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Eyes of the Father: Learning from a game of tug-of-war
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They play it with towels, shirts, pants and blankets. They play it with just about anything they can get their hands on. I think that’s why the dog has started hiding under the bed.

Amy and I have told them numerous times to quit playing tug-of-war with things. We’ve warned them something is going to go wrong and one of them is going to get hurt. But like kids often do, they don’t listen.

Yesterday morning they were playing tug-of-war, and the very thing I was afraid of happened. Chloe gave an especially hard tug to whatever it was they had strung between them. Cole wasn’t ready for it. He fell forward and down, hitting the floor with his chin.

Cole screamed. He cried. He bled. Later that night, he had a bruise on his chin.

Of course, this provided me with the perfect opportunity to give them the dreaded “I told you so” speech. Numerous times, Amy and I have told them to quit this type of behavior. Numerous times, they assured us they would quit. Yet numerous times, they would go right back to doing it within a day or two.

Not this time. This time, they haven’t gone back to playing tug-of-war. This time, Cole seems to have learned his lesson. So has Chloe. Cole doesn’t want to play it anymore, for fear of getting hurt again. Chloe doesn’t want to play it anymore, for fear of what happened to Cole happening to her.

Oh, how I wish they had learned this lesson before Cole got hurt.

How I wish we would learn the lessons our heavenly father is trying to teach us before we have to experience the painful effects our sinful behaviors bring upon us.

Let’s be honest. Sometimes we listen to God no better than my children listen to me. We tell God we will quit engaging in a particular sin because we know that’s what he wants to hear, but we’re soon engaging in it as if we’d never made a promise to do otherwise. It usually requires a painful experience to snap us out of our behavior and cause us to truly do what we say we will do.

The pull of sin is strong. The pain of sin is excruciating. Yet Christ can free us from our sins (Romans 8:2). Hopefully, we’ll ask him to free us before we end up getting ourselves hurt.

The Rev. Parrish Myers is a local minister living in Braselton. His column appears biweekly in Sunday Life and on gainesvilletimes.com/life.

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