This is to my Father's glory, that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves
to be my disciples. John 15:8

Parenting Theology

>> Monday, February 11, 2008

I have a confession to make. One of the areas I struggle most with as a believer is in being submissive to God's authority. Particularly submitting to Him what I percieve to be mine. My money, my time, my children, my opinions. After all....I didn't ask to be created. Why should I have to give Him anything? I know, I know....He is God and I am not. He is worthy of my obedience because of His love and sacrifice for me. These are the things that I know in my head, but not always in my heart. I am stubborn by nature and I want to be independent. In the end, my head usually wins out and I am able to comprehend His sovereignty just enough to obey. For now. Next time I will struggle with submitting again.

Elijah is clearly experiencing the same struggle. Only his battle is not with the Lord. It is with me. He has recently become very familiar with the words "That is mine!" (Imagine it being said in a very whiny, loud tone with Micah screaming along because Elijah has just ripped a toy out of his hands). Those of you who have gone through this phase with your children know how irritating this is. Very often the toy in question is not his, as he claims it to be, and it almost always held little attraction for him until his little brother picked it up. We have been over and over the sharing concept with little success.

Last night Elijah had been sitting at the kitchen table, putting together a puzzle while I made dinner. He has been putting together 24 piece puzzles for awhile now and had just started working on 100 piece puzzles (with the help of his daddy, of course) this weekend. The puzzle he had been working on prior to dinner was a "100-piecer" and it was about half-way done. I was sorry to interupt their fun, but dinner was ready and the completion of the puzzle would have taken too long and dinner would have been too cold. We explained to Elijah that we would set the puzzle aside and once we were done with dinner, he and daddy would continue to put it together.

That did not go over well.

He pouted in front of his dinner as the rest of us ate up. Micah devoured his and was even treated to a chocolate kiss that he received at church that morning. This sent Elijah over the edge. Not only was he not playing with his puzzle, he did not get a chocolate kiss. He began to melt down at the table. So I began to use what was nearest and dearest to his heart at that moment to try and get through to him. I started taking the puzzle apart and putting it back in the box. I explained that as long as he continued to throw a fit, I would continue to take pieces apart and if I reached the end of the pieces before he reached the end of his tantrum, I would put the puzzle away and he would go to bed.

He looked at me red-faced and angry and said "No put the puzzle away! That puzzle is MINE!"

That is when it happened. I looked at Elijah and said "There is NOTHING in this house that belongs to you! Your father and I give you everything that you have and if we want to we can take it ALL away!"

And a light bulb went off in my head.

I love my children more than anything on this earth. I would give them everything I have, including my life. There is nothing I would withold from them, should they need it or ask for it. But nothing in this home belongs to them. They are at the mercy of Mark and I to provide for their every need and want. Fortunately they have parents who are willing to oblige. For them to behave as though anything they have is theirs to use or abuse however they choose is wrong. Without us, they would not have those things.

God loves me more than anything on this earth. He would give me everything He has, including His life. But nothing on this earth belongs to me. I am at the mercy of my Father in heaven to provide for my every need and want. Fortunately, He is willing to oblige. For me to behave as though anything I have is mine to use or abuse is wrong. Without Him, I would have nothing.

Finally I get it.


Noah and Josh's Mom February 18, 2008 at 9:18 AM  

Hi, I recently came upon your blog and I love this post. Your words are so right! I have two kids, Noah 3 and Joshua 20 months. I think Noah skipped the terrible twos and is now decided to start his attitude in the 3's.

Without Him I have nothing, that is perfect.

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