She's been without a nap, it's late in the afternoon, and she wants dinner.
The tears start to well in her eyes, and the frustration begins, good thing her sister is occupied elsewhere or her tantrum probably would spread to her.
So goes my life. I'm not saying my day is filled with tantrum after tantrum, but with a 3 year old and an 18 month old this mother sure does deal with a lot of them at the moment. One thing however I realized early on is that tantrums are normal.
Realizing however that a tantrum is a perfectly normal aspect of childhood development, and responding to it without anger or impatience are two entirely different things.
Our children have a sin nature. If Paul, a "spiritual giant" writes in Romans about how he can't control his own sin nature, why in the world should we be shocked when our children display this very human characteristic?
The truth is we shouldn't be shocked when our children display sinful behavior. We do have a choice however in how we respond. Discipline is of course necessary, but so is mercy.
When my daughter started her tantrum about her dolly I could have given her a time out at that moment for an unacceptable attitude, but I didn't. I scooped her up in my arms and we took a deep breath together before getting a snack.
There are times in my life when I am disciplined by God, but there are other times when I know that I should be, and yet He chooses to cover me with His mercy instead.
Extending Mercy to our children takes true discipline when our sin nature would much rather lash out and get frustrated, especially when it's the 5th tantrum that day.
Our children so desperately need our mercy though, and it is through our mercy that they will eventually learn about the Lord's.
The LORD is merciful and gracious, slow to anger, and plenteous in mercy. He will not always chide: neither will he keep his anger for ever. He hath not dealt with us after our sins; nor rewarded us according to our iniquities. For as the heaven is high above the earth, so great is his mercy toward them that fear him. As far as the east is from the west, so far hath he removed our transgressions from us. Like as a father pitieth his children, so the LORD pitieth them that fear him. For he knoweth our frame; he remembereth that we are dust. (Psalms 103:8-14 KJV)