I can clearly read the shame and embarrassment that's written across his face, and it breaks my heart. I'm the one who made him feel that way. I caused his shame.
I'm frustrated that I treated him the way I did; flying off the handle and berating him for such a small misstep. I'm also frustrated that sometimes I go days without leaving our house and the walls start feeling like they're closing in around me. My existence is solely necessary for chores like folding laundry, cooking dinner, and sweeping the perpetually-dirty kitchen floor three times a day. The days are long and every sentence uttered by my little boy grates against me like fingernails on a chalkboard. Every toy I trip over makes my blood boil and little bit hotter.
I beat myself up for losing my temper. What kind of mom treats their kids this way? I'm supposed to be disciplining him out of grace, not anger or frustration.
I'm overwhelmed because I've got too many irons in the fire and I don't have a handle on one of them. When I tally my successes and failures, one column is noticeably fuller than the other. I'm losing at my own game, and every day I find myself slipping further behind.
My house isn't clean. The church work isn't done. The bills need to be paid. Paperwork needs filled out. Children need to be fed, clothed, cleaned up after, loved. And I've failed at all of it.
I lay in bed at night and wonder what I accomplished that day. What should I have accomplished that day? I dream of a week to myself- not to take a vacation somewhere beautiful, but to spend focused on my work that needs done so that I can be caught up.
I feel ashamed of my lack of control over the situation. I feel guilty for being such a screw up. I convince myself that any idiot with half a brain could handle what I need to do. What's so wrong with me?
Another day passes and doesn't live up to my great expectations. I begrudgingly trudge up the stairs to help Trevor put the kids to bed. I slather lotion all over Aidan to protect him from the winter's dryness before he jumps into his jammies. He picks the books he wants to read, and Daddy reads the story of David (Aidan's favorite). My little booger jumps into bed and I snuggle with him in the dark while we talk about what lies ahead when dawn breaks in the morning.
As Aidan drifts off to sleep I lean over and kiss him goodnight. He looks up to me with heavy eyelids and whispers "Thanks for staying with me while Daddy's at work, Mommy."
Maybe I'm not such a bad mom after all.
A good parent will model the way they treat their children after how God treats us. Does God discipline us? yes. Does He condemn us and humiliate us because of our sin? no.
I know the difference in Aidan's face between humiliation and repentance.
There's a difference between condemnation and conviction.
Thank God that He offers correction to us as we grow in Him. Thank God that He doesn't condemn us in our sin and leave us with no hope.
God did not send his Son into the world to condemn it, but to save it.Condemnation is hopeless. It's a scarlet letter labeling one as a failure. It's self-hatred.
So now there is no condemnation for those who belong to Christ Jesus.
Conviction is the realization of wrong. It brings correction. It brings us to repentance. It provides hope and a solution.
Condemnation says "the wages of sin is death" and it stops right there.
Conviction continues, "but the free gift of God is eternal life through Christ Jesus our Lord." (Rom 6:23) There's hope in God's discipline.
And have you entirely forgotten the encouraging words God spoke to you, his children? He said, "My child, don't ignore it when the Lord disciplines you, and don't be discouraged when he corrects you.Evaluate your situation. Are you living a hopeless life trudging through the mire of condemnation? Or are you allowing God to speak to your heart and bring you to repentance in the areas of your life that need change?
For the Lord disciplines those he loves, and he punishes those he accepts as his children."
As you endure this divine discipline, remember that God is treating you as his own children. Who ever heard of a child who was never disciplined?
If God doesn't discipline you as he does all of his children, it means that you are illegitimate and are not really his children after all.
Since we respect our earthly fathers who disciplined us, should we not all the more cheerfully submit to the discipline of our heavenly Father and live forever?
For our earthly fathers disciplined us for a few years, doing the best they knew how. But God's discipline is always right and good for us because it means we will share in his holiness.
No discipline is enjoyable while it is happening--it is painful! But afterward there will be a quiet harvest of right living for those who are trained in this way.
I'm going to work harder at allowing the Holy Spirit to work in me making the necessary changes. I'm going to try to let go of the self-hatred that ties me down and start living.
I'm going to focus on reaping the "quiet harvest of right living" that comes with accepting the loving discipline of the Father.
I'll let you know how it goes.