I had to discipline Abree tonight because she was very defiant when I told her it was time to quit playing games on my iPad and go have a bedtime snack. Instead of obeying, she said she didn’t want a snack and just wanted to play another game. So, because of the very angry face she gave me, along with the angry words, I told her that she would have no snack tonight and that she needed to head straight to bed.
Chaos ensued. Abree appealed to Mom who deferred back to me after telling me I had to see this through and not cave in to my screaming daughter’s demand. I stayed strong, but it was one of the hardest things I’ve been through as a parent.
As I sat on our bed with her, listening to her wails of sadness and seeing her utterly distraught face, my heart broke for her. I then thought of how God must feel when we choose to disobey Him and he has to watch us deal with the consequences of our actions.
After several minutes of Abree’s uncontrollable sobbing, I grabbed her, set her on my lap, and just held her. She responded with these beautiful words: “I want to wrestle you, Dad.”
One thing that Abree and I love to do is wrestle. It’s really just a time of me rolling around the living room floor with her and occasionally flinging her wildly about, but to her it is wrestling her daddy. As I thought about why she wanted to wrestle after I had caused her such grief, I came to the conclusion that she needed to know I still loved her and that, when she was being flung crazily around the living room at her daddy’s mercy, she felt that love – and even safety – somehow.
She told me something tonight that she had never told me before while wrestling. After I asked her if she thought I was going to drop her, she responded, “You never drop me, Dad!”
Not dropping my daughter is something I am very proud of. I routinely throw her about eight feet in the air, parallel to the ground, while doing a full rotation, and I have never dropped her. I have freaked out many onlookers, but Abree loves it.
I love the fact that Abree feels safe with me. I never want to give her reason to doubt it. What I want more, however, is for her to feel safe with her Heavenly Father. My prayer is that she will see the Father in me and that as the hard things of life come her way she will know that she is safe in her Father’s arms.