Monday, May 13, 2013

The Way I Loved You //

As your sister and teacher I've given out some tough love.
You call them helpful beat-downs. We both know there's a time and place for correction, to address bad behavior, but when correction happens all the time you get a negative result rather than a positive one. I need to work on that. It's hard. Hard to know what battles to fight with you. Hard to put aside my gut reaction of frustration or disapproval long enough to choose careful words, timely and loving, if correcting, words. Hard not to address every issue, try to deal with every problem. Hard to not give up or zone out or just walk away.

The hardest thing of all is to compliment though. To encourage. To praise. Why is that? Pride? Selfishness? Both? Probably. It's hard to put aside my need to be proven right, hard to choose to not respond the way you think I will and possibly lose some authority with you. This is not fun to face, to recognize in myself. I really do want what's best for you. I want to shape you and influence you toward a life of humility, selflessness, joy, mercy and love. Often things I must correct in you are things I'm so prone to do myself -- like not responding with joyful obedience or complaining. I hope you have grace for me, hope I've demonstrated grace for you so you know how it looks. Our snuggles and smiles and hugs hours after confrontations and disputes suggest we know grace. 

Correction and discipline are important to life, but I want to rejoice in the good that you do -- not come to enjoy the satisfaction of justice upon getting you for your wrongs. I am incredibly aware of my short comings in this area. I want to do the right thing and in spite of that, I don't. Truly I am insufficient. I am entirely dependent upon the Sufficient One. When I respond with grace, with humility, with mercy, with love -- even tough love -- that's all Jesus. 

You are a good boy, a smart boy, a strong boy, a boy to respect and think highly of. I love you, flaws and mistakes and all. 
That's the way Jesus loves you. 

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