Fathers and Mothers: do not exasperate your children!

A couple of weeks ago two of my children were leading worship at a local congregation that serves individuals that are participants in the recovery community. We have ministered there before and were especially excited about the fact that this particular night they were celebrating the accomplishments of a few graduates of this long-term treatment program.  This particular recovery community is extremely loving and encouraging toward one another and the graduation happened just prior to the worship service that our band was leading.  My youngest son Ian was with us to enjoy this particular service. Ian loves music! He is one of the biggest fans of his sibling’s praise and worship band, Meacham toward Carper!  Although Ian has autism and many of the sensory issues like occasional over stimulation that goes with this, Ian loves worship! However, this particular night the speaker introduced the graduates with a loud and excited voice. Most of the folks in the room understood that this was uplifting and exciting for the graduates and that the loud claps and yelling was that of celebration! Ian, however, interpreted this to mean angry and aggressive and his instinct was to cover his ears and bolt to the back door of the church, walking briskly down the ramp outside! After several minutes of calming him down we returned to the church where he was able to enjoy the service with some hesitancy due to fear of being yelled at! I began to think to myself, “I wonder how many kids or even adults have been scared out of church due to a misunderstanding on their behalf or one of the church members/leaders?” I have been guilty of reacting wrong to discipline of my children in or out of church or even provided poor guidance that was not truly a loving guidance that they needed.

In James 1:19 it reads: My dear brothers and sisters take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry. Then in Ephesians 6:4 it reads, Fathers, do not exasperate your children; instead, bring them up in the training and instructions of the Lord. We always need to understand that communication can be misunderstood by the receiver. I wonder how many times we may have innocently scared off a person due to our actions, or our behaviors. How sad that even one child may cover their ears in fear and run to the door! All are precious in His sight! It is our jobs to carefully look after His sheep!
In Him,
Susan Swanson