The Goodness of God’s Discipline

A piece published on The Glorious Table

The other day I wrote something I was really proud of. Then, because no adults were around to share it with, I decided to read the piece to my children. At the ages of three and seven, they’re a little young to really understand, but I hoped a little bit of what I thought God had given me to share with others might bless them as well. It was kind of a neat moment as I started the process of sharing this “new writing thing Mommy’s been doing.”

You know what I did about an hour after that? I yelled at my kids.

Ugh.

We were getting ready for bed when that all-too-volatile Mama is tired and the kids are squirrely combination resulted in two sharp-tongued shots across the bow. The words were common, but the tone was not: “Brush your teeth, and get—your—pajamas—on!” Their tiny faces crumpled immediately, and tears flowed along with a double assessment: Mom is being mean.

After a bit more stomping about (mine, not theirs), I cooled down and apologized for using my “grumpy voice.” I kissed their little heads, told them I loved them, put them to bed, and then fell in a heap of regret on the couch, where eventually I drifted off to the sound of some forgettable movie.

I woke a few hours later, alone in the lamplight, and I figured I ought to wander to bed. Since it was after midnight, I realized a new “verse of the day” would be up on my Bible app. Somewhat absently, I opened it on my way down the hall. To say it was timely would be a drastic understatement.

If I speak in the tongues of men or of angels, but do not have love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. (1 Corinthians 13:1 NIV)

Ouch.

I stood there in my bedroom, illuminated by the light of my phone, mouth agape in awe of how directly I was being disciplined. It didn’t matter how eloquently I had written only hours before. And it definitely didn’t matter that I had shared it with my children, because any beauty that might have been in those words had been wiped out by the clanging cymbal of my tired, impatient mouth.

Head on over to The Glorious Table to read the rest.

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