Monday, October 3, 2011
How to raise a bad seed 
Have you ever watched Chef Gordon Ramsey’s TV shows? You know "The F Word" or "Kitchen Nightmares?" I know they are reality shows, so that means that some the things that happen must be contrived or staged for the camera. But that’s not what pulls you in. I don’t get to watch them often, but what always strikes me is that the failure of the business isn’t usually about the business itself, it’s about family and friendship dynamics and dysfunctions.
Sure, as one of the newscasters in Houston, Marvin Zindler, used to say, there may be “mouse droppings on the countertop” or "sliiiiime in the ice machine", but the reason that they are turning out such a horrible product and their restaurant is going to the dogs is because these people have unresolved and sometimes unrecognized issues.
They don’t want to be doing the whole "restaurant thing" at all, but have no choice, or they have to work with family members who are disrespectful and don’t listen, or they are trapped in the Twilight Zone and still set the tables as if it’s 1956, or they bought in with some friends who are very bossy, but have no idea how to run a restaurant. And precious few of these people seem to know how to lead or direct other people. And for that matter, some of them can't lead themselves very well.
If you really watch the show carefully, it seems less about how to manage restaurants and more about how to manage ourselves, our families, the people around us and our relationships.
So, this made me think of King David and his brood; but mostly about his favorite son, Absalom and their relationship. While David is trying to pull things together, including himself, he fails to manage what should be his greatest asset…his family. Let's talk a little about how not to raise children.
In Second Samuel, Absalom is portrayed as the most beautiful man in Israel, who is loved by his father and all those who know him. The scripture says:
"In all Israel there was not a man so highly praised for his handsome appearance as Absalom. From the top of his head to the sole of his foot there was no blemish in him. Whenever he cut the hair of his head - he used to cut his hair from time to time when it became too heavy for him-he would weigh it, and its weight was two hundred shekels by the royal standard." (2 Sam. 14:25-26)