Illustration: Parents

Melvin Newland tells the story about comedian Jerry Clower, whose son was the field goal kicker for his high school football team. One day, his son had a chance to kick the goal that would give his team the lead and perhaps win the game, but the kick went wide of the goal.

A man about four rows from Jerry began heckling loudly. "Who is that kicker anyway? He couldn't hit the broad side of a barn with a football." He went on and on, ridiculing Jerry's son.

Clower said, "I took all of it I could, and then I made my way through the crowd, sat down next to that guy, looked him right in the eye, and said, 'You need to thank Jesus that you're still alive.' The guy said, 'What do you mean?' I answered, 'That's my son you're ridiculing, and the only reason you're not dead right now is because I'm a Christian, and Jesus won't let me kill you.'" (Sermon: "A Model for Mothers")