Tuesday, March 31, 2009

A Tender Heart

So last night I was grading the boys' tests and going over some papers. I always expect a few things to slip through the cracks, especially since I'm working and my husband and I trade off working with the boys on their schooling. But when I graded Joel's math test, I realized more than a few things had slipped through. He barely passed, and some things that I knew should be easy for him, those he struggled with. So I went back through his math booklet and started checking some things. It seems that Joel didn't bother to correct anything that was wrong in his exercises. They're supposed to do the work, check their answers, and then correct anything that's wrong. Joel wasn't bothering to check any answers. Then I started reviewing his other subjects. He checked his answers there, but he never corrected anything. It was a long and unpleasant evening last night, culminating in appropriate discipline and tears. Then, since it was late, I sent him on upstairs to get ready for bed. After he got his pajamas on, he came downstairs to get a drink of water and then paused on his way back up to bed.
I looked up where he stood on the stairs.
"Will you pray for me that I'll remember do it right from now on?"
I smiled and pulled him toward me. "It's not a matter of remembering, is it?" I asked. "It's a matter of determining to do right."
He nodded and then we prayed together. Joel's voice cracked as he told the Lord he was sorry for doing wrong. Then he told God how much he loved Him.
His tender heart spoke to mine. He may have done wrong, but he was truly repentant. And he wanted very much to do right.
Will he mess up again? Absolutely. But as long as his heart is tender before the Lord, we can deal with wrong choices and things done improperly. It's all washed away and he gets a fresh start this morning. Of course, his fresh start includes fixing all the answers he got wrong in all his subjects. Wrong choices have consequences. But again, the heart attitude makes it much easier to bear.


  1. Great story. Thanks for sharing :)!

  2. That's sweet. My daughter has special needs, so my husband and I always struggle with how much is her just being a kid, and how much is her being unable to process certain things. It is so hard since she is so sensitive. We've tried the strict discipline and she's one of those kids that just completely shuts down. The Lord is teaching us to be more understanding and patient. She isn't like we are when it comes to learning. And I'm learning that it's okay.

    Blessings on your teaching,

  3. How old is Joel? just curious. We deal with the same issues.. (obviously) Just coming to grips that it will be on going. :)
    So glad that he has a tender heart.

  4. Joel will be eleven on Tuesday. Luke used to have a real problem completing schoolwork as well. Now he's fifteen and quite dependable. I'm hoping Joel grows into that as well.

  5. This post brought tears to my eyes. What a sweet testimony.


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