Some days test me more than others. Today was one of those days. My toddler is at an age where she's testing her limits, seeing how far she can take things, if and when she'll get her way. When she doesn't get her way she screams at me and/or throws herself down on the floor in the fit. The sound level is enough to give me a headache, her screaming is enough to make me feel helpless as a parent. Oh, how I'd love to give into her every time. Oh how I hate to hear her cry. But stand firm I must, because I know it's for her own good. I know, in the long run, she'll be the better for it. And so, I ignore the screams, I give her space, I put her in a quiet place for a few minutes and then I love on her and calmly explain why her reaction was wrong. She may be a little young to understand all of the words I say, but she's old enough to sense my reaction, to understand that she was in the wrong.
And isn't that the truth for me as well? There have been times when I've kicked and screamed my way through life. Times when I insisted that I know best, when I refused to listen to any other voice of reason. But my Father up Above knew better. He saw the big picture. He knew what would ultimately be in my best interest. And so, He reigned me in. He helped me through difficult times. He held my hand when I needed it. He encouraged me, uplifted me, and, ultimately, made me stronger. Yes, those times of growing were hard. Yes, I didn't like it. But, my, am I thankful for a patient Savior that knows what's best for me.
Fathers, do not exasperate your children; instead, bring them up in the training and instruction of the Lord" (Ephesians 6:4, NIV).
"Start children off on the way they should go, and even when they are old they will not turn from it" (Proverbs 22:6, NIV).
"See how happy the man is God corrects; so do not reject the discipline of the Almighty" (Job 5:17, HCSB).