When Kindness is Uncomfortable – Week 3

“The Lord your God is with you, the Mighty Warrior who saves. He will take great delight in you; in his love he will no longer rebuke you, but will rejoice over you with singing. Zephaniah 3:17 (NIV)

When our children were little, our discipline had a pattern. When they disobeyed, we would spank, put them in a time out or whatever we felt would correct the behavior. Then when the punishment was over, we would take them in our arms, reassure them we loved them and life would get back to normal.

But what happens as they get older? Sometimes even stronger or bigger than us?

We stop.

We still discipline.

But those moments of loving kindness after the discipline no longer happens.

I think we’re missing it.

We need to extend kindness to our child for our child’s sake. They still need that reassurance that no matter what they have done, our love for them is unconditional. It is never, ever based on their actions.

We need to extend that kindness to our child for our sake. Just the act of a hug or a kiss helps to heal the wound.

Just as Zephaniah 3:17 says God ceases to rebuke, taking great delight in us. We need to copy Him, showing loving kindness to those we have had to rebuke.

I fell in that trap of parting ways when upset and angry with one of my children. Now, as I am trying to change this pattern and mend our ways, it’s uncomfortable. She pushes me away when I try to hug. Asks me to stop when I rub her back.

But I won’t.

Though we are both uncomfortable for a season, like God, I want to show my girl that I do rejoice over her…even if it takes awhile to get it all worked out again.



  1. Oh my…this one makes me cry. I so know the pain that can separate. Being rejected by our beloved daughters is a pain unlike most others. It penetrates deep. And it can be easier to cut them off, thereby cutting off our pain. But I am so very grateful for your reminder to love despite the rejection, anger, fighting. Just this morning, I went to my daughter, sitting at her computer, and I said, “I love you so much.” Then gave her a hug and a kiss. Her reaction was mildly surprised and my love was received with some reservation…but I’m going to keep offering my love. I know from experience with my older girls, this too shall pass. Bless you on your journey raising your older kids and for being willing to be so transparent.

  2. I certainly hope this doesn’t come across wrong…but it’s good to know someone who has such good advice and even wrote a book sometimes struggles with the challenges of parenthood. I reflect on my actions sometimes and just cringe. It’s good to know even you “pros” are working it out also. Thanks for all of your input in this process of raising kids.

    1. Lynn Cowell says:

      Ohhh Lynn! Trust me! My kids are very human…and so am I! To protect their privacy, I can’t share all the struggles we have, but just want you to know, I’m not up in the tower telling you how to do it, I’m down in the field working it with you!

  3. Loan Nguyen says:

    You are a good mom ~ it takes a lot of courage & strength to continue to love through rejection.

    From a daughter’s point of view – The day my mom finally said “I wish I hadn’t treated you that way; I’m so sorry” broke my heart in a good way, and helped me to stop wondering when she might hurt me again. So keep your chin up! It will be worth it!

  4. i’m in. its scary when they shun away and do not want to speak. they think they know what you will say. thank God for his Spirit we continue to speak to them. i have 3 girls 2 at high school and the other primary level also growing very fast. thank you

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