July 30, 2009
Learning the Hard Way
"A wise son heeds his father’s instruction, but a mocker does not listen to rebuke." Proverbs 13:1 (NIV)
As of January, I am now the mother of three boys under four years of age. Our house is full of testosterone and a loud, unbridled enthusiasm for life. This is most true of our middle son Dylan. He is wild and rambunctious - a boy through and through.
If you were to watch him enter a room, you would notice that he makes a mental list of every structure that he can scale, leap off of or turn over. He is as creative as he is fearless. It’s a dangerous combination.
To make matters worse, he has an extremely high tolerance for pain. My husband Chad and I are regularly amazed at the bumps, scrapes and knots that do not elicit tears or pleas for comfort. He is remarkably tough. Or stubborn. I am not sure which.
Unfortunately, he has gotten more brazen in his attempts of late. He has noticed that I spend most of my day incapacitated with a nursing child in my arms as my primary responsibility. This has greatly slowed or halted my efforts to keep Dylan from his version of “extreme sports.” If the mere warning from my voice was enough to stop my little acrobat, he’d be fine. However, my two-year old doesn’t always listen the first time I say, “No.”
So I have resigned myself to the fact that he is going to learn a few lessons the hard way. He is going to fall. He might even get hurt. I can’t always be there to physically remove him from every obstacle he scales. I can’t prevent every painful consequence of doing precisely what he chooses.
While I was praying for him the other night I asked God to make him more sensitive to my voice and to protect him when he ignores me and falls. I prayed for a gracious and forgiving attitude when he does need my comfort. In the quiet of my bedroom the Creator whispered, “I’m pretty good at that; that’s how I often parent you.”
I knew in an instant what God meant. I regularly dive head-first into a situation analyzing how I’ll attack it. It’s not long after God has chastened my heart that I move onto the next dangerous display of independence. If I would simply listen to His voice, I’d be fine. He has desired on many occasions to protect me from painful consequences, to protect me from myself. Instead I chose to learn the lessons the hard way. I wish I could say it only happened once or twice, but like my two year-old, I am remarkably tough, or stubborn. Neither is a good characteristic for a child.
I finished my prayer that night asking my Heavenly Father to forgive my toddler-like ways. I am trying to listen more carefully to His voice. I want to respond immediately. I am sure to encounter fewer bumps and bruises along the way. More importantly, I am sure to enjoy the smile and warm embrace of my all-gracious Father.
Dear Lord, thank You that You are patient and kind with me in my follies. Help me heed Your warnings the first time. It is good to rest assured that You guard me, smiling on Your daughter as You watch my steps. Thank You that You discipline me because of Your great love. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
Look for ways to extend grace to others who are suffering the consequences of their own poor choices.
What painful circumstances have you endured because you didn’t heed the Father’s voice?
In what ways are you testing the Father?
Deuteronomy 8:5, “Know then in your heart that as a man disciplines his son, so the LORD your God disciplines you.” (NIV)
Hebrews 12:5-6, “And you have forgotten that word of encouragement that addresses you as sons: ‘My son, do not make light of the Lord's discipline, and do not lose heart when he rebukes you, because the Lord disciplines those he loves, and he punishes everyone he accepts as a son.’" (NIV)
Numbers 6:24-25, “God bless you and keep you, God smile on you and gift you…” (MSG)
© 2009 by Whitney Capps. All rights reserved.
Proverbs 31 Ministries
616-G Matthews-Mint Hill Road
Matthews, NC 28105