Thursday, January 25, 2007


I wasn’t a prodigal, but I needed grace. I had shown disrespect to my mom, and I needed to be corrected. As a pre-teen I wasn’t a bad kid, but I had talked back to my mother. This had happened several times, and my father loved me enough to correct me.

Dad took me into my bedroom and began to discuss what I had done and where I was wrong. He said we had dealt with this before. Then he did something that I will never forget.

“This time, I'm taking your punishment, and you're meting it out.”

I couldn’t believe his words. “I can’t do this. I am the one who has done wrong. Dad, this isn’t right.”

“You have to do this. I am taking your punishment.”

(Note: back then, parents spanked their kids, sometimes with a belt. It didn't hurt our psyches, if it was done in the proper way, i.e. without anger, etc.)

Hot tears flowed down my cheeks as Dad took the punishment I deserved. I realized how much he loved me, and I realized how much my errors impacted both of my parents.

A few days later as I was walking home from school, the Lord spoke clearly to me in my inner spirit.

“Milton, do you remember what your dad did for you the other day when he took your punishment? That is what I did for you on the Cross. I took your punishment so you could be forgiven.”

That is love, and that is unusual grace. It changed my life.


At 2:11 PM, Blogger Patricia W. said...

What a powerful story! As I try to be mindful of teaching moments for my sons and helping them to understand God, I'll keep this in mind, although I think my middle-schooler might get a little too creative with the punishment.

At 5:37 PM, Blogger Kristy Dykes said...

God will give you wisdom, Patricia. And I like the word "discipline" better than "punishment." Dr. James Dobson advises using that. He also teaches that we should never discipline for childish behavior, only outright rebellion. That was a guidepost for me in raising my daughters.

God bless and keep you in His care as you raise these children for Him.

At 11:16 AM, Anonymous Andy Thompson said...

Oh my goodness. Thanks for reducing me to tears right here at my desk.

I can't wait for God to provide me with the same opportunity with my daughter.

Thank you SO much for sharing this.

God bless you.

At 5:40 PM, Blogger Kristy Dykes said...

Thanks, Andy, for your comment. God bless you.

Another thought: maybe you'll never have the opportunity to do it. That would be the most touching thing of all! (In other words, some children are so compliant, they rarely need correction. Maybe she's like that. If so, rejoice!)


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