My kids came to me arguing that someone called someone a name while they were trying to make one of the beds in their room. Stretching the mattress pad over the bed is a little harder than normal since we bought them a foam mattress topper and our one daughter kept doing it the wrong way. Apparently the other one got frustrated with her repeated attempts to succeed by doing it the wrong way and that’s when the fight happened.
As we talked about it the Holy Spirit brought a lot of clarity to my mind. Less than two hours earlier in our family devotions I had prayed that God would help us functionally apply the Gospel to our everyday lives like when the dog is sick or we fight with our siblings (or our spouse). He very graciously answered that prayer.
I explained to them that rather than be frustrated, she should be thankful for the picture that trying to stubbornly make the bed incorrectly after being given guidance provides, because it is a picture of our relationship with the Lord. The Gospel tells us that we are precisely like that – insisting on doing our own thing to our own detriment and God patiently waits for us. He does not exact retribution for our stubborn pride because He has already poured out 100% of the wrath for the sin of every Christian onto His beloved Son Jesus. All we like sheep have gone astray, each of us to his own way, but the Lord has laid upon Him the iniquity of us all. (Isaiah 53:6)
We had a very good talk where my daughter, by God’s grace, saw exactly how helpful this picture was and how she failed to imitate God as she is commanded to do as His beloved child. There was no yelling, no screaming, no punishment – just pointing her to the Gospel so she could glory in how wonderful Jesus is. Only a few years ago I would have yelled at them, told them to stop fighting because it was unloving and sent them back to their room. God is very, very good.