After being a Mama for 5 1/2 years now, I feel like I should have been prepared. Prepared with consequences, and the right words, so that I would sail through this confidently. Instead as I am faced with disciplining my oldest this week, I feel like I'm learning right along side of her. I'm not going to embarrass her with details all over the web, I'll just say that the punishment decided upon was this: no activities for 4 days. no television for 4 days. apology letters to those involved. and handwriting practice ("I will not...<insert behavior>"). I do believe that she realizes the seriousness of her "crime".
That was yesterday. So then comes today, and already I have dealt with kids hitting each other two separate times, and a play time outside cut short due to blatant disobedience. Sigh. I should not be surprised. I understand the concept of SIN. Its that pull of SELF above all other considerations. The kids demonstrate it so easily for me...and then I am faced with my own sinful self. For the reality is, I have that SELF issue too. ("For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God" --Romans 3:23) Wanting MY way without regard to others, or to God's will. Wanting time for mySELF, at the expense of other commitments and other people. We are all born into this world with that drive for SELF foremost in us. And, lets call it what it is: SIN.
But we also have GRACE. Grace is unearned. It is pardon for my wrongdoing, and a restoring of relationship. I have received grace from God, through Christ whom I have faith died for ME. And as such, I am also called to extend grace to others. I extend grace through forgiving my children when they are misbehaving, and loving them through the process. It doesn't mean that I won't discipline them. God certainly disciplines me, letting me reap the consequences of poor choices I make, teaching me over and over the lessons I stubbornly refuse to learn. And so I discipline my children, teaching them (I hope) about SIN, and consequences, but also about GRACE. And how grace truly does cover them, restoring their relationship with their mama, and with God. We pray together, and little by little, we learn.
May Grace be with you, today, too.