Many of you readers are aware of the lessons I’ve been learning through my son Jude.
He has been learning and growing in intellect so much over the past six months. As a father, my relationship with Jude has caused me to consider my relationship with our Heavenly Father on numerous occasion.
The other night, Jude once again opened my eyes to new understanding of the Father.
Last week, my son had a particularly rough day. He was driving my wife nuts with his behavior and disobedience. By the time I got home, she was at the end of her rope. Through dinner and that evening, it was becoming clear to me that sadly, tonight might be a spanking night.
Sure enough, it came soon after we had completed our bedtime routine. He kept getting out of bed and coming out of his bedroom when he was supposed to be sleeping. So, the inevitable was about to take place.
As I got off the couch and walked to his room, he was already shouting “No Dad, no!” He obviously knows the difference in my face (and walk) between ‘Tuck-Me-In‘ Dad and ‘Here Comes a Spankasaurus Rex‘ Dad.
As I sat on the bed and asked him to come to me, he was full of tears begging me to reconsider. Reluctantly, he came to me and received what he had been working towards all day long. In hide-sight, we probably gave him far too many chances and made the situation worse. (Tough call sometimes.)
After the spanking, he of course went straight to bed and stayed there. I closed his door and went back to the living room. As I have occasionally done before, after ten minutes, I felt it necessary to go back and see how he was doing. Previous to this episode, he’s usually happy to see me. We have a little cuddle and back to bed. This was not the case this time!
As I entered the room, the light from the hallway pierced the dark room. Through dim light, I could see that his back was turned to me and he remained still as I stepped into the room. At first, I thought he was sleeping. As I knelt down by his bed, I could see that he still had a few tears running down his cheeks. I thought this was strange since I had left him ten minutes previous.
I put my face close to his and asked, “Are you okay son?”
His lips turned downward, began to cry again and said “No.”
“Are you sorry?” I asked.
After this question, he buried his face in his pillow, crying slightly harder. It was at this point that I realized that this was a pivotal moment in my son’s maturity. This was the first moment that I can recall, where he felt genuine shame and remorse for his behavior.
As any parent would be, my heart was immediately broken. I hugged him and explained that I didn’t like spanking him, but it was necessary for him to learn. As I continued to reassure him (in kid terms) that he was forgiven, his head started to raise and his eyes started to smile. Soon enough, he was full of joy and we prayed together before I left the room.
As I closed the door and made my way back to the living room, I realized how drastically the parenting game had just changed! I told my wife what had happened and how I was feeling. I also told her to remind me to always go back to him after a spanking, from now on.
If the desire for restoration is that deeply evident, why would I ever withhold it from him? It’s with this thought that I once again come back to our Heavenly Father.
Temptation and our sinful desires pull us down and cause us to make foolish decisions. These decisions to sin through word or deed, or even of the heart, carry us away from seeking the Father’s approval. This rebellious disobedience has with it, consequences that brings us pain and strife. This pain and strife causes us to look back to the Father, but then the awareness of our wrongs hits us like a tonne of bricks.
It’s at this point, that some of us may turn away, continuing to rebel for a season, like there’s no use in trying. Alternately, some of us may take the best approach, and metaphorically run back to Him with open arms.
However, for many of us, when we become aware of our sin, and the shame and remorse falls down upon us; we often do as Jude did. We hide our faces from Him, motionless. Surely, we dare not continue to sin and yet we’re frozen by regret, unable to run back to the Father. Why do we not run back to the Father?
What helped to bring you back to the Father, the last time you felt shame and remorse?