The Apology Letter
By Tara Johnson
“For where you have envy and selfish ambition, there you find disorder and every evil practice." James 3:16
I heard the screaming. The wailing. Audible proof my girls had engaged in another battle of wills as they cleaned their room. I braced myself for the onslaught of “she saids" and “it’s all her faults" as I stared at their glaring faces.
Since they both refused to budge their stubborn hearts, I knew I’d have to intervene. What would it be this time? Time-out? Taking away holidays until they learned to get along?
“I want you both to sit down, open your Bibles, and write the entire chapter of 1 Corinthians 13 while I figure out what to do. No talking, just write.” You know 1 Corinthians 13? It’s the whole “Love is patient, love is kind ...” passage. I then walked downstairs, grabbed chocolate, and searched for a solution. My Mommy reserves were tapped dry.
After fifteen minutes, I heard soft giggles. Entering the room, I saw my oldest daughter slide a note to her sister. Didn’t they realize this was serious, soul-searching time?
I snatched the note away. It read, “Sorry. I was acting like a jerk. Please forgive me. Love you.” Her sister’s response was scrawled on the back. “Sorry I said you were a liar. Can you forgive me?”
I looked up. “I don’t understand. I thought I was going to have to knock your heads together.”
Bethany laughed. “Nah, God did that for you.”
Fighting is usually the result of two people wanting their own way. Human wisdom breeds anger, frustration, and jealousy ... actions brought about by skewed motives. Even Moms with good intentions often fall into the trap of begging, threatening, and coercing, but none of that is a match for the simple, convicting power of God's Word. God's wisdom and Word shine love, gentleness, and order into every situation.
May God help us speak calm into the most troubling circumstances. May we seek after His wisdom and not our own. May He fill our hearts with His love.
Tara Johnson is a contributor to Wholly Loved Ministries’, a speaker, and lover of stories. She travels to churches, ladies' retreats and prisons to share how God led her into freedom after spending years living shackled as a people-pleasing preacher's kid. Tara’s debut novel Engraved on the Heart (Tyndale) earned a starred review from Publishers Weekly, as well as numerous other accolades. She has articles published in magazines and has been a featured guest on radio, television, and podcasts. Tara is represented by Janet Grant of Books & Such Literary Agency. She, her husband, and children live in Arkansas. Visit her online at: www.TaraJohnsonStories.com.
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Originally published Friday, 08 January 2021.