Stunned. I stood there holding my daughter. Her arms gently wrapped around my neck and clung to me, her head buried in my shoulder. She willingly received comfort from me as she cried. Truly a breakthrough!
Sarah had received a punishment from me for disobeying. Being disciplined was no new thing for Sarah in disobedience. However, her reaction was a 180 turn. Normally, upon punishment, Sarah throws a fit, yells angrily, pulls/runs away, or screams the name of the opposite parent(or even Caleb's name) in hopes of being rescued.
Her angry reactions have been difficult and different from parenting the other kids. As long as we disciplined in a godly, right way(yep, we're not perfect : ), our other kids have always melted into our arms after being punished. I'd liken it to owning their "sin" and them accepting the consequence. But with Sarah, no matter how calm, kind, reassuring and firm I have been in delivering her discipline, she has reacted as though I have hurt her unfairly and retreats from me.
To me, it's all about TRUST. When my children completely trust me with their training, well-being and feel whole-heartedly loved, they respond to their discipline with broken yet willing spirits(please keep in mind they aren't so willing and broken before admonishment, hehe). They KNOW I love them and they TRUST that I am correcting in that love. Sarah may struggle with trust "off and on" her whole life but I'm praying she won't. I see victory over her trust/security issues little by little and praising God for this small victory in the area of discipline!
So.... you all know by now, I have to go further than a story about Sarah : ) I am reminded of Hebrews 12:5-11:
"My son, do not regard lightly the discipline of the LORD, nor faint when you are reproved by Him; For those whom the LORD loves He disciplines, and He scourges every son whom He receives....... All discipline for the moment seems not to be joyful, but sorrowful; yet to those who have been trained by it, afterwards it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness."
Woe is my soul when I am far from Him and I turn angrily from His discipline. When I forget His unfailing love and choose unbelief, my heart becomes cold and unresponsive by my skewed perspective of unfairness. I shiver and cower in fear, insecurity and lies from the enemy.
But when I TRUST my Abba, Father and am confident in the knowledge that He loves me, I receive His discipline... broken yet willing. I cry out for comfort from the One who is training my heart for righteousness. I mount up with wings like eagles and gain new strength as I wait for the Lord. "Come, let us return to the Lord. For He has torn us, but He will heal us; He has wounded us, but He will bandage us."Hosea 6:1
Are you TRUSTING God in His discipline? Be encouraged, friends, "HE who began a good work in you is FAITHFUL to complete it until the day of Christ Jesus!"