In a small town there were two fathers, Mr. Jones and Mr. Smith. Both of them had sons who wanted to sow their wild oats.
When Mr. Jones’ son got in trouble at school for not turning in an assignment, Mr. Jones quickly grounded his son and made his son do his homework. Later on when the son was caught smoking marijuana in the school bathroom and was expelled, Mr. Jones made sure to enroll his son in an alternative school that taught proper discipline. When the son was arrested for theft, Mr. Jones did not bail out his son, but rather let his son sit in jail to learn from his deeds. Eventually the son grew to learn there are consequences for his actions. During this entire time the father did not yell at the son, beat the son, or refuse to accept the son during the son’s times of repentance. Rather, he simply let his son endure the natural consequences for his actions.
Mr. Smith, however, took a different approach to parenting. When his son didn’t turn in a grade assignment, Mr. Smith simply affirmed his son’s choice. He figured his son was experimenting with alternative ways to learn. When his son was caught getting high on school grounds, the father went to the defense of his son asking why the school had such strict regulations to begin with. When he was caught for stealing, Mr. Smith posted bail and hired an excellent defense attorney for his son, because he couldn’t bear to see his son go to jail and suffer.
Which father displayed the greater love? The one who disciplined the son or the one who affirmed the son?