The Enforcer

Last Saturday, after a busy week including the funeral, I spent the day doing cleaning chores my kids were supposed to have done during the week. Fuming a little, I knew I needed a new strategy. Everything must change!

We have a pretty good plan for keeping the house clean. It involves minimal chores from everyone per day and picking up after oneself. It works great until someone quits doing their part, which tends to happen the busier I get.

My most-guilty child (smile – he’s 6’2″ tall) for not doing chores or picking up his stuff hates being told what to do. The problem is, without being told what to do, he will not do it. He doesn’t seem to get that if he policed himself, he could avoid the nagging instruction.

I hate being the enforcer. I am not that good at it. I am busy, forgetful, and easily distracted. I would prefer if everyone just did what they already know they are supposed to do without me having to enforce the rules.

Last night, after a really busy week, I felt the same way when I returned to my blog. Scrolling through lengthy comments, many off-topic to the original posts, some overly harsh to other people who comment here, I was disappointed. It did not feel like a friendly conversation that I would want to participate in.

I don’t like blogs with lots of rules. I tend to think of my blog like the dining table in my kitchen where I invite people to pull up a chair and visit. This has worked well for me for several years. I haven’t policed things tightly. I think there was one comment in over 2 years that I deleted because of language.

Last night, I became the enforcer. I didn’t like it, but I skimmed and deleted probably a dozen comments. Perhaps some of them did not deserve to be deleted, but I did not read them all carefully enough to give them the benefit of the doubt.

If they were pages long, seemed off-topic, or felt challenging towards another poster, I deleted them. If you feel a comment of yours was deleted unfairly, I am sorry. If a comment of yours was deleted, it does not mean that you are not welcome here, but I would appreciate it if you would respect the conversations that are occurring without dominating them.

Am I going to come up with a long list of comment rules? I hope I don’t have to.

A few requests though…

  • Please keep your comments related to the post.
  • If you address another commenter, be over-the-top courteous.
  • If your comments are book length, please blog them at your blog.

It is really tedious to scroll through multiple comments that are several screen lengths long. I love conversations, but usually after a couple of paragraphs, it is more of a sermon. When you have post-length comments, you should probably give them the space they deserve at your blog.

I am sorry that I have not been able to participate in the discussions much this week. It has just been one of those weeks.


11 thoughts on “The Enforcer

  1. Grace,

    I understand your dilema. You look NOTHING like Clint Eastwood! Why be forced to pull out your magnum?

    For the rest of us …

    “You gotta ask yourself one question … ” =)

  2. Please don’t feel bad, grace. If your blog weren’t so popular, this would never have been necessary! If you didn’t have kids you wouldn’t have to play clean-up police, but you wouldn’t want life without them, would you?

    I know everyone will try harder to do his/her own part around here. Maybe you should dock our allowance if we don’t do our part. That works around home for me. :-)

  3. Grace,

    I say to you what I say to Scot McKnight, when he has to discuss “housekeeping” on blog: thank you for inviting us to your table and for the honest conversation you enable…and for holding us accountable for honoring you as host and not disgracing your hospitality.

    The Abbess hates getting out her ruler, as well. 8) I fight the whole thing with three boys who are oblivious to the trail they leave and resist doing their share of chores. I’m hoping to get things better under control before mine pass my height, although they have a ways to go before they’re taller than my 6’6″ husband. :)

    Shalom, sister.

    …it’s the glasses 8)

  4. It seems a proverbial ‘Pandora’s Box’ was unleashed where it had been kept in check for some time?

    I hope my jumping in was not the catalyst. Sorry for my longer-than-average ramblings. I am not a blogger myself. Was steered to your site from Robby Mac’s site that I check out regularly. I tend to be wordy, but that is the way I write…

    Yet this is a good working example of some of the concepts you have touched on in your topics about leadership & Driscoll. Somebody’s got to mind the store. And be the one to make decisions about what post is going to stay & which ones get removed…

    And no, it was not mean-spirited. But it was necessary to keep order & prevent chaos however that is determined by you. You have an idea regarding your blog. A purpose in mind. And all guests need to abide by the implied decorum or else The Enforcer hat must be donned…

    No one that feels strongly about a flattened leadership model & desires to foster healthy, synergetic, godly interaction ever wants to be an enforcer. Most, if not all of us, have the cauliflower ear & misshapen nose from previous encounters with church leaders that subscribe to the “head-lock & drag” model of keeping subordinates in line. The “my-way-or-the-byway” approach to playing follow-the-leader. It is distasteful. And like any adult child of severely dysfunctional parents, no one wishes to become like them…

    I attempted to spark deeper rumination in the topics I addressed. I didn’t mean to unleash a maelstrom of contention or ignite wildly erratic segues off topic. I can be more concise in posting, but then if there is not a “200 word limit” imposed I will easily exceed that… :)

  5. Joseph,
    No, I don’t feel you were the catalyst. I don’t intend to make a habit of deleting comments or imposing strict rules about comments.

    I also don’t want people under the pressure of a word limit. Some things take longer to say. In general, the more concise we can be in getting our point across, the greater likelihood we will be heard. (She says after just publishing a longer-than-average post.)

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