My daughter’s feet pounded on every step as she went up to her room. I should have known it was going to be “one of those days” when I saw the mood she was in the very moment she woke up. Everything had been a test—eating breakfast, getting dressed, doing schoolwork. “Why can’t kids just do as they are told?” I thought to myself.

Ephesians 6:4 says, “And, ye fathers [and mothers], provoke not your children to wrath: but bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord.” Even though I knew this verse to be true, I went into a private pity party instead. Wouldn’t my life be easier if I sent my daughter to public school and avoided all these confrontations? I could be a mom who stayed at home and did her nails instead of a mom who checked schoolwork in the bathroom, gave spelling tests while cooking supper, and folded piles of laundry at midnight. Why was I the bad guy here?

Suddenly, the quietness in my daughter’s bedroom shattered my thoughts. I decided to go upstairs to see what was happening and talk to my daughter about her behavior. Expecting her to be on the bed crying in repentance, what I found was quite the opposite. As I opened the door, there was a mural in black crayon drawn across the yellow-flowered wallpaper in her room. The anger and frustration I had used in disciplining my daughter moments ago was now communicated in her scribbles and marks before me. I knew I had pushed her too far. I saw the writing on the wall.  

I wasn’t quite sure who was being disciplined that day. Certainly, my actions had been far from righteous when I had sent my daughter to her room in anger. Truly, the greater lesson had been learned by me. My anger was not the tool to be used in disciplining my children.

What about you? Do you intimidate your children with your size and authority? Stop and think: “For the wrath of [Mom] worketh not the righteousness of God” (James 1:20).

Holy Father, forgive me when I discipline my children in the flesh instead of according to Your Word. Thank You for Your mercy in my mistakes and help me to show that same mercy to my children as we homeschool each day. In Jesus’ name, Amen.