of candy.
The plot thickens…now Mom or Dad have to consider extortion, coercion and even blackmail. As difficult as this sounds, in the end, the familial justice system typically works pretty good, punishment is served, prayers are offered and life gets back to normal.
This Sunday, we will study from Romans 4:1-8, where Paul is working though a situation with similarities to our family court. In these verses, we are to the part where the witnesses are called.
As opposed to my example of a two year old who can be bought off, the Apostle Paul calls two star witnesses to the stand: the patriarch Abraham and King David.
From a Jewish perspective, they are the best. And they each testify through their lives and writings that the only way for people to become “right” with God is through faith.