A soft answer turns away wrath; but grievous words stir up anger
Moses represented God to the Hebrew people. He led them, cared for them, and kept them in line. But Moses was not perfect - he fell short in correctly representing God (<- follow that link for the passage)
In their wanderings through the wilderness the children of Israel were complaining... again. God ordered for Moses to simply speak to a rock to bring out water to the thirsty people. Sick of the attitudes he was seeing, he lost control and acted indignantly; he smote the rock (and in this anger, he did it, not only once, but twice). Moses' sin was not that he disobeyed God's orders -- but that he misrepresented God. Moses did not please the Lord with his behavior towards His children and he suffered sad consequences for it: not leading the Israelites into the Promised Land.
I'm not exactly sure at which point I made this parallel, but it has been heavy on my heart for quite some time. The Lord has made me leader, lover, and representer to my children. It is a hefty responsibility to carry, but He has chosen me for the position [obviously! -or I wouldn't have these two little munchkins]. When I lash out at Acacia in frustration, I am not depicting my patient, kind, and merciful Father. How can I hold hands with Acacia praying before a meal and in the next moment be slamming my hand down on the table because she wants something different to eat?
As He has shown me what Love is, I must likewise carry this Love over to my little ones. I see the way my poor reaction crushes her spirit. It breaks my heart to know that I have reacted wrongly at the expense of my dear child.
Of course, there are times when Acacia needs a firm and steady rebuke. But never should I react angrily, by my actions or cutting words.
I will also note that disobedience demands discipline [most of the time; it's good to show mercy and grace as well].
For those whom the Lord loves he disciplines...
So, if Acacia is acting rebelliously, I implement appropriate consequences. Because I love her, I want her to learn characteristics (respect, obedience, patience) and sometimes the only way to learn is the "hard" way. The crucial part is to be a parent with Godly character, responding in the proper manner. My guide is to look at the fruit of the Spirit:
the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness...
Galations 5:22My challenge this year is to respond in a fruitful way rather than a destructive way. May God give me grace to represent Him, and mercy when I fail.