Is Tough Love ‘Nuff Love?

Photo Credit: Grace Cheung

Photo Credit: Grace Cheung

“Okay. You get to cut the cookie in half. I get to choose which piece to eat.”

“No! That’s not fair! You cut. I’ll choose!”




And on and on it goes. It’s a familiar refrain. If you catch me on a good day, it’s a refrain that finds me kneeling down beside my quarreling children, talking through their hearts, serenading them on the virtues of “doing unto others”. On a bad day, you’ll find me, at the top of my lungs: “That’s it, guys! No cookie for either of you. No more fighting!”

What is it with children and their bickering?

But then really, if I stop to think about it, I might as well ask, “What is it with adults and their bickering?”


Thirteen years ago, I was a young bride—though that is no excuse for bad behavior.

The eve before my wedding, I scurried about the church just before the wedding rehearsal and rehearsal dinner. I was putting together pew ends, trying to make the wedding arch look just right, wrestling with ribbon and generally directing traffic. Our wedding was to be a confluence of churches. Because my fiancé and I had both been youth leaders at a few different churches, the wedding guests came from four different congregations. Because we happened to get engaged earlier than most of our peers, it was an even bigger event—a ‘first’ in our social circles. And again, I was young. All this to say that I was incredibly stressed out.

One of my bridesmaids tapped me on the shoulder to ask where the vases should go. And something inside of me snapped. I buckled under the stress and blasphemed at the top of my lungs (in the sacred space of the church sanctuary):

“There are too many *&%$# people to love!!!!”

Oh me. What a diva. Or more suitably—what a bridezilla.

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