A Matter of Life and Death

a matter of life and deathPost originally featured on Vox Dei Publishing

Yet again, here we sat at the kitchen table, tears streaming down her face. Regardless of how many times we went over the math rule, my daughter simply could not grasp what she was to do. I would show her a problem, work it with her and then ask her to try the next equation alone. The more I attempted to explain the concept to her, the more aggravated we both became.

Why was this so hard?

Instead of taking a moment and stepping away from the math lesson, I continued to try and explain what she needed to do. My daughter placed her head on the kitchen table and began sobbing. The harder she cried, the harsher my tone turned. Before I realized it, I was yelling.

Pointing at her textbook, I harshly asked, “Why are you making this so hard? It’s a simple rule. I know you can do it. Try harder.”

I am not proud of that particular mom/teacher moment I just shared but I believe it is a moment many of us parents have experienced in some form. Maybe your temper do not flare during a math lesson, but your child does something he/she knows is not right yet they do it anyway. Many times instead of tempering the stressful situation with grace and love, our flesh comes out and we tear them down instead of build them up.

Our tongue is a powerful thing- used for construction or destruction.

When I calmed down, I went to my daughter and tried to justify why I had raised my voice. “I push you because I know what you are capable of. That is why I get so aggravated.” Even as I write my words, I see that it was such a lame excuse.

I half-heartedly apologized to my daughter, still feeling justified in why the situation escalated in the first place. My daughter turned to me and said, “Mom, your words are so harsh sometimes. It makes my heart sad.”

God humbled me that day.

As parents, we can justify what we say as motivation or tough love, but it is simply a matter of life and death………



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