Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Grace Or Consistency


"It hurts me more than it hurts you."

I have only recently begun to grasp what the true meaning behind this so-often quoted saying is.

It has never really "hurt" me to give consequences before, especially when it was in times of utter frustration and exhaustion.  Sure, I have had my moments when it has really been sad, but not to the point where it actually "hurt" me.

But last week it did.

I think I've realized a pattern in the "hurt".  The "hurt" comes when you want so desperately to give grace just one more time but the best thing for the child is your consistency, even if it hurts.

Areyna was really dragging her feet during school.  I kept telling her that she was going to be working a lot longer than Zeke and that all the other kids would be playing outside while she sat doing her school work.  By the time she finally got motivated it was lunch time...and then all the other kids wanted to go outside.  Areyna sat back down to finish up her work until she realized that she was the only one left inside.  She came running to ask if she could finish her work later so she could play outside with her siblings.  It would have been so easy to just let it go this time and let her go play, but I KNEW that if she stopped now the reality of her actually finishing her work was pretty much non-existent.  I also knew that I've threatened before and not followed through, which is probably why she hadn't learned her lesson yet.  So, now it was my turn to stick to my guns and stay consistent.  It really hurt to have to tell her that she had to finish her work before going outside to play as she said, "but I feel left out" through sobs and tears.  My heart actually hurt.

The balance between giving grace and being consistent in parenting is hard.

Especially when your child is the one who tells you, "but God ALWAYS gives us grace!", ha!

Ultimately it is God's grace in our own lives that illuminates that fine line.
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