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DESIGNED DILEMMAS


In Dr. Tim Kimmel’s book Raising Kids Who Turn Out Right, he has a section called Designed Dilemmas. Kimmel is convinced that most modern parents pamper their kids to the point where they don’t ever have to face situations that force them to grow up, mature, learn responsibility. Kids don’t have the work or chore responsibilities they used to have. And they’re protected from difficult situations that might build character. We make our kids’ lives too easy. Our kids need regular, designed dilemmas that force them to demonstrate responsibility.


He tells the story of the time he took his young son Cody to the mall. He took his hand and explained to him that when they got inside, Cody would have to stick close to him so they wouldn’t get separated. But every time Cody saw something interesting, he’d dash ahead of his dad. After 3 or 4 times warning him not to do it again, he did it again. This time, Kimmel let him go. It took awhile, but soon Cody looked around and realized that dad was gone. He was alone. Dr. Kimmel hid. He slipped into the crowded racks of clothes and kept an eye on his boy. Soon the boy was running in circles, in tears, looking for dad. It was hard to watch, but he knew he needed to wait a little while longer. Finally, he moved into the open. Cody ran into his arms. They sat down together on a bench in the mall. This time, Dad had Cody’s ear. He listened. That was a designed dilemma to get his son to stick close to dad.


Jesus knew that His disciples needed a designed dilemma to help them trust Him. So He let the seismos terrify the disciples, for a time…

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