Encouragement for Today - May 2, 2006



Encouragement for Today

(Principle #3)


“Parenthood Offense”

Tanya Zollinger, Director of Proverbs 31 Australia



Key Verse:

Proverbs 17:9, “He who covers over an offense promotes love, but whoever repeats the matter separates close friends.” (NIV)



My friend and I had spent the morning shopping. I had bought some lovely pajamas for my eldest daughter for Christmas. I felt so happy as I wrapped them and thought of her grateful reaction to receiving such a gift. Later that afternoon, I popped into the butcher to buy some schnitzel for dinner and went to a small convenience store. My daughter mentioned that she was out of deodorant. While buying some groceries I noticed a deodorant on special. It was her usual brand so I grabbed a bottle for her and thought about her reaction at receiving the new bottle of spray.


When I hopped back inside the car to drive home, a torrent of anger flew in my direction. “Mum, how could you buy this one? Yuck, I told you to go to a major retailer for my spray. I don't like this one, it smells gross. I don't want it.”


I turned around, took it from her hands and said that I would keep it for myself. All the way home, I was bombarded with examples of how bad a mother I was and that I shouldn't buy 'discounted stuff' for my kids. I tried hard to 'guard my heart' and graciously unpacked the car when I got home.


As the children were helping themselves to milkshakes, cookies and drinks, I showed my daughter the dog grooming set I had purchased for her dog. Her comment was that it would probably make the dog more itchy. I explained that I chose this particular grooming set so that she could alleviate the dog’s itchiness due to her allergies. Still the comment stung and thoughts began to arise about the pajamas I bought earlier and how I could get a refund on them.


I went to my computer to write. As I did, I said to my ten-year-old, “Jacob, I am having computer time. I do not want to come back to the kitchen and have to clean up your mess!” I turned to walk to the office when I heard a smart comment from my daughter.


That was it! I let loose. I yelled at her in anger, mentioned her rotten attitude and how sick I was of her comments and rudeness. Then I proceeded to the computer. As I sat to write this devotion, I was convicted of 'taking offense.' I had allowed my child to offend my heart to the point of retaliation.


I had reacted to being offended. As I read the key verse above I realized that promoting love should have been my reaction. While I was writing, my daughter walked into the office to find some schoolwork, and I quickly turned and said, “I am so sorry for yelling at you.”


I received her typical 13-year-old reaction, “I'm not ready to forgive you!” I know later she will come and hug me with the same sorry heart as mine; until then I 'cover' her with love and pray we will always be friends. I spoke back to her, this time in love, “That's OK, I just need to say I am sorry.”


My Prayer for Today:

Heavenly Father, thank You for giving us the gift of salvation. Thank You that You have also 'covered our offenses'. As our loving Father and example, we pray that You will help us to try to promote love with our families and not to take offense.  Thank You, Jesus for Your wonderful love.   In Your Name, Amen.


Application Steps:

Take time to pray to YOUR heavenly Father today, ask Him for gracious parenting skills and a heart of strength to face parenting battles.


Begin to write love notes about your children and keep them as reminders when the days get tough.


Reflection Points:

Do you have teenage kids who wear you down with their attitudes?


Why don't we make a pact today as worn out mums to cover our kids with love and not to take offense?


Or perhaps, it’s your work colleagues making life difficult? Either way make the pact and we'll see friendships blossom.


Power Verses:

Proverbs 19:11, “A man's wisdom gives him patience; it is to his glory to overlook an offense.” (NIV)


Proverbs 15:1, “A gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger.” (NIV) 


Ephesians 4:3, “Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace.” (NIV) 


Hebrews 12:14, “Make every effort to live in peace with all men and to be holy; without holiness no one will see the Lord.”  (NIV) 


Additional Resources:

Love Notes in Lunchboxes, by Linda Gilden



Don’t Make Me Count to Three, by Ginger Plowman



Five Love Languages of Children, by Gary Chapman



Proverbs 31 Australia




Originally published Tuesday, 02 May 2006.