January 15, 2012
So I’ve started a new training session with my children this week. It is my hope that someday my children will sit still and quiet during family devotions with the ultimate goal of being able to sit through church services. My five year old has no problem doing this. He spends hours a day in Bible study with either me (as part of his daily lessons) or with his Daddy (as part of nightly man time). He attends Sunday School and worship services with us. Our two and one year old are another matter. So each day we practice ‘sitting like a black belt’ (our son is taking Tae Kwon Do and his sisters like to emulate him). Each day we try to better the time from the day before. We are not in competition with each other; we are in competition with ourselves. Each day they better their time they get a treat. The exercise serves several purposes. It teaches the children self-control, discipline and focus.
The problem comes from our one year old. She does not like to sit. I will gently pick her up, bring her back, sit her down, and remind her we’re sitting like black belts. She’ll sit for another 30 seconds then she’s off and running. This happens 2-3 times before the tantrum starts. I try to sit her on my lap and hold her but that is when the full-body fit, accompanied by screaming started. I had a flash back to a couple of weeks before when she was throwing the same fit while in her father’s arms. The thought occurred to me both times how we were not punishing her; we were not trying to do her harm; we simply wanted to console her in the first instance and have her rest quietly in the second instance. I was shocked and amazed at how violently she reacted to the loving embrace of her Mommy and Daddy. Then I thought how like her we are toward our Father.
How often do we throw tantrums, have full-body fits, and scream when all our Father wants us to do is rest quietly in His arms so He can give us comfort?
In due course she would have been released from our embrace to once again go about her business. Had she sat quietly when asked the exercise would have been over in five minutes. Instead it lasted oh so much longer for her.
In due course we would be released from our Father’s embrace to once again go about our business. How much longer does He hold us because we will not rest?
“Rest in the Lord, and wait patiently for Him…” –Psalm 37:7