The infant daughter was just becoming mobile. Her crawling was transitioning to walking, and her walking had taken her to the hallway furnace. She was aware that the heater was cool to the touch, but with knowledge of the coming winter, mommy and daddy patiently instructed her of the “no-touch” quality of the furnace.
The story is an old one. The first hand swat was infinitely more painful for daddy than for daughter. Sometimes love, in its kindness, must confront.
When we talk of the confrontational side of love, some jump on the bandwagon. “Tough love,” “drill sergeant,” “don’t spare the rod”; these words resonate in their souls. But often the “tough” is there without the kindness of love. Others shrink away from confrontational love. “Tenderness,” “tolerance,” “forbearance”; these are their words.
Are we honest in our dealings with those God has called us to love? Honest enough to confront, yet tender in doing so?