Have you ever seen The Lion King? The story follows a young lion cub going through life’s lessons, and then eventually he becomes the leader. The movie inspires and the Broadway musical thrills! I loved the musical in New York, and it was so much more than a simple story with great music and costumes. One particular scene always makes me cry.
The scene depicts a moment when the father, Mufasa, must discipline his young lion son, Simba. The young cub was told by his father to stay away from the elephant bones graveyard, but Simba disobeyed. Worse than that, he took his little lioness girlfriend to the forbidden area. They both escaped a threatening moment. Upon getting to safety, his father does not delay in rebuking his reckless son and continues by explaining in full detail why his actions were wrong. The action was wrong, and the son escaped danger but not the rebuke.
The scene fades, and some time passes. The father, after treating his son’s sin as far away as the East is the to the West, begins to wrestle playfully with his son. They tumble around in the grassy field under the stars. They laugh and giggle, and enjoy a “man and young man” reconnection.
As adults, we often find ourselves in the situation of confronting a young person that has done something wrong. First, we reprimand them and explain why their action was wrong, and then we let the consequences of their actions run their course. In this process, we should never withdraw our love (or relationship) with them as part of their punishment, but instead, convey that our love is not dependent upon their actions. Most importantly, the rebuked child needs a reconnection, even if it is a pat on the back a few hours later.
After this teachable moment has passed, we need not rehash their mistakes in the future.
This principle of reconnection governs our campus that is filled with good people. The subtle message that we want to convey is: “Young one, our connection supersedes the disciplinary moment from earlier today. Maybe there are consequences, however, those are now beyond my thoughts. I have NOT withdrawn my deep love for you. Now, let’s move on in this journey of life together.”