Here’s another parent-child dialogue in the on-going Little One series. This is a made-up scenario which is speaks into situations which often emerge in families. I pray that it help you get a grip on how to work through these things and bless your family.
I know I upset you today and I upset you yesterday too. You may feel like I’m always upsetting you. So let’s have a little talk about all that and see if we can sort it all out.
Yesterday you became really upset with me because I said “No” to something you wanted. You felt hurt and disappointed and you saw me as the one who made you unhappy.
Then today I rebuked you for your bad mood and I became cross with you. Now you are feeling even more upset with me. You are sure that you would be happier if I wasn’t in your life.
That makes me very sad, and it makes God sad too. So it’s very important that we sort this all out. I think we have both been wrong in the way we handled this and so I want to apologise to you. Let’s work through this whole mess and clear all these bad feelings up.
Yesterday you asked for something that you were very excited about. Although it sounds exciting to you, I know, as your daddy, that this is not good for you. It’s one of those sugar-coated traps which people think will make them happy but which bring problems into their life. Because I love you and it is my job to protect you, I had to say “No” to your request.
You felt upset because I refused the thing you were looking forward to. This is called “hope deferred”. Your hope was frustrated and that made you feel sad on the inside. However, as you grow, you will have many times when the things you want and look forward to are blocked in some way. You need to trust God and learn to enjoy what you have, whether it is everything you want or none of the things you want.
You also need to forgive the people who upset you, whether they were being mean or even being good in their actions. So, you need to forgive me for upsetting you and disappointing you.
God has your life under control and He is ready to give you every lovely blessing. First, however, you need to trust your heart to Him, and do what is right.
Because you didn’t do that yesterday you stayed in a bad mood. You even tried to be surly and to make me unhappy by your attitudes. What you were really doing was trying to punish me for making you unhappy. The Bible teaches us that we are not to punish people, but to let God do that. If what I did was wrong it is up to God to sort that out. It is not your job to try to punish me by your actions or attitudes.
I became annoyed at your bad attitude and I became more and more frustrated with you. I also felt upset that I couldn’t deal with the problem properly. And so I became cross with you. I shouted at you and upset you even more.
I have been praying about what happened and God has shown me that I was wrong. I saw your bad attitude and did not deal with it properly. I just became more and more annoyed. What I am supposed to do is to discipline you properly and without any bad attitudes in my heart. I am supposed to smack you when you disobey me and upset God. Instead I decided not to discipline you, since I had already upset you. But that only led to more problems.
I then became frustrated, annoyed and angry with you. And so I rebuked you and shouted at you, out of anger and not out of love. I ask you to forgive me for being angry and annoyed and for not disciplining you properly.
We both have things to learn as we go along. God is raising you into a person who is mighty in spirit and who will go and do His will in ways I could never imagine. God is also challenging me about my compromises and the weaknesses in my heart that lead me away from His perfect wisdom. So, together, we are growing into maturity and victory.
I’m going to pray with you now, helping you to ask God to forgive you for not trusting Him and for not giving your problem to Him. I’ll also get you to make sure you have properly forgiven me and anyone else who has annoyed you.
I have told God that the next time something like this happens, that I will follow His instructions and give you the discipline He prescribes, rather than being too weak to do what is right. You won’t like that, but it will bring the best fruit in us both.
I love you. I thank God that He placed you in my family and gave me the challenge to do what is right. You are destined to become one of the great servants of God in the whole earth. My job is to follow God’s instructions, because I love Him and I love you, so that you don’t end up unprepared, or weak, like I am. I want you to become a much better person than I am; one who is able to follow God faithfully and fearlessly, without the compromises which mess up my life.
Let’s pray together and tell God we are ready to take the journey that’s ahead of us.