There come moments in a parent's journey that stand out as proud triumphs: a moment of confidence seeing a conflict come full circle. Of seeing the thing through, until hearts are soft once again, and no defiance lingers. Repentance and peace.
Those moments come few and far between the times of parenting on the fly. Busy-ness and distraction lay in the way of full circle conflict resolution. All too often, I send my kids to their rooms, for my convenience, not for their discipline. I settle for short term peace rather than long term harmony.
Last night we saw it through. The girls were quick to repent and pray; to face each other and their God with their wrongdoing. My son had a rougher go of it. We waited. He balked at the idea. He said we would all have to wait all night. He would not pray. He would not repent.
We talked of Cain and Abel, of anger and sin, of God's warning to Cain to chose what was right. Sin crouches at the door, awaiting an opportunity like this. It knows a cold heart: one angry and bitter at the unfairness of life, not realizing it is often self-inflicted. God urges us, "All you must do is right, and then you will have my favor. Choose right."
We waited. And waited. I would not give up on my son. Pride stood in the way of repentance. I knew it would come with patience. I would not leave him this way, and let him go to bed angry and unresolved.
The girls gazed at him, waiting. The hour was getting late. They each sighed, dramatically. I couldn't hide my giggle, breaking the mood. Mitchell could not resist a grin.
I pleaded with him. "Mitchell, just soften your heart. Do what is right. Just say you're sorry. Say you were wrong."
The waiting paid off. He was finally ready. He repented. His heart was restored. He chose what was right, and we came full circle. A proud triumph.