On our way back from the park today, my daughter closed the door on her brother when he was trying to grab something from under the seat. He immediately began crying, but my attention was elsewhere.
My vantage point was such that I had seen the look on her face when she shut that door. It was evident she knew exactly what she was doing. She knew her brother wanted something out of the car and she shut the door on him to intentionally keep him from getting it.
I spoke very sharply to her and reproved her for her conscious effort to keep her brother from getting the book out of the car that he wanted. She began to cry. My daughter is very tender-hearted, and I wanted to take advantage of this teachable moment.
As I reflected on the best way to approach this situation on our walk upstairs to the apartment, the Lord graciously brought to mind the Scripture passage that I had opened the morning before.
My child, do not despise the Lord’s discipline
or be weary of his reproof,
12 for the Lord reproves the one he loves,
as a father the son in whom he delights.
And I opened that passage to her and read it to her several times out loud. I discipline her because I love her. I want to help lead and guide her to make choices that honor God and convey her love for others.
It was convicting to this Mom’s heart as well. The Lord reproves those he loves. I am so thankful that the Lord loves me enough to convict me through his Holy Spirit when I am settling for less than His best in my life.
I may have not always made that face my daughter made this morning, but I have hardened my heart toward God when I have wanted to go my own way, when I have doubted that His way is best.
I hope and pray, through God’s abiding presence, that I will live this truth and not just parrot it to my children. That they won’t be empty words but words that pierce me and humble me and drive me to my knees praying that I don’t miss it- that I make the most of every opportunity and let nothing come between me and my precious Savior.
O Lord, drive out those false loves from our lives. Those things that distract us from wholeheartedly and joyfully serving you and loving those around us. Keep our hearts tender to your reproof. Father, open our eyes to see you using all things including discipline to guide us toward the plan and purpose you have for us in this life. Help us not to miss the tasks you have called us to- those that you have planned uniquely for us (Eph. 2:10). Precious Savior, I need you daily- that I might be an example to my children of daily walking and living in obedience- not just paying lip service. Help us to not just be hearers but doers- bringing honor and glory to your Name. In Jesus Name I pray, Amen.