6.15.2013

The Father's Discipline, the Father's Comfort

http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-7_xX7Fd2XvA/UYc8pj_WKtI/AAAAAAAAAiQ/BIpTdRRVDLQ/s1600/discipline.jpgWeekday mornings in the Huang household are pretty chaotic.  Between eating breakfast, packing lunches, doing dishes, tidying up, and getting out the door on time, it's a lot going on.  So we have a rule with the kids, which is that mornings are not when you spring some important piece of information about what you need to bring or wear to school that day.  In other words, tell us the night before.
http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-B2qcSKicd1A/Tjr01mTsTkI/AAAAAAAAA34/iDddlW4zVQE/s400/father-and-son.gif
Jada knows this rule.  And yet, earlier this week, she told me the morning of that her school was having Game Day, in which you could bring a board game to school and play it with friends.  (Yes, even though the school year hasn't ended, the instruction has.)

When I said no because she hadn't told us the night before, she begged and cajoled.  I didn't budge.  She pouted all the way to Aaron's school and then to her school, before breaking down in tears.  I had to pick her up, hold her close, and give her time to finish her cry.  Even after several minutes, she was still disconsolate, and moped her way to school as I headed in the opposite direction to work.

This is what dads do.  We discipline.  And we comfort.  I am not naturally good at either.  I second-guessed whether I was being too harsh or too easy in the manner in which I reacted to Jada's request to bring a board game to school.  And I wondered if I had been able to provide her with the comfort that she needed in her time of discouragement and pain.

Of course, as she gets older, I will continue to need to be a discipliner and a comforter.  And the stakes will get higher.  And I am gulping hard thinking about it.

This is a tiny window into the greatness of our God.  He is described as a Father, of course.  And He also disciplines and comforts.  And He is far better than I at both, far purer in intentions and execution.

No matter how old and polished we get, we will ever have need to be disciplined at times.  And no matter how old and strong we get, we will ever have need to be comforted at times.  It is hard, as a dad to Jada and Aaron, to be either, let alone both.  And, sometimes, it is hard, as a child of God, to receive either, let alone both.  But I need both.  I need my Heavenly Father.  I need His discipline.  And I need His comfort.  Thank God for both. 
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