I read a book recently called, “Loving the Little Years” and there was one thought that has really stayed with me. The author gave the analogy of thinking of your child’s emotions like a wild horse. Putting a two year old in charge of this beast is comical and even 12 year olds are going to struggle with handling such an enormous animal. It takes a lot of practice, patience and teaching to master a wild horse. Key word here is ‘teaching.’
The other day my Little Man got very frustrated and upset as I wasn’t allowing him to have his way. This progressed into a full-on tantrum and as I picked him up he bit me REALLY hard. It took every ounce of will power to not act out and smack him back. Now this story isn’t about how I handled the situation (although I felt I handled it well) but more about what it brought up in me. I was SO ANGRY! How could he disrespect me to the point of causing me physical harm? After all I do for him! Doesn’t he know all I want is what’s best for him? Can’t he just accept this and obey me without question sometimes!? I can’t always explain the rationale behind every tiny decision I make!
My anger seethed for a few hours and even later that evening I found myself still harboring a bit of resentment. MAN this anger really gets a hold of you, doesn’t it!? But as I pondered all the self righteous thoughts I had the Lord reminded me of what I had read not too long ago. He said, “Kate, you are him! You struggle and wiggle in my grasp and sometimes you lash out and even bite me. Don’t you know I love you and want what’s best for you? Why do you fight me at every tiny request?” Once again I was humbled and brought to my knees.
I think back on how often I have pushed back and struggled with what the Lord asks of me. How often I choose my desires over His. And when the consequences set in I can even lash out in anger.
A theme that keeps coming up for me as I am studying the book of Genisis is the theme of OBEDIENCE. Abraham is asked to offer up his son Isaac and the Bible states, “So Abraham rose early in the morning and saddled his donkey, and took two of His young men with him and Isaac his son; and he split wood for the burnt offering, and arose and went to the place of which God had told him.” (Genesis 22:3). God didn’t give an explanation or His end goal. Yet Abraham obeyed without question. And he didn’t just obey, he obeyed immediately! There was no questioning God’s motive because Abraham KNEW God and trusted that He had his best interest at heart. The end result was Abraham being blessed for his obedience with God‘s provision of a ram, and a beautiful picture of the sacrifice that Jesus would make for us 2,000 years later.
Now I am not saying my son will or should always obey without question (although that would be GREAT!). I mean he is being asked to trust in a fallen human being, his mother. But this remembrance makes me want to BE a mother he can always trust in. A very smart woman once told our MOPS group that as moms of little ones we are “GOD with skin on” to them until they can learn who God is on their own.
My son shouldn’t be expected to master this beast of emotions on his own. He needs someone to come alongside him and teach him how to handle the frustration, the sadness and the anger. But most important is teaching him that when I am no longer there beside him showing him the way he has a heavenly father that will never let go and wants to guide him the rest of the way. God is asking me to teach him. And I will be blessed for my obedience.