It was a sweltering summer day in Beijing, China where I took Kaitlyn outside our hotel for a walk. She was dressed appropriately for the day keeping cool barefoot in the stroller.
Unbeknownst to me, it is important to some women in China that a child’s feet are well covered and protected. And China is also a culture that shows great respect for their elders, thereby creating an environment that allows the older folks to lay down the law and speak freely.
No matter where my husband and I took Kaitlyn people would stare at us, smiling and sometimes pointing, because they noticed a little Chinese girl with two Canadian white folks. Normally, these folks were very friendly.
But on this particular day two older Chinese ladies noticed me and also noticed Kaitlyn’s exposed appendages. I received a stern lecture (in Chinese no less) followed by a swift slap across the arm from both of them.
In complete shock I stood stone still as they walked away nattering to one another about what I can only assume was my inability to parent. Once I gathered my wits I was tempted to defend myself but since the international laws and Chinese prison time would probably mess up our flight plans, I turned the other cheek and walked away.
Kind of crazy.
Maybe you’re wondering: Is there a point to this crazy story? Yes! It’s hard for most parents to hear criticism regarding the decisions they are making for their children. However, the Bible says there is great wisdom in the generations before us. It teaches us to respect our elders, ask for help and listen to offered advice.
The bible doesn’t say you need to agree or even make the suggested changes but it would be a shame to miss out on a gem of truth simply because you were not listening. Next time you have a dilemma ask someone you respect for help or advice. You may find a surprising source of support, and you might make a friend.