Madelyn has been in a season of testing her Mommy and Daddy for the past month or so. It is amazing what this little 14 month old understands and she wants to know if Mommy and Daddy really mean what they say. Do they really mean “no touch” with the Christmas tree? Should I really stay in my “big girl” bed when they tell me its “nappy time”? And what about drinks, salsa, and other spill-able items…are they really “no touches” as well?
Madelyn, if you’re reading this blog when you’re supposed to be napping, the answer to all of the above is “YES”! We really do mean what we say.
I know that it should not surprise me that Madelyn is testing our authority, and yet, each time I hear her toys clunking around upstairs during nap time, I walk in and often audibly gasp in disbelief. Shock of all shocks! My daughter is naughty! I don’t have to look far to be reminded that Madelyn, just like her mommy and daddy, is a sinner. The book of Romans clearly states that ALL have sinned and fall short of the glory of God. Yes, even my adorable, cute-as-a-button little girl.
So please pray for Ben and I as we seek to train and discipline Madelyn with love, patience, and much of God’s grace. In The Duties of Parents, J.C. Ryle states,
“We are like young horses in the hands of a breaker; handle them kindly and make much of them, and by and by you may guide them with thread; use them roughly and violently, and it will be many a month before you get the mastery of them at all. Now children’s minds are cast in much the same mold as our own. Sternness and severity of manner chill them and throw them back . It shuts up their hearts, and you will weary yourself to find the door….You must set before your children their duty, but if affection be wanting in your treatment, your labor will be all in vain.”
As we continue to be tested, and we know that as parents, we will be, our desire is to handle Madelyn, and Lord willing, one day Anderson, kindly and with affection. Please pray for us!