Harsh and Gentle

joao-silas-700241-unsplash.jpgI was recently reading something that I disagree with. It said that no one ever admits fault when confronted with wrong doing even if the one confronting them is right. The writer made a strong case for his claim, and I followed him, but as a parent I have to strongly disagree.

I love my daughter dearly, and I’m the first to admit here in front of millions that I am harsh at times with her. She has a gentle obedient spirit, and I do not want to squash that, but as her dad it would be unloving to look the other way when she crosses the line.

We all cross the line. I just admitted a line I frequently cross, and I’m trying not to cross it. Love is a funny thing. As a Christian I believe firmly there is not greater thing we do or are that isn’t rooted in love. It’s the first fruit of the Spirit (Galatians 5). Paul dedicated an entire chapter about love to the church in Corinth. How many times have you heard, “God is love?” I’d guess a plethora of times. If you read on in Galatians 5 you’ll soon see that gentleness and kindness are listed after love. Those two things have monopolized my thinking for weeks now. Our world is a hate filled and judgemental place that desperately needs more love, gentleness and kindness. I want to be a conduit for those three things, but alas the paradox I wrote about above produces a quandary.

I cannot not speak up when wrong doing happens, especially when it pertains to the training of my daughter. I want to be gentle. I want to be kind. I also want to be loving, but if I don’t speak up when someone I love is doing something harmful to themselves or others then I really don’t love.

And I know that the Holy Spirit guides me in these arenas. I must spend quiet time with my Father who gives me insight into how this must be done. He knows what it should look like. His power is sufficient enough to guide me as I hold in check my sinful nature and my spiritual nature.

As someone who’s heart is still soft after years of being in a dark world I know He’s never given up on me. I will never give up on my daughter. I will never give up on my wife. I will never turn my back on the God Who knit me together in my mother’s womb.

Will I sin? That’s a dumb question. By the way, there are dumb questions. Will I be harsh with my daughter. It will probably happen today I’m sad to admit, but I will apologize, she will forgive me, and we will try again.

That’s the amazing thing about our Father’s limitless reserves for when we cross the line. He doesn’t get hungry or tired, and as a Being who was completely human for 33 years He is more than familiar with my struggle.

May His name be praised in all the earth and heavens, and may our world turn to Him in the saddest and happiest of times.

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