Thursday, September 10, 2009

Loving Mercy

Lately God has been showing me the truth in Micah 6:8. I am a disciplinarian. It's how I was raised. I see things very much as black or white - wrong or right. While this worked great with my kids when they were little, as they get older, the stubborn streak they inherited from both parents (as well as a sin nature!) balks against a heavy hand. My husband is much more gentle, patient, and teaching with them. And it shows as they get older, and start to prefer his company over mine. Boy, does that hurt!

God works with us all of our lives, molding us into the image of His Son, the Bible says. What he has been teaching me of late is to love mercy. Today's Proverb dealt with this as well. Training up a child doesn't always mean pinching off every flaw and tiny mark of sin. Sometimes it means gently guiding, having the patience to allow the child to come to the right conclusion in their own time, and not forcing your own "perfect will" on the emerging "plant".

Think of a garden. How well would our plants grow if every time we saw a bug infestation on them, we trampled the spout while killing the bugs? Or how sickly would the plant be if we were constantly pinching off any weak or unsightly new growth before it had a chance to correct itself? Part of this is having the faith in God and His Word, that you have sown the right seeds. You have watered, and weeded, and now it is time to step back a little...not completely. The plants may still need to be tied to stakes, powdered for mildew, or picked up if a windstorm knocks them over. But a plant that is never allowed to stand on it's own, will never be strong.

What does this have to do with loving mercy? Mercy is not giving someone what they have rightly deserved. Does your child deserve a punishment for breaking a house rule? Yes. Do they know the rules? Yes. Did they break them? Yes. But instead of a harsh hand, I am watching my husband get real results with a quiet talk, and if the action is apologized for and repented of, showing them mercy.

"WHAT!?!?" I thought. "No punishment! No consequences!? Isn't that sending the wrong message that they can do wrong and get away with it?!?!" Until my husband gently reminded me of all the things I had done wrong to him...and he forgave and showed mercy in. I have a good man. And a good God to teach me, that sometimes, I lack in showing mercy.

Finally, (I have noticed this is a pattern with me) a song (surprise!) came to mind. It is a song that my husband actually taught me twenty years ago in Bible college. Micah 6:8 "He hath shewed thee, O man, what is good; and what doth the LORD require of thee, but to do justly, and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with thy God? " You can hear it here: CLICK

1 comment:

Billie Murphy said...

Wow, Jess! You are a terrific writer. I love this. I am still praying for your family and I know that all these things will work together for good....Love you!