“But the fruit the Holy Spirit produces is love, joy and peace. It is being patient, kind and good. It is being faithful and gentle and having control of oneself. There is no law against things of that kind (Galatians 5:22, 23)”.
Yesterday was a bad day at my house. I was hoping to have a quiet day of reflection, especially since we are facing some major issues. Yet, the day did not start out well, and got worse after that. My children bickered at the food table, and were disciplined for it. But they didn’t take kindly to the discipline and began to rebel. As evening approached, they had dug their heels in and so had I. Feeling extremely frustrated and angry at having my quiet day destroyed, I finally kicked them out of the house to ride their bikes so I could get some peace.
As I was thinking of one of my childen in her rebellion, I wanted to ask her the familiar question, “What would Jesus do”? Yet, the better course would have been to ask myself the same question. I think I know now. Jesus welcomed children, he did not get rid of them (Matthew 18:5). In fact, it ís in the context of dealing with children that He discusses leaving the bulk of the sheep to go after one who is lost.
My response to my kids yesterday was more like the disciples, who tried to prevent people from bringing their children to Jesus, probably because they were in their eyes a “bother”. And yes, children can be unruly. The typical picture of Jesus with children show him talking kindly with them while they are smiling, totally absorbed. I wonder though. My experience with children tells me that perhaps there were times He had to deal with cantankerous, crabby kids like I did yesterday. How did He do it? My guess is that He didn’t handle such situations the way I did.
When Jesus went to be with His Father, He left us the Holy Spirit to empower us to live the way He wants us to. The Holy Spirit living in us gives us the power to behave like Jesus. When we don’t walk in the Spirit, the result is fighting, unhealthy anger and discord. When we do, we are faithful to produce His qualities and lead our families to produce them, also.