Guest post by Jennifer of Cherish the Call.
The meal is over, and plates are cleared. I enter the kitchen to see mounds of dishes, waiting for me to work my magic. With a sigh of reluctance, I dig in to the job that must be done. I scrub away at the pot with remnants of tonight’s dinner stuck firmly to its bottom. A minute quickly becomes five as I vigorously work. In a flash of inspiration that should have come earlier, I decide to fill the pot with water and leave it alone while I attack the rest of the dishes.
Experts tell us that this is the preferred method to clean anything. Always apply the cleaning agent and let it soak before scrubbing it clean. This strategy saves much time and effort. Don’t you love it when experts tell us things we should have known through common sense?
This same method works for children. Regrettably, I do not always employ this common sense strategy. I see the crusty remains of a bad attitude, and I begin to scrub. I find the burnt on crumbs of disobedience, and I bring out the steel wool. It sometimes isn’t until I see the futility of time passing with no result that I remember the expert advice. Just let it soak.
You see, scrubbing away at stains and dirt in my own efforts will only leave the spirits of my children rubbed raw and bleeding. I have the best cleaning agent available, the precious Word of God. Prevention works best. Sudsing up a thoughtless word before it becomes a crusted attitude. Applying detergent to that impatient sigh before it films up in resentment. And that’s just me.
When it comes to my children, I have jumped in with a lecture or a rant when I needed to just send them to a quiet place and let the cleaning agent of God’s Word and the Holy Spirit do their work. Is that taking the easy way out? Forgoing my responsibility? Hardly. The problem will still be there, but my efforts will leave much to be desired. When I let the Cleaner first do His work, I find the dirt of my child’s wrong responding to my gentle sponge of discipline.
Kindness. Gentleness. Soft answers. Are those cleansers sufficient to get the job done? Only if I first let them soak.
Jennifer Self is a disciple of Jesus Christ who loves following His plan for her life as a wife to the most wonderful man in the world and mama to four little blessings. Her days are filled with spending time with her man, homeschooling, preparing reasonably healthy meals and keeping the dust bunnies and the clutter monster at bay with a little writing mixed in. She began blogging in 2009 to inspire women to love the calling God has placed upon their lives. Read more of Jennifer’s writing at CherishTheCall.com.