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Wednesday, November 22, 2006

What is Love?

This is Lola and Rico.
My Emma and Jax can throw together a new look in the blink of an eye. And where they come up with the names Lola and Rico, I will never know. They are so entertaining!

Yesterday Emma and Jax were playing outside, and came in to settle a backyard dispute. This one was not about who could climb the tree higher, but about "what is love?" Emma had told Jax that spankings mean love. Jax said emphatically no! Love was hugs and kisses.
My little Bible scholar Emma was trying to quote a verse to him that I have shared with her several times. "If you refuse to discipline your children, it proves you don't love them. If you love your children, you will be prompt to discipline them." Proverbs 13:24 I have told them every time I spank them or discipline them that I do it because it is my God-given job, and because I love them SO MUCH! Jax's response to that one time, just before receiving a spanking was, "how 'bout you just don't love me!" Very clever, but then he realized he would have no one to make his food, drinks, teach him, wash his clothes, hug him, kiss him, or have fun with. In his mind, he was still weighing the options though. (ha!) I've also shared the verse with Emma that says "Don't fail to correct your children. They won't die if you spank them. Physical discipline may well save them from death." Proverbs 23:13 She said "Wow! Mom, I'm so glad you spank me." A six-year-old said I'm so glad you spank me!!!!! Can you imagine? She knows that letting her have free reign to sin does not equal love. Jax resists this idea, but his sister is teaching him. Just as the Word says, the Father disciplines us because of love. "My child, don't ignore it when the Lord disciplines you, and don't be discouraged when he corrects you. For the Lord disciplines those he loves, and he punishes those he accepts as his children." Hebrews 12:5-6 It's funny, because I think our kids know this instictively from a very young age. Justus will blatantly defy my authority just to see what happens, and when he gets a spanking, he will always give us a kiss right after. It's amazing, but they truly do know they are loved when they are lovingly corrected and disciplined. I do NOT love my children by letting them become a Nellie Olsen (a "Little House" reference- I'm a big fan). I am loving myself more by not doing the hard work that it takes to mold my children into obedient, God-loving people. Parents who fear discipline will never like the result they get in the end. It is hard work, but it is true love.
So I settled the dispute. I said Love was both spankings AND hugs and kisses.


Hendrick Family said...

I don't know how you can ever spank cute little Lola and Rico. Look at them. It does take super powers to spank children when they are SO CUTE.

lisasmith said...

That's a great story, Jenn. Thanks!

Kathryn Berilla said...

God's Word is so great. I loved showing Michael Proverbs 13 when he said that if I loved him I wouldn't spank him because it hurt. I love also that he understood and that I too get hugs after spankings!!