An incident occurred in our home tonight: our youngest daughter threw a paper airplane at our son and it pegged him square in the eye. She didn't mean to cause him harm (it was a paper airplane he had made that he had been throwing around previously). Yet, how annoying is that? To be sitting contently and have a paper airplane stab you in the eye? He reacted, as most of us would have, with a bit of "what the ****", and then he threw her iPod, that was right next to him, at her feet. She apologized for hitting him in the eye and attempted to explain she wasn't trying to do that but her words were drowned out by his expressions of disgust.
We, RLB and I, were beckoned to the scene of the incident and were requested to mediate the situation.
She's twelve and had already become visibly emotional. Tears were streaming down her face and she was looking at her brother with disdain. In her view, she had apologized for her actions and instead of having that apology greeted with forgiveness, it was met with cuss words and an overt act of retaliation.
What to do, what to do.
So we separated them. RLB went with our son to discuss things and I stayed with our daughter, who looked like her head was about to spin.
I told her she needed to go and pray. She responded with "but, he did....blah blah blah." I said, "Yes, but God is more interested in you asking him how to forgive than He is in who was right."
She slowed down a bit from that. So I proceeded to ask her if she remembers the Bible verse about turning the other cheek. I told her to go pray and ask God to help her forgive her brother and to show her how she can respond differently to being accused and also to show her where she may have been wrong. I asked her to take note if the Holy Spirit urges her to ask for forgiveness for her wrong doing and to be wise enough to go ahead and do so. I told her she will be very blessed if she follows the Holy Spirit's prodding. We talked about the natural inclination to rebel against this prodding and who that comes from.
Meanwhile, RLB discussed with our son the whole speck in your brother's eye/plank in your own deal. It was a very short conversation. Our son got it immediately.
We, RLB and I, met up later to discuss all that had occurred.
It is fascinating to see, as parents, the vast differences between young men and young women. A young man can hear the speck/plank analogy and just get it. It's stems from honor. It makes sense.
A young woman, on the other hand, will not get it with that same speck/plank analogy. For her, it is a conversation that involves her perspective and a drawn picture of the difference between rebellion and obedience...to God. Honor is lost on her. She literally needed me to tell her that should she not do what the Holy Spirit prods her to do, she is willfully choosing Satan's path of rebellion.
I had to tell her that should she pray and feel an urge to ask for forgiveness she must obey that and do so. To not do so is rebellion. Though she may feel she is right, it is not in being right that she will be blessed, it is in calmly turning the other cheek, with a pure heart, that holds no ill will.
For women, it is so important we learn how to calm ourselves.
The only way I know to do this successfully is with prayer. I also know that I am guilty of resisting praying that prayer. That resistance is soon met with the Truth - that it is rebellion. I pray this for you, ladies: that you will know that every prayer you resist praying is a path toward rebellion. That rebellion is the prodding of the enemy. You have the ability to turn it around. Choose to pray. Choose to accept a calm heart. Choose to turn the other cheek.