“What does your heart tell you?” “Do what you feel.” “If it feels good, do it.”
Such are the phrases our society BOMBARDS us with day after day. Obedience and self-control seem to obsolete in the day of moral relativity. However, obedience has been one of our MAIN words we’ve used with our children from day one because, well, it seemed the right thing to do. BUT, over the last few months, I’ve come to the startling revelation that without self-control, obedience is super difficult for anyone to do.
So, with that said… Obedience coupled with self-control have been main talking points in our home lately. And, it’s hard. It’s messy. It goes against our culture with EVERY fiber. We’ve heard phrases like… “But, mommy, I CAN’T control myself.” (Yes, I realize that my dear. That’s why we’re trying to teach you HOW to do this.) “Behaving when I don’t feel like it ISN’T fun.” (Oh, and missing out on playing with your friends watching your sister sob because you hit her with a stick whilst sitting on your bed in time out is? Interesting.)
We have super duper, over-the-top, AWESOME kids! But, with that awesomeness comes some not so awesome moments, and we have to deal with them, in love. Just yesterday, Anna and Emily were my companions in the grocery story, but Anna had a hard time keeping her hands to herself and staying with me. In fact, she almost got hit by a car in the parking lot because she ran out ahead of me. So, the Frosty treat I had a planned after our grocery shopping got canceled, and Anna had to sit in timeout when we returned home, and she WAS NOT happy. With every fiber of my being, I wanted to give in, but I knew I had to teach her how to behave and obey even when she didn’t necessarily “want to.” (Self-control) After 5 minutes, I went to her room, her eyes red from crying, and she told me right away that she wrote me a note, which could be found on my bedside table. I went first there to see what she had wrote, hoping for a super sweet apology. Nope. It was Anna’s name, circled and crossed out, Mom’s name, circled and crossed, out, and a heart, circled and then crossed out. **Heart breaking…** So, I went back to Anna, and asked her what it meant. She said, “You don’t love me anymore because I can’t behave.” Of course, I scooped that little sweetie up and showered her with love and kisses. “Of course I love you, Anna. If I didn’t love you this much, I would allow to do whatever you wanted, no matter what consequences would come later. I love you TOO much to allow you to act however you choose. It’s my job to help you become a fabulous young lady.” I believe she finally got it and allowed my words to sink in.
Like I said, it’s messy. It’s not perfect. But, I do hope it helps my kids to know JUST how much I do love them. I love them enough to tell them “no.” I love them enough to set up boundaries that they shouldn’t cross. I love them enough guard what and how much media they ingest. I love THEM.
Thank you, Lord, for these gifts. May I be ever mindful of the blessing they are, and help me to be sensitive to the Holy Spirit as I teach them to become the young people YOU’VE created them to be. May they see YOU in me.