I am constantly instructing. My days are spent reading, correcting, teaching and playing with my children. It can be exhausting on those days where a particular little boy insists on whining and disobeying. Every mother knows what I am talking about. You can give a crystal clear command and know that your child understands only to have that child not follow through with the command and then become an emotional mess when the consequence comes. And I wonder, "Every time he does this particular thing, he knows what is going to happen. He knows he will be disciplined. Why does he do it anyway?" And then I am reminded of how often I do the same thing. I know what God's Word says about a particular thing and yet I disobey. And then I get upset when faced with the natural consequences of my actions. My Heavenly Father is so patient with me and patient I must be with my own son.
Thursday, July 29, 2010
Yesterday Owen got out of bed after I tucked him in. I have very little tolerance for this. It is direct disobedience and he knows it. Last night I had less tolerance and less patience than normal. He first said he needed a drink, then he wanted his sheet off. He knows that once he is put into bed he may not get out for any reason so I did not let him have a drink nor did I fix his sheet. Still, a few minutes later, the door opened and I snapped, "Get back into bed!!!" His mouth dropped (he is not accustomed to being spoken to harshly) and he immediately ran back to his bed where he began to loudly cry. My children share a room and even though Aubrey normally sleeps through Owen's noises I was upset because Owen knows not to make loud noises when Aubrey is sleeping. So I marched into the room, grabbed Owen and brought him back to the living room. It only took me that short walk to realize that I was wrong for being so angry. I sat Owen down and decided I should not discipline him because I was so emotionally charged. I calmly explained to him how wrong it was for him to choose to get out of bed after he was put into bed. He wrapped his arms around my neck and through tears he said, "I'm so sorry, Mommy! I'm sorry for my bad attitude." That single statement in that single moment pierced me with conviction. Owen did not have a bad attitude. He was being disobedient and making wrong choices. The one with the bad attitude was ME! He was doing what sinners do. And though he needed to be corrected and disciplined I was also in sin by the way I responded. I hugged him back and told him that I was wrong. I asked him to forgive me for my attitude and my impatience. He completely understood and told me he forgave me. Even this morning he recalled last night's events and told me how he disobeyed and how I "yelled." (I didn't yell, but I did speak harshly. To him, it's all the same).
I'm thankful for the grace that God extends to me. I need it every single day. And today I'm focusing on extending that grace to others as well, even those in my family.