She had broken a family rule. It wasn’t anything major; just a solid guideline to help in this thing called growing up. But still…she had disobeyed.
Now, my normal parenting style is to be very clear about the broken rule; delivering the news most of the time with a stern and heavy hand. (That’s not a good thing! I’m learning that I need more compassion and to listen!) You see, my thinking has been if I don’t communicate in that way, the child won’t take me seriously; won’t know that I really mean what I am saying. Plus, I have a firm belief that those who don’t learn to obey their parents don’t learn to obey God. Yet as I looked at her, a different thought came to mind. “Leave her alone”. Hmmmm….was it me or was it God?
Two days have come and gone. I still haven’t address the issue; haven’t felt that the time or setting have been right. Then this morning it came to me. (Isn’t the Holy Spirt amazing? Those daily prayers for wisdom He is faithful to answer!) Memories of my own early days of walking with the Lord came to my mind. “How did you come to me, Lynn? Was it through My “heavy hand” or was it through my kindness; My drawing you to love me?” I began to remember the many times in my life when the Lord has gently pointed out to me when I have been headed in the wrong direction and He lead me back to Himself. I remembered a verse I had read recently in my time with Him, “Don’t you see how wonderfully kind, tolerant, and patient God is with you? Does this mean nothing to you? Can’t you see that his kindness is intended to turn you from your sin?” Romans 2:4 NLT
Just as He has used kindness to draw me in the right direction, I can use kindness to draw my child. I once heard “Rules without relationship produce rebellion”; I know the truth of this one all too well.
So, I wait. I wait for His prompting that now is the time and the place to lovingly confront. For someone like me who likes to get things out in the open and not have unfinished business, this is hard! I didn’t want my child to go to school today without having it “all taken care of”. That’s when I have to tell myself, “It’s not about you; it’s about her. It’s about Jesus and doing it His way; the right way.”
Lord, You have given me so much more than law; You have given me life. Intimacy with You has produced within me a love that wants to serve You; that wants so much to please you because I love you so! Please help me to learn from Your lead; from Your perfect example. Powerful kindness is the best teacher. Amen!