“First she wrecked my toys, now she has my favourite cup!” my almost 5 year old shrieked. It had been a long morning already – and it had only just begun. Feeling forgotten and frustrated, she sat on the floor and wailed.
I turned from my important task, walked across the room, sat down on the floor beside her and pulled her onto my lap, arms around her tight.
“I love you. I see you,” I said quietly between her sobs. Her body relaxed and she poured out her heart. It was a moment we both would have missed if I hadn’t paid attention.
Truthfully, I don’t always catch on to their cries to be seen and held. Sometimes when they upset my apple cart of plans and goals for that very moment, I react instead of respond. But I am learning that when my kids are pushing away from me, that’s when I need to stop what I am doing, and draw near to them.
Anyone else find it easier to lecture than to love? Love requires more than my words. Lecturing postures me above them, wagging my finger and my tongue, hoping it will somehow change their behaviour; love puts me beside them, holding and comforting, offering security and safety. Lecturing can be done from across the room; love demands the nearness of my actual presence. Lecturing leaves lingering guilt; love brings restoration.
Jesus, silence my lecturing tongue and let your amazing love flow through me today to these precious ones in my care.