I was at my son's church-sponsored basketball game today and overheard something that really gave me a shock and made me think. I heard a grandmother a few seats down from me tell her two young grandsons not to grow their hair like "that kid - he looks like a girl." The two boys began laughing and making comments about the young man she was speaking of, who happened to be one of the refs.
I'm sure this grandmother didn't mean to sound unloving and judgmental - I am sure she saw something she didn't approve of and wanted to use it as an example to her grandsons. However, she did sound unloving, and her words inadvertently encouraged her grandsons to make fun of someone who was different.
I wonder how often I use comparisons to explain "correct behavior" to our children at the expense of others? I think that sometimes parents, especially Christian parents, can get so wrapped up in raising Godly children that we forget to be compassionate towards others. Surely there are enough examples of sin (BTW, I personally don't think that guys who have long hair are sinning) in the Bible that we can point to without exposing and demeaning other people. I am sure that I have been guilty of this, and I hope that this incident will make me think before I speak in the future.