Friday, November 22, 2013

Son, Drop! Beat your face until I get tired!

I have children. Clearly this makes me insane. Sleep deprived. Taxi Service. Doctor. Therapist...and Drill Sergeant. Yup, I'm one of those moms. I hated the thought of yelling at my adorable babies. Then they grew up, their chubby little faces thinned out, body odor picked up and the attitude came out so strongly I swear there was testosterone dripping from the walls.

I have spawned 3 life forms. The oldest is 12 and really a pretty well behaved daughter. 3 years later, we had a son, 3 years after that we had another boy. Most of the times if there are problems, there is a penis attached to it. My oldest son is making me crazy beyond the level of my Xanax dosage. He hates exercise, is bone skinny and believes he should call the shots. He's had trouble at school, since the teacher doesn't believe the principal would let her enforce my exercise penalties at school, he gets punished when he gets home. She tells me how many times he got in trouble and then the fun begins when he walks in the door.

The man child walks in, shows me his planner and then we get homework ready. His afternoon goes like this. For each mark he gets in school, he does 20 push ups, 20 sit ups, 20 jumping jacks and runs 20 laps around the house. He's like the Post Office, neither snow nor rain nor heat nor gloom of night stays these couriers from the swift completion of their appointed rounds. Today he had 3 marks. This means that he does one set of 20, then he comes in to do homework for one subject. Begins his second rotation of 20, then breaks for another subject of homework. Then we finish up the night with his last set of 20.

The joy of punishing your kid with exercise is that it is something you can do everywhere. We've been in the grocery store and he walks away when I'm talking to him, we step out of the way and he drops and does push ups. The inadvertent side of forcing your misbehaving kid to work out when he gets in trouble is not only do you have a kid that is growing resentment by the're making him STRONGER!

I constantly hug my kids, cover them in kisses and have no trouble telling them that I'm forcing punishment for their own benefit. I'm doing my best to make sure my kids stay out of trouble later in life. I had these kids, so it's up to us to make sure they are raised the best way we know how. They know that our love is never failing. They know that God's love for them is even bigger than our love. Just like the painful lessons Man Child is learning by exercise, all our kids get spiritual exercise through our nightly devotions. We love our kids, so we teach them to do right. God loves us and teaches us to do right by Him. Just like the lessons my son learns, God's lessons for us are not painless. When you're going through a hardship, just know that God is sanding you to perfection. We are creatures of habit. Just like my son needs to stop misbehaving, sometimes God's children need to correct their actions, as well. Would I waste the time punishing my child if I didn't love him? No way! It's so much easier to just turn a blind eye to the trouble our kids get into. But if we love them, as God loves us, we discipline them to make them better in the end. When trouble crops up in an area of your life, just remember God is making you better! Every moment in your life is an opportunity to praise God. In the good times we thank and praise God. In the bad times, we should praise and thank God for loving us enough to pour time, energy and devotion into.

I know one day, my son will understand that this was done out of love and not something I did for kicks. It's taken me a long time to learn that God's lessons are also done out of love. In all places of my life, God is teaching me how to respond with grace. As hard as it is, I'm teaching my kids that grace belongs in their lives, too.

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