By Kelli Artherton
Iron first chisel stony hearts, but graceful hands shape responsive hearts.
This phrase pulls at my heart strings every time I see it. It seems in days past we would hear the phrase “rule with an iron fist” when learning lessons on parenting. But, if you think about it, what does it really say? What does it say to our children? Does is say we need to be harsh, or cruel or stern?
Yes, we need to discipline our children, but we need to do it in a graceful way. As parents we often forget that our children are immature. We expect them to act and behave a certain way. We expect them to never have bad days. Do you have bad days? Yes, quite often sometimes. So, it should be ok for our children to also have bad days, right?
Well, it seems society expects our children to be perfect and never mis-behave. Yes, they need to know right from wrong, but let’s face it, sometimes our kids are just having a bad day. Even as adults we place unreasonable expectations on ourselves, friends and families.
Often our anger can lead to sinful behaviors of impatience, rudeness, or harsh punishments. I know I don’t respond well to these actions, so why would our children respond well to these behaviors?
I, too, can sometimes lose my temper with my children, but I am often reminded when I see their sweet face, that I need to be slow to anger as it states in James chapter 1 vs 19-20 it says “my dear brothers and sisters, take note of this; be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry because human anger doesn’t produce the righteousness that God desires.”
Dear Heavely Father, I truly pray to see my children the way you see all your children. I pray to run alongside them and be their biggest cheerleader. I pray to be slow to anger and quick to listen, I pray to replace my anger with mercy and grace. May we all be more like you. In Jesus’ name we pray, amen!