I believe in and have always believed in “fair warnings.” I was raised that way! That is to say, I won’t just spank my kid randomly or pop-off a less-than-nice comment without warning the offender one time. That’s “fair warning.” I think God might refer to that as Grace.
If my kids starting acting up in public, I’d warn them. “Stop this OR you’re going to get a spanking.” Now with using “fair warning,” the next infraction incurs the punishment. However, while in active abuse, this WASN’T me…I’d give them “one more chance,” then another “one more chance,” until they would have to answer to my Ex. Needless to say, they got an immediate spanking. Then again, I couldn’t understand why they weren’t respecting me???
The disrespect was ultimately my then-husband disrespecting me in front of them. However, they were not respecting me too because I had no follow through. I had to make myself a person of my word. I had to follow through and I started just giving the “fair warning.” So much so that my children started taking me seriously. They would do something they knew they shouldn’t, then look at me. “Fair warning,” I’d say. “You do that again and this will happen!” That’s all it took — follow through. I still had SOME issues with disrespect, but I was getting far better results than I had ever hoped.
So, why was I previously being so lenient? Probably because their father was SO hard on them and then SO hard on me after-the-fact. Sometimes, he’d punish them and then I’d get a dose of punishment too, because he didn’t want to have to deal with children. I was always baffled, because he’d always led me to believe that he always wanted to be a father. He wanted to be a father in name and respect, but did NOT want to put the work in.
Now, having to single parent, I am ALWAYS a woman of my word. In fact, as a I near fifty-years-old, I issue fair warnings to everyone I know and love. Have you wronged me? I’m going to let you know that I still love you, but I will take drastic steps if you wrong me in the same way again. I have cut off so-called friends from my life when they kept doing the same thing. One “friend” even kept trying to secretly talk to a few gentlemen that started talking to me, after my divorce. She couldn’t get her own beaus, so she was taking my perspective ones! I warned her one time and found out she secretly kept doing it, so I had to cut off all contact with her. It’s amazing how quickly she turned victim!
I guess as we age, we have less of a tolerance for BS and just try to simplify our lives. However, when I think about it, the “fair warning” thing that I was doing is the same thing that God does with us. He offers his Grace so we can right our behavior. If we don’t, there can be consequences. He sends us events or people that help steer us back onto the path He wants for us. I don’t know why that never dawned on me before now!?!
Please don’t mistake what I’m saying. I am NOT comparing myself to God…I fall VERY, VERY short! However, I am learning from His word and his teaching. I believe in kindness and fairness, but I also believe in setting boundaries. I didn’t have boundaries before, when in active abuse, and just look at how THAT turned out! He shapes my life and keeps me safe, just the same way I tried to mold my kids and keep them safe from harm.
Love and light! <3