Good Spirited Examples!

I can count the number of times I have had to discipline my kids with our hickory paddle. Just the thought of it terrified all five of them at an early age. And while my children have all been very different with varying qualities and personalities there has been one common, for the most part, with all of them. They love to laugh and be goofy. Of course, there is a time for being serious, and especially when correction is being applied, but even then, the Lord has given my children an oft laughing mindset when they receive correction. Now, this is not always the case, but in small things like, “sit still, be quiet, let’s pay attention” it seems the norm. Abigail, who is four, is the ham of the household and her facial expressions have been causing us to lose all sense of civility since before she was one. 

There is always something to learn from children. Their brutal and innocent honesty is something that we could all learn from, especially in the “Southern Hospitality” belt where we are all cordial, fake and dishonest as we preface our gossip with, “Lord bless his soul…” Something I’ve been learning from my kids is that our discipline is rooted in love, even though it’s not always at the heart of love. We see this in their ability to smile, even when guilty and ashamed for disobedience. Abigail, for instance, has a frown, an angry scowl, and selfish cry, and a broken grimace/smile when she’s very saddened by her sin. It is good to see often though a funny face, not in disrespect but in confidence. She has the confidence to know that while she has made an error in behavior (not rebellious) that the correction she is given is for her good. So, cheerfully she responds with a smile or some weird face that tells us she is taking seriously the instruction, but also overreacting in her expression as if the matter is grave.

 I wanted to share my thoughts and most of all, record them, and this goofy face for posterity. I wish I had journaled more through the years. This picture was taken by my son during a theology class this past Tuesday. She was making a little noise and in the correction, she came back with this face. Then silenced the noise… what in the world are we going to do with this one?  Pray more often for sure. Here’s one from a few years ago…(2016) it will give you the first pushes on the boundaries of actions with daddy.

This scowl turned to hidden tears just by my facial expression. I surely pray that we all would have that same loving sensitivity to the Lord Jesus when we see His word and His spirit shows us our failing. Thankfully, there is truly no condemnation in Christ because He took our guilt and shame. Amen.

“Why do you have four bibles on the table? You don’t have that many eyes!”