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Homework Angst
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We had just survived a week of sickness followed by two weeks of Spring Break. Getting up for the first day back to school was painful (for everyone). But we managed to make it to school and my kids seemed excited to see their classmates again.

And then it was time for homework. Ugh.

Most of us love our routines. And I’ve discovered that one of my children is especially sensitive to the breaking of and returning to routines. And so, as I could have predicted, homework time did not go well. There was frustration. There were tears. And at one point a pencil was slammed on the table. Double ugh.

Interestingly, my child was fine until I corrected him. He’d been working diligently on his reading assignment and I was checking over his work. I pointed out a few sentences he needed to double check. And he shut down. A cloud descended over his head and darkness filled his eyes and he stopped functioning.

Admittedly, I am familiar with this reaction to being corrected. And not just in my son, but in myself. I’m a first-born child who likes to do things correctly. All the time. I don’t like to be wrong. And I like even less for you to tell me I’m wrong! There is nothing pretty about that character trait, and it’s even uglier to see it shining so clearly in my son knowing he likely inherited it from me.

Know It All

Needing to be right all the time (I sometimes like to call it right-eousness), is a big problem. It keeps me from trying new things because I hate to fail. It causes problems in relationships since it’s no fun to hang out with (or be married to) a know it all. And I’ve come to realize that it creates many difficulties in my relationship with the Lord.

I am not right-eous all the time. And even though I know God as the Creator and Sustainer of the universe, as the only One who is truly righteous all the time, I still don’t like to be corrected. I don’t like to be reminded that my behavior is unkind, that my heart is angry, that my intentions are impure.

But if I don’t accept correction, what happens? The cloud of self-righteousness descends. And I too will shut down, just like my sweet son. I will separate myself from the One who can set me on the right path. Who can lovingly urge me towards a better life and a greater understanding of His perfect will for me.

Oh Lord, help me to accept your gracious correction in my life. And help me survive homework time today.

“Whoever heeds life-giving correction will be at home among the wise. Those who disregard discipline despise themselves, but the one who heeds correction gains understanding” (Proverbs 15:31, 32).

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By Joelle Yamada. Copyright © 2014 by GraceNotes. All rights reserved. Use of this material is subject to usage guidelines. Scripture taken from the NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION ®.

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