My daughter was recently suffering from a bad cold. As she sniffled and coughed, she entered my home office. As she stood next to me, I grew increasingly uncomfortable. I am extremely paranoid about getting sick and although she and I were engaged in a favorite activity, listening to contemporary singers on the internet, I couldn’t enjoy the father-daughter bonding moment.
“Sweetheart, please stand over there! You’re sick and I don’t want to catch your cold.”
My daughter took a step back but it wasn’t far enough for me. “Stand over there!” I motioned to an area even further away, assuring myself that I was creating a safe and healthy buffer zone. What is more important than my staying healthy? Right?
Fathers, do not provoke your children to anger, but bring them up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord.
Ephesians 6:4 (ESV)
There were far better and less hurtful ways I could have handled the situation but my selfish and insensitive spirit took over. My daughter turned and left. Later, I tried to joke with her but I had clearly hurt her feelings. Surely, she should have understood. What is more important than staying healthy? Right. The next day I apologized to my daughter, telling her how wrong I was. I prayed for her quick recovery. But the sting of that encounter still was painful for both of us.
I wish I could take back all of the hurtful and selfish things I have done as a parent. I still have much to learn about being a parent. But I have even more to learn to be more like my Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. I pray that He will continue to transform me to be more like Him.
Love and trust the Lord; seek His will in your life.