Reacting to Authority

A finge of black lashes, thick and long shadow his blue eyes. They only partially hide his hurt and uncertainty. They tug at my heart like a messy knotted umbilical cord.

“…For the Lord…”

Did I do right to correct him? Was he wounded too deeply, was I too harsh? Did my words match the offense? Should I have let it go, ignored it? I am not after all his parent.

“…Reproves him whom he loves…”

It isn’t unusual to be thrown back into the position of child as a Grandma. It’s where I sit scrunched in the corner of finding my place in his world, where I glimpse how very much Jesus loves.

Steadfast unmovable love.

Because it is there, in the aftermath of discipline I’m reminded of Jesus’ hand on my own life, of His gentle reproof even in the midst of some not-always-so-gentle consequences.

“Discipline them while they are young,” my dad used to say, his methods were often indisputably severe.

“It won’t be so cute when they are older,” my mother warned of her grandchildren’s stomping feet, protruding lower-lip and crossed armed stance.

“My son, do not despise the Lord’s discipline or be weary of his reproof, for the Lord reproves him whom he loves…”

Underneath those lashes, the tent of shame-covering, I see hurt and distrust. My stern word tore at his misbehavior, ripped apart the expectation of all things Grandmama, fluffy and soft. They brought disapproval and shame like an arrow into his tender heart.

Our eyes gauge each other. Measuring. Counting.

Dear grandson, how I want you to love Jesus. I desire your heart to be entwined in good and right, anchored strong, with heart, mind and soul to the Savior. You are too little now to see the weeds, those insidious thorns growing interspersed through your innocence, prickly and poisonous. Without proper tending they will overtake. They will become part of your behavior and when you grow bigger they will grow as well.

“for the Lord reproves him whom he loves…as a father the son in whom he delights.”

I want you to grow up honoring authority and its correction. You must learn that true love wants the best for you and asks the best of you. I want you to experience this from the ones who are your authority here so you might taste the desire of One who loves you for all eternity.

“My son, do not despise the Lord’s discipline or be weary of his reproof…”

For you will respond to your heavenly Father as you have learned to react to human authority.

“…as a father the son in whom he delights.” Proverbs 3:11-12 (ESV)

I smile, my eyes intent on his blue ones. They peek tentatively from their framed lashes. I am down on a knee, my face close to his, my own blue eyes level with his. He raises his bent head from its shame, lifts his dimpled face to mine and his little arms reach toward me. I lean forward and gather his warmth into my arms and we sit back together, both encircled in the arms of Jesus.

12 Replies

  1. Robert Reply

    What wise and helpful words, Sylvia. At the perfect time for us as we now have a grandson close to us. Never thought we would have grandchildren close! We’re loving it…..and also recognize the powerful role we play not only in the lives of our kids but now in the lives of our grandkids as well. So thank you!

    • Sylvia Schroeder Reply

      Thanks Robert! It is a privilege to be close to grandkids for sure. Thank you for reading and commenting! Blessings to you as you grandparent!

  2. J.D. Wininger Reply

    “This hurts me more than it does you” was never more true than when you have to discipline or correct those you love. We do it not to establish superiority or control, but to teach, guide, and reinforce they life lessons they need. Loved this post. Isn’t it amazing how in one tiny little hug, relationship is returned. The same happens when we take our hurts to God. Loved this post ma’am.

    • Sylvia Schroeder Reply

      Dear Mr. Encourager, thanks again. J.D. you always make my day!

  3. Joanna Eccles Reply

    Receiving discipline is never joyful in the moment, but always worth the fruits of righteousness that grow from it in the long run. Thanks for sharing.

    • Sylvia Schroeder Reply

      Thank you Joanna. It is always a challenge to keep one’s eyes on the long run!
      Appreciate your reading and commenting.

  4. Jeannie Waters Reply

    Sylvia, I know the pain and uncertainty of correcting a grandchild. How blessed children are to grow up with parents and grandparents who love God and teach His principles to them.

    • Sylvia Schroeder Reply

      Jeannie, so true! It is a blessing to work alongside parents who want the same end goal of children who love Jesus. And what an honor to be a part of the process! Thanks Jeannie.

  5. nancy gibson Reply

    Your words were like water on parched ground, and I am not even a Grandparent! Truth resonates. Thank You for ministering to my heart this afternoon, Sylvia.

    • Sylvia Schroeder Reply

      Thank you so much Nancy for your kind words. I’m grateful God used the post to minister to your heart. I appreciate you reading and responding!