What is it about boys and rocks? You know what I mean. There is just something innate in a boy! When he sees a rock, he wants to throw it! It is simply the way boys are made. Ohhhhhhhh, and what consequences there can be. When I was four or five, I caught a rock with my forehead and immediately was covered with blood. Two little boys had some consequences. Mine was the stitches. The other boy’s was courtesy of his parents.
Unfortunately, I feel our words are often like rocks in the hands of boys. We carelessly give them a good toss, and thereafter they are out of reach. We desperately wish we could take them back. But once they are in motion, there is nothing that can be done. It is so easy to think I can apologize, and it will be okay. Ever throw a rock through a window? All of the “I’m sorry’s” in the world will not put that window back together like new. Even with painstaking gluing, the cracks will be seen forever.
I can remember something I said to Teri over fifteen years ago, which can bring tears to her eyes even now at the mention of it. More recently, there was an incident when I said something harshly to one of my children. It breaks my heart as I recollect the hurt expression that enveloped their face, almost a look of betrayal. I wish I could take it back, but it’s too late. With both of those incidents, I have humbled myself and asked forgiveness. Asking forgiveness is a critical step as it stops bitterness from growing and destroying a relationship, but it does not eliminate the pain. The only way to avoid others’ pain is not to hurt them in the first place.
As dads, we are called to nurture and encourage those entrusted to our care. Yet careless, angry words can tear down, in a minute, what has taken weeks to build up. May our words be filled with praise as we train up these precious souls God has given us.