Today was a messy day, in more ways than one. The day began with the normal checking of emails and quick blog posts while having breakfast. Today also was a clean up day. We have a property inspection on Wednesday with the real-estate agent and so a large tidy up of the gardens and laundry was in order.
Part of the clean up crew also involved my two sons whom I have with me every 2nd weekend, or so I thought and the younger one wilfully pitched in. Not so with the oldest who is hitting the teenage years…who told me there was no way he was helping me to clean up my rubbish as it wasn’t his and not his responsibility…
The result was that he was sent to his room to clean it also… which 4 hours later he still refused to clean his room. Hmm this pushed me to praying for wisdom and threats that if he continued his rebellious ways he would have to get a smack. I remembered a scene from a book called “Little Women” or was it “Little Men” which I read many years ago; where the father figure who ran an orphanage as part of his disciplining one of his wards – had the young boy strap his hand and in doing so reversed the punishment.
I took a plastic cooking spoon into his room; gave it to him and told him quietly that his rebelliousness had gone to far and so he needed to be punished. I then said to him; Son, I have said to you many times that I love you, like you and am very proud of you… this rebellion needs to be punished…but I am going to take the punishment which you deserve. I held out my hand and told him to strike it 6 times with the spoon. Each time he struck my hand with it, I told him to do it harder; for he wasn’t really punishing me enough.
After this finished – I quietly told him – Son… this room needs cleaning, I will be back in 15 minutes and if its not cleaned by then- this rebellion will need to be punished again and so I will hold out my other hand and take your punishment.
I came back 15 minutes later and the room was fairly spotless. His attitude and demeanour was totally different and we negotiated that he would clean up outside later when we all come back from the river and skate park… on coming home- he went and cleaned up outside without a peep.
I hope and pray I will never have to do this with any of my boys ever again… It was however a striking example of how Christ took our punishment…