As a mom, I have the tendency to error on the side of grace. I could write a hundred different posts about living out grace to my children, and showing them the power of forgiveness. After all, I myself often am in need of much grace.
But, the truth is sometimes discipline is what is required.
I’m not going to write pretending like I’m an expert in discipline or that I know the best way, because the truth is I don’t. I have struggled with this. I struggle with this today.
Many days, it would be more pleasant for me to pretend like I didn’t hear that hateful comment, or see that act of disobedience.
Many days, it would be easier for me just to pick up the toys myself rather than fighting with a stubborn 3 year old every single day until it’s complete.
Many days, it would be less stressful to just let my kids run around like crazy people, not caring what they did or said.
Many days, it would be more convenient to avoid the stares and judgment and just give in to my toddler’s demands rather than standing my ground at the grocery store
As a parent who loves my children I don’t WANT to discipline them.
BUT I also want them to grow up to be responsible adults. I want them to be people who understand that their choices and actions have consequences. I want them to know that in life, the messes that are made have to be cleaned up. I want them to understand that they will always have an authority to answer to. I want them to be respectful, and helpful.
BUT, still I don’t WANT to discipline them. In fact, I dread it.
As I look to my heavenly Father, I see the greatest example of parenthood.
A love that is never failing. Grace that abounds. Forgiveness that never ends. AND… sometimes, discipline.
Sometimes, as our Father, He has allows us to deal with the consequences of our actions and choices… and I’m sure He doesn’t WANT to either. I’m sure He would much rather us just make the right choice to begin with, do what is obedient, much as I wish my kids would. I’m sure He too dreads watching us go through the difficult times of consequence, yet He knows through it we will grow. We will be refined. We will become the people He has designed us to be.
I am so grateful that He NEVER gives us the true discipline or punishment that we deserve. There is ALWAYS grace flowing.
Sometimes, as a parent, love means doing the thing we dread. The hard thing, the inconvenient thing. NOT because we want to. BUT, because we know it’s what will be of the biggest benefit for our children long term.
So, on those days, when I just WISH my kids would behave.
On those days when I dread placing a screaming kicking toddler in time out over and over and over again because they refuse to be obedient.
On those days, when it feels like my mommy heart can’t take any more.
I may have to discipline… because I love.
Hebrews 12:11 “For the moment all discipline seems painful rather than pleasant, but later it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it.”
Proverbs 29:17 “Discipline your son, and he will give you rest; he will give delight to your heart.”