There’s a verse in Song of Solomon, “Our vineyards are in blossom; we must catch the little foxes that destroy the vineyards” (2:15, CEV), that reminds me of a principle that we need to remember. Little things don’t stay little.  If they are negative, they grow into “monsters” that can wreak havoc in our lives. I’ve compiled a list of potential negative consequences of a “little critter” on a child, and then later as it grows into a “monster” attitude in adulthood. Of course, I’m not saying that every “little critter” becomes a “monster.” I simply want to point out the progression that can occur if we are not vigilant to identify and deal with the “little critters” in our own lives and in the lives of those we influence or raise.

Little Critter –

A dad who doesn’t like conflict with his child, let’s the child play loudly and recklessly in all private and/or public settings

Monster in Training –

  • A child who never learns socially acceptable behavior
  • A child who cannot tolerate healthy boundaries
  • A child who feels insecure and unsure in social situations
  • A child who ends up physically hurting herself or others
  • A child who irritates those she is around—even her peers

Snaggletooth, Fire-Breathing Monster –

  • A teen or adult who cannot respect authority
  • A teen or adult who avoids conflict at the cost of healthy relationships
  • A teen or adult who cannot figure out why she never fits in
  • An adult who hops from marriage to marriage when trouble strikes
  • An adult who eventually gets fired from almost every job

Little Critter –

An angry mom and dad who have extreme fights that never get resolved

Monster in Training –

  • A child who is afraid of conflict
  • A child who is argumentative
  • A child who is insecure and fearful of relationships
  • A child who is full of self-hatred
  • A child who doesn’t know how to communicate effectively
  • A child who is a bully or is often picked on by bullies

Snaggletooth, Fire-Breathing Monster –

  • A teen or adult who fears intimacy
  • A teen or adult who is emotionally volatile
  • A teen or adult who is insecure and tries to find illegitimate ways to escape pain
  • A teen or adult who is drawn to the wrong crowd or people
  • An adult who has constant and extreme marriage problems
  • An adult who is angry with people
  • An adult who is angry with God

Little Critter –

Parents who do not make God their priority

Monster in Training –

  • A child who doesn’t value church, the Bible, or God
  • A child who doesn’t hunger for God’s truth
  • A child who develops his own subjective, and often faulty, moral compass
  • A child who feels insecure
  • A child who has no sense of hope or direction

Snaggletooth, Fire-Breathing Monster –

  • A teen or adult who finds God boring
  • A teen or adult who allows circumstances to dictate his actions and feelings
  • A teen or adult who looks to the world or money to fill the void
  • A teen or adult who grows hard-hearted toward God
  • An adult who feels like something is always missing in his life
  • An adult who faces eternity without God

Bottom Line –

Think through the consequences of everything you are about to do or not do, because it can make a MONSTER-SIZE difference in your life and the lives of others.

“No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it.” Hebrews 12:11 (NIV)

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Comments on: "Little Critters that Grow into Monster Problems" (2)

  1. The “Monster-in-training”, living in my home, came that way. Any thoughts on how to change it?

  2. I think I should ask you–you’re the expert in this case!

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