It has been awhile since I watched any of the news expose shows. I got a little bit turned off by whichever show was doing the constant expose on child predators. I think it was almost 6 weeks in a row that they filmed men trying to meet up with kids and then having them arrested. Not only that but after doing it in 5 locations they felt the need to milk a recap episode...anyways, I happened to flip on an episode the other night while I was waiting for my sweetie to get home.
It was about two 16 year old kids who killed another 16 year old girl in a lover's quarrel. Essentially, they beat her to death (apparently not knowing they killed her) and then tried to dispose of the body. Being cold, they could not bury it, so they brought in another 16 year old to do some dispicable things to the body to essentially disguise the identity.
Anyways, the parents of the boy in the situation offered a really interesting presence to the show. Not only did they come on national television to talk about it, but they did not condone or excuse their son's behavior. When the son told his father, he reached for the phone and called the police. When Stone Phillips asked about how difficult that call was to make the father responded, "I wasn't thinking about that. It was the right thing to do."
Both parents expressed great sadness and confusion over the boy's choice, but they both said that he needed to be accountable for what he had done. He committed the crime. They don't know why, but justice needed to be done. The truth needed to be told.
I wanted to jump for joy. Not because of the terrible situation under which it occured, but because they highlighted a set of parents that wouldn't excuse their son's behavior. Sure, they didn't understand it. They could have come up with a half dozen possible excuses, as many parents do, for their son's delinquent behavior. They didn't. They held him accountable and by extension themselves. It broke my heart to watch these parents grieve their son, but it brought me great hope to hear the way they held him accountable.
That is true parenting. The father was deeply emotional as he told the host that he was 49 and would never see his son other than behind bars again. That is a true definition of tough love. A love that puts one's own needs after the needs of the one they love.
Pray for them. Pray for the son and pray for his parents. Pray that they might find healing and hope. Pray that other parents may follow in the example of their honesty and accountability, hopefully under much less horrifying circumstances.