“Grace was given to each one of us according to the measure of Christ’s gift” Ephesians 4:7 ESV
Sometimes I’m looking for a place where I could just scream out everything that I really wanted to say to a group of loving people who would give me a High Five! And, then… grab me by the shoulders, look me in the face, and say, “Feel better? Good. Now, take a deep breath, and get back to it.”
That’s pretty much how I feel when my children come home from visiting with their other parent.
Our family is truly a blended family – I have 2 daughters from my first marriage, 4 children from my second marriage and my Knight has 3 children … all 9 of them live in our home. Our visitation arrangements are crazy and pretty much mean that somebody is returning to our home every weekend. We celebrate homecoming with a family dinner every Sunday night. It’s loud and fun and we just give up on taking turns talking.
But then …..
Bedtime is different than at that other house.
I left my favorite blanket at Dad’s.
Can I call Mom just to tell her good-night?
I *hate* sharing a room!
I don’t want to sleep alone – can I sleep in your bed?
Homework? No, Mom didn’t want me to do homework on her time.
Chores? I do EVERYTHING around here!!!
The list can go on and on and on. And some nights it does …. for hours.
Martin and I implemented something called the 24-hour rule in our home just after we were married. It’s really a “rule” for ourselves…. a reminder. These children have been outside of our care and influence and it just takes time for them to get back into the swing of things.Depending on the time away, sometimes this phase lasts longer than 24 hours. Our expectations are always the same but their reactions to our “rules” are often more emotional (angry and/or tearful) and that’s when we choose to show mercy. It’s not easy! I can quickly grow weary of repeating myself when it comes to a certain child’s “addiction” to everything electronic and another child’s eye-rolling, back-talking attitude. And then I’m reminded …
“The Lord is not slow to fulfill his promise as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing that any should perish, but that all should reach repentance.” 2 Peter 3:9 ESV
Father God is patient with me in His discipline and in His fulfillment of all that He wants for me because His desire is for me to reach repentance.
THAT is my desire for our children. Not that they just stop, drop and roll right back into THIS HOUSE way of life but instead that they are tenderly and gently loved into seeing right from wrong and making a wiser choice.
“Blessed are the merciful, for they shall receive mercy.” Matthew 5:7 ESV
Lord, Today I need your mercy poured out according to Christ’s gift to me. I know that You are able to make all grace abound to me so that in all things I will be sufficient in Your good works. It is my desire, Father, to lead my children by example. You have graciously given your mercy to me, I pray that I pour out the same, through Your strength, to my children. Thank You, Father for loving me with an everlasting love. Amen
Today I dare you to show mercy in the situations that come your way. Knowing that circumstances are often the underlying reason for the reaction of others can help you to give when it comes to mercy.
Love to you!