Thursday, November 12, 2009

Bittersweet Discipline

Since early in our marriage Bill and I have kept special chocolate treats in our bedroom. These decadent treasures have ranged from simple chocolate kisses to extra special dark chocolates. Bill and I like to give these to each other at random moments and often secretly. They're not so much a secret anymore, however.

The girls have known to keep out of this private collection for a long time, now, but the boys have stumbled upon their discovery and had been looting our trove like bandits. So today was no different as I was occupied in another room when I heard a terrible crash. Elizabeth was the first to investigate and let out a shriek. I came into our room and quickly sent both boys to their rooms and asked Elizabeth to make sure that was where they stayed until I was finished. Bill’s tall dresser, which held the chocolates was tipped completely onto its face assuring me what they’d been after. After cleaning up the mess it was remarkable that only one thing had broken, a perfume bottle. Even more surprising was the fact that neither of the boys were hurt in any way.

As I walked to our oldest boy’s room I could hear him sniffling then, as I entered, he wailed, “I’m so sorry, Mommy.” I hugged him close and told him I knew that but what he did was so dangerous that he can’t do it ever again. I told him I had to discipline him and he took it like the little man he is. Afterward he said, “Let’s pray, Mommy.” I held him as he told God he was sorry, that what he did was dangerous, thanking God that no one got hurt, and thankful that I’d disciplined him. He was thankful for the consequence! He is only four years old but in his little tender heart he understands the meaning of correction and that I love him enough to do it. I sat there and cried, at which he started laughing and said, “Don’t cry, Baby” I cried even more and he laughed again and said, “You’re not a baby!” I then went into our youngest son’s room and went through the same process, with slightly different results, but we prayed too. Still too young to appreciate his lesson, like his older brother, but accepting his discipline nonetheless.

I’m left to think about my own heart and how I accept correction. I’m not the most obedient child and I’m not always thankful for God’s discipline. But while the broken bottle of perfume sits on the dresser and fills this room with it’s aroma, I will remember the sweet repentant words of my son and try to follow his example as best I can.


1 comment:

Trinka said...

I'm so thankful you're saving, and savoring, the treasures of your kids' growing-up years. What a precious lesson.