For nearly three years, our first child, Lilla, was, to say the least, the sun and moon in our lives. It seemed nearly every thing revolved around this child. Since I was a stay at home mom, all my time seemed to be devoted to the care and love of this little girl. My attention was fully hers…and she loved it!
Two years ago, we were trying for our second child. We thought it would be great for Lilla to have a friend, but also wanted her to really realize that she was not first in the world. That she would need to share with others and begin to put others first. When we got pregnant, we knew the transition would be hard, but hadn’t quite planned for what would happen next.
Our once sweet child turned into a tantrum throwing, yelling, crying, disrespectful one. We were shocked at the way she was suddenly behaving. At first we coddled her, knowing she was hurt and upset, but then we started to get mad, which changed to concern for her heart. We obviously couldn’t let her be so disrespectful to us as we really believe she will treat all authority, including God, this way.
As we do believe in biblical discipline, we spanked, which did work somewhat for a time. The other night though she just began yelling at my husband because she didn’t want to go to bed. I could tell he was losing his patience with her and so I told him we need to try a different approach. We decided to deal with her mouth as that was where the problems were stemming and so he put the smallest drop of soap on her tongue. She gagged a little and after she was cleaned up she said to him, “Daddy, why did you make me vomit?”
Michael sat her down and said, “Lilla, Daddy didn’t make you vomit, YOU chose to be disrespectful, to not honor Daddy or God, to yell at me instead of obey. Daddy had to choose to obey God and discipline you in order to train you that you need to be respectful and obedient to Daddy and to God. You chose to not be loving and Daddy needs to train your heart to make good choices.”
She said, “OK.” And then she went to bed.
As I listened to this whole situation taking place, I was reminded of my relationship with God. How often He has to discipline me and put soap in my mouth. I do not enjoy the after taste, being disciplined stinks, to say the least. But, I surely continue to disobey, and so God continues to discipline. He does it because He loves me and He wants me to be loving to Him and to others, to make good choices. What a loving God to want to train me to make good choices and to ultimately be more like Him. To take time with Amy, who does not deserve His love or His grace. So grateful for my Saviour today…He loves even me.