I still remember the first time my parents demonstrated tough love. I was about 5 or 6 years old, and I absolutely loved making mud pies in the backyard. You know, mix some dirt, water, grass, leaves, and sticks in a bucket like a mud pie! Other kids did this too, right? In any event, my dad disliked the fact that when I was done mixing my mud pie that I would dump it all over the lawn. What a mess! He told me not to make any more mud pies and that if I did there would be consequences. Can you guess what happened?
....I know the suspense is killing you....
I made another mud pie, and this time my dad caught me mid-stir. This marked the first time that I was “grounded.” I do not even remember what “grounded” meant for me at five years old, but I do remember that I never made a mud pie again after that.
Why does this matter? Well, I am using this story to illustrate a point. Tough love works. It is difficult for a parent to do, but it is a necessary learning tool for the child. Tough love does not just apply to children; it applies to us as well. We see numerous examples of the consequences of choices in the Bible – the most obvious, of course, is the story of Adam and Eve (Genesis 3). Additionally, the story of David and Bathsheba also illustrates this point very clearly. If you recall, (long story short) David saw Bathsheba from afar and made the choice to sleep with her. Bathsheba became pregnant, and David did everything he could think of to cover up his sin. As a result of his sin, Bathsheba’s husband was killed, and David’s son died as a consequence for his actions (2 Samuel 11 & 12).
At New Beginnings, the most difficult part of our job is to demonstrate tough love. The mothers come to New Beginnings for a reason – they need a new start for themselves and their child. Often times, the mothers who need us, need us because of some of the poor choices they have made in their past. As a part of preparation for a life centered on Christ’s love, we must demonstrate His love, which sometimes consists of tough love. Please continue to pray for the mothers and children at New Beginnings.
We pray that God provides each mother with the strength and resilience to overcome her past, and live a fulfilling, Christ-centered life.
Brianne Hansen is the Executive Director at New Beginnings. She grew up in Marshall, WI and graduated from Lakeside Lutheran High School. Brianne has a Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology from UW-Milwaukee and is currently pursuing a Master’s in Industrial Organizational Psychology. In her free time, she enjoys singing, camping, spending time with her dog (Bella) and cats (Mufasa & Jasmine), and going on adventures with her husband, Daniel.