Today I had the funny thought that I have the intelligence and word power to decisively win any argument with my young children. I can show them the weakness of their excuses, and demonstrate (from the Bible no less) how their attitude is a problem and offensive. Because I’m a word lover, I really want to use my words to show my children exactly what’s wrong with their behavior and I’m not afraid to take as much time as needed to convince them. (Gentle mamas, have patience with me!)
And although I could use a very gentle and kind tone, I had the distinct awareness today that my skill in argument would not be gentle or kind. (I credit my husband who has the ability to kindly articulate how it feels to bullied with words. Thank you, husband!)
So when my dear daughter cried and said “I’m not wanted around here” and I started up to explain exactly why such a statement is completely illogical and full of self pity, I checked myself. I asked her why she felt that way. She answered. There’s a little dramatic flair, and she’s a wordy person herself, but in a quick moment of insight I realized that she didn’t need to be forced into repentance. (A forced show of repentance is not repentance.) She just needed a hug and a few words and time to process. I am learning.
And when Jesus saw that he answered wisely, he said to him, “You are not far from the kingdom of God.” Mark 12:34