1 October 2007

"Don't say that ok, don't you know I'm hurt by it?"

"Hey, don't say that ok, don't you know I'm hurt by it?" my younger girl replied when we scolded her for over-relying on us for the Maths answers and not thinking through them herself. I was in the bathroom about to bathe when it happened. I came out, and for the 1st time (I think), put my arms around her and said, "It's alright girl, don't cry. You try to do it first, if you don't know, I'll help you after my bath." She nodded and continue sobbing, with one hand wiping her tears and the other, holding onto my shoulder. Here you need to know that my this daughter do not cry easily.

It was a precious few moments that we held onto each other - and understood each other for once. Father and daughter. For once, I did not scream at her. Nor did I find fault with her ways. I hugged her and understood her hurts and pain.

For too long, perhaps we were the guilty ones, creating these coping mechanisms in her 7 year old mind. She responded with similar harsh words and bully actions, aimed towards her older sister (unfortunate gal). When she responded rudely (in self-defence), we got angry and scolded harsher words. She in turn defended herself and the vicious cycle continued.

Tonight, when I responded in love and concern, she reciprocated in obedience to the things that I asked her to do. Praise God! There was love instead of retaliatory words and actions.

In the bathroom while bathing, as I thought about her sobs and hurts, tears roll down my own cheeks. I felt guilty. Sorry. And bad. For too long, I was nasty to a little girl who was just trying to learn and gain approval from her parents. I was a poor role model father for her. For all fathers, I should have known better, especially with my MA in Pastoral Counseling. Yet sometimes when it comes to your own family members, titles and degrees count for nothing.

Tonight, I spent sometime in their room before they sleep. I spoke kindly to them and made milk for her, and waited till she finished drinking and took out the bottle. These are the things that I have not done for a long time. Tonight I did again. Hopefully for many more nights to come!

As a human father, these are the little bright spark moments that I connected with my child and shown love. I know that my heavenly Father knows my hurts too. His hand is always around me though i do not see it. I pray that there will be more times of breakthrough for me to know experientially that God loves me deeply.

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