We’re all familiar with the adage, “This is going to hurt me more than it is you.” What are we talking about? Exactly! – applying the board of education to the seat of our children’s pants. When I was a kid and on the receiving end of this parental non-sequitur, I didn’t buy it. I remember being the one who was crying and nursing my wounded butt. I never saw my mom or dad do either, following one of our family bonding times.
However, when I became a parent and assumed my new role as giver instead of receiver, I began to see discipline a tad differently. When my only son, Andy, would misbehave, I’d send him off to his room for 15 minutes with the instruction, “I want you to think about what you just did.” What he didn’t know is that I was the one who needed that de-escalation time to recapture my cool – so I wouldn’t be arrested for murder.
After I had regained my composure, I’d go into Andy’s room and ask for his version of what had just gone down. Usually, he proved largely accurate. Then I’d ask him if he needed to apologize to anyone. Sometimes he’d name a person or two (and when our bonding time was eventually over, we’d follow-through with those apologies).
There was one Person, however, to Whom he always needed to offer an apology; because every offense is first and foremost a sin against God. So, Andy and I would spend the next few moments praying together so he could apologize to God and ask for His forgiveness. Then I’d say to Andy, “Given your offense, what do you think would be fair and equal pain-ishment?” Typically, he’d say he deserved a spanking. I obliged – but always with the sense of hating it! for beyond my disappointment over his misbehavior, I realized He disappointed His Heavenly Father even more.
I discovered early on in parenthood the meaning to, “This is going to hurt me more than it is you.” It’s because of this natural, parental heartache over disciplining our children that leads us, on this otherwise joyful Easter morning, to probe a Biblical passage that often baffles even the sincerest Christian. Why not come out this Resurrection morn to hear more on this subject in a sermon I’ve entitled, “A Delightful Death.”