A big part of raising children is recognizing their fragile frame. They are only children. In our impatience, we can forget that.
One of my favorite passages comes from Psalm 103.
As a father shows compassion to his children,
so the Lord shows compassion to those who fear him.
For he knows our frame;
he remembers that we are dust.
As a father…
We ourselves are but dust. Weak. Sinful. We should show the same compassion toward our own children that God does toward us.
One time, my son lost his temper over a video game. He got so frustrated that I told him it was time to turn it off. He obeyed, but he closed the door to his room and started throwing a fit.
I went in and told him that he couldn’t play that video game tomorrow, because of the fit he was throwing.
This made things worse. He worked himself up so much that he almost got short of breath.
In moments like this, I’m tempted to exercise even more punishment. Pile it on.
But I thought of the times I have lost my own temper. My tantrums might be more “mature,” but they are still tantrums. I have struggled to control my own emotions.
So instead, I asked him what he was feeling. After a few I don’t knows he finally said it. Anger.
What was he feeling it towards? The game. Me.
After he answered these questions, he started to calm down. I told him it was alright to feel angry, but that he could not let it control him. A boy lets his emotions control him. A man is master over his emotions.
Feel them, but control them.
I told him that I knew it was hard. I struggled with the same thing. But I knew he could do it and part of my job was to help him.
I’m glad I didn’t lose my patience with him. I’m glad that I remembered his frame, that he is but dust. As am I.
May we all have more compassion for those put under our care.