Being a parent is a wonderful thing. A hard thing, but a good thing nevertheless. When a child doesn’t get their way and throws a temper tantrum what do you do? Throw one back? Reason with someone who may be unreasonable at the moment? Spank or scold the child?
I haven’t been a parent for long but we received some good advice once about how to handle children in such a moment. I remember someone telling us, “Don’t discipline merely for actions they do, teach through discipline about the why they do what they do.” I took that advice like this: rather than reacting to the outward actions or fruit of a temper tantrum, search for the root of the action. Of course this is in area that we’re growing in, but we’ve found this to be foundational to the discipline of a child.
Isn’t this how God treats us? Isn’t that how He reacts to our temper tantrums? Gracious and strong in His Fatherly discipline, getting to the root of the issue, not merely the fruit of the issue. Well, in Jonah 4 we have not only a child-ish temper tantrum before us, we have God responding to it as well, which as you can imagine gives us much to learn and see. Follow along as I read Jonah 4:1-11.