To supplement the “Live It Out” activities, ask parents how much time they spent last spring watching updates about the Boston Marathon bombing and the chase to capture the suspects. Affirm that much of the nation was captivated by the search, which culminated in the death of one suspect and the capture of another.
Remind parents that in the aftermath of those events, a Boston-area funeral home had a hard time finding a cemetery that would accept the remains of suspected bomber Tamerlan Tsarnaev. Eventually, his body was buried in Virginia.
Ask parents if they know the circumstances that led up to Tsarnaev’s burial in Virginia. Share that one woman decided to defy the critics and do what she thought was right.
Use this article found at foxnews.com to share details about Martha Mullen’s decision to get involved in a controversy hundreds of miles away. Read the following quote from the article and encourage parents to share their thoughts about Mullen’s actions:
“I can’t pretend it’s not difficult to be reviled and maligned. But any time you can reach across the divide and work with people that are not like you, that’s what God calls us to do. . . . I thought someone ought to do something about this—and I am someone.”
Emphasize that while many people wanted revenge and retaliation for the Boston attacks, Mullen chose to respond the way she thought Jesus would respond. Agree or disagree with her decision, following the example of Jesus should always be the determining factor for our actions and words. Point out that this is especially true when it comes to the temptation to retaliate for wrongs we’ve suffered,
Remind parents that children and teenagers are very sensitive to the injustices they see around them and around world. Social justice has become a rallying cry for young people inside and outside the church. That makes parental reactions to offenses so important.
Encourage parents to use Jesus’ example as a filter for dealing with retaliation—and to emphasize His attitude during teachable moments with their children.
We want to hear from you! How will you help parents in your small group explore the session, “The Pressure of Retaliation?”
The options for parents for the Pressure Points unit were written by Bob Bunn. Bob helps develop stewardship curriculum and resources for churches for Dave Ramsey’s Financial Peace University. He is the author of Indelible Parenting, a four week study for parents based on Deuteronomy 6. He and his wife, Mary, live in Nashville with their three teenagers.