Disappointments are for a season, but our relationships are for a lifetime. We must nurture them and take care of them.
There is a story about a little boy who had a bad temper and his father gave him a bag of nails and told him that every time he lost his temper and lashed out with his words, he would have to hammer a nail into their beautiful white picket fence that surrounded their yard.
The first day after the father made the deal with his son the young boy drove eight nails into the fence. Over the next few weeks, however, as the boy learned to control his anger, the number of nails he had to hammer each day drastically decreased. Finally, the day came when the boy did not lose his temper at all. He was so proud of himself and told his father about his accomplishment. The father put his arm around his son, walked him out to the fence and told the boy to remove a nail for each day he did not lose his temper. Quite a while passed when finally the young boy was able to remove the very last nail. As soon as he finished, the boy ran to tell his father.
The dad hugged him and said, “You’ve done so well at keeping your temper in check and I am so very proud of you but I want you to see something”. He took the boy by the hand and walked over to the fence.
“See all those holes in our beautiful fence?” he asked, and the little boy nodded his head. “That fence will never be the same”, the father said, when you say things in anger, those words leave scars just like the nail holes in our fence. You can pull the nails out, but the marks are deep and they are permanent. The same goes for our words. It does not matter how many times you say you are sorry, you can’t take those words back and the scars are still there”.
The boy’s eyes filled with tears as he looked at the beautiful fence, now riddled with holes, and said, “Please forgive me for the holes i put in the fence”.
The father smiled at the son and gave him a big hug. “Of course I do son, but from now on, just think before you speak and always speak so our words won’t hurt someone else”.
Remember, love doesn’t just happen - we must choose it!!