Minister of Anger
We sat silently in the bedroom, each one of us wondering who would take the first step towards the other. As the parent, I know this is my job. I am to be the one who leads in repentance. I am to be the one who leads in restoring relationship. And yet. And yet, my heart was hard, my feelings were hurt, my pride trounced, my anger in full display. And yet. And yet, his hand reached for mine. His words of repentance preceded and led my own. I’ve heard it said “the the first one to the cross is the one who wins” — that is, the one who initiates reconciliation will experience the peace of repentance and forgiveness first. I believe that. And yet. And yet, so often, I am the one that wants to stay angry. I am the one who wants to prove a point. I am the one who thinks that just a little extra dose of mama anger will solidify the shame he feels and will give me the peace I need to believe he will never do THAT again. I deal in the currency of regret, and he needed to pay.
Jesus our Reconciler
We were His enemies. We hated Him. We were opposed to all He loved and did the exact opposite of everything He asked. And yet. And yet, “in Christ God was reconciling the world to Himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and entrusting to us the message of reconciliation.” (2 Corinthians 5:18) And yet, He didn’t count all of our blundering against us. And yet, He continues to pursue us. Now we are entrusted with this glorious message of reconciliation.
Ministers of Reconciliation
We are the ones who now communicate the reconciliation that can be found in Christ. This remarkably counterintuitive message of reconciliation is ours to pass on to our boys. And yet. And yet, so often I don’t think of discipline as a way to reconcile. But God still decided He isn’t going to count that sin against me.
So now. So now, I pray that the Holy Spirit helps me to look at every time I need to discipline my boys as a way to walk out my calling as a reconciler. That I would point to the cross as the way God has reconciled us to Himself. That my goal would always be to bring my boys close, instead of pushing them away to protect myself or to manipulate them into change. You see, it’s God’s kindness that leads us to repentance. It is His drawing us in when we least deserve it that makes us want to fall into our Heavenly Father’s arms and rest and obey. Reconciling means that all the obstacles that stopped relationship are now defeated by love. As we dwell in how we have been reconciled to our great and holy God, may we learn to love as those who have been loved. May we learn to forgive as those who have been so fully and freely forgiven. And may we lead our boys in reconciliation. May reconciliation be the point of all our discipline, because reconciliation was the point of the cross.