So Why a Living Room?

Friday, April 9, 2010

Why God loves for us to be parents.

It's so good for us to have children who don't obey us.  When it's my own kids, it of course frustrates me.  But when I watch other parents, it totally cracks me up.  And, honestly, I laugh a lot more with my second than I did with my first, because now I know that every other kid is acting the same way and I'm not a horrible parent if mine doesn't do everything I ask.

 I was at the Children's Musuem today (which, by the way, was so incredibly crowded for some reason that I'm not sure I even want to visit again before we move!  Claustrophobia!), and was watching so many parents beg their toddlers to stop splashing in the water, stop dumping sand on other kids, and I was of course whisking Jake (my two year-old) away from Emergency Exits and running at a full sprint to retrieve him after he escaped up the ramp and around the corner... 

I had the thought today, that God must smile so big when we become parents and try to get determined, strong-willed, short-sighted, squirmy kids to obey us and do the things we ask them to do.  We try every method we can think of to get them to do such obvious things, like hold our hand in the street and share toys with other kids and keep their hands out of the toilet.  It is so exasperating sometimes to be ignored and/or disobeyed by a teeny little kid who doesn't really have a clue about safety, sanitation, manners, or consequences, and yet insists on doing things his own way.

(no, this is not my kid)

What better way is there,  though,  for us to come to understand God's relationship with us?  He has a whole world full of such children--who have 1 billionth the perspective and understanding that He has of the purpose of our lives and the way to find joy, and yet we insist on disregarding his rules and doing things our own way because "we want to."   He has given us commandments and tried to teach us to hold His hand through life to stay safe, to keep our hands out of the toilets of sin, and to share our "toys" with each other so we can all be happy, but sometimes we are about as obedient as a toddler who has missed his nap. Ooooof. If you're not cringing, you must not have experienced this first hand. :)

I have loved the moments of motherhood where I think things like: 

"Okay, Ethan, I am making you a snack AS WE SPEAK.  Can you seriously not be patient for 5 minutes while I get it ready?  I know you are hungry.  I'm on it. Just calm down for a minute and wait."  

And then a whisper comes to my mind, that says, "You do this to me, you know.  I have so many blessings already in the works to give you, but sometimes you are so impatient and you whine and whine WHILE I am in the process of blessing you."

And then I smile, and say, "You're right.  How funny.  Well, I guess I know a little bit of how you feel now.  I'll try to be more patient. :) "

I watched a guy across the street the other day get left with 5 or 6 kids on the playground to look after while the mothers ran a quick errand. He said to them, "You guys have got 5 minutes.  And then I start sellin' kids."  He was kind of kidding. 

Is it bad that I was laughing at him under my breath the whole time the women were gone?  His sideways hat, and huge jean shorts, chattin' it up on his cell phone, while the kids ran wild and ignored every command he gave them.  Eventually he was running after kids in the street, yelling down the block for the bikes to come back the other way, and having to apologize to another mom for one of the kids pushing her daughter off a ledge on the playground.  I had a feeling that this guy hadn't spent much of his life with a real habit of obeying what God has commanded us to do, and so it was just so funny to me  to watch him flail around and try to get these kids to obey him.  And don't get the wrong idea, because I laugh at myself too.  :)   I think it's so good for  us to be humbled to the dust by trying to find a way to teach kids how to be safe and happy and kind--to love them more than anything in the world, so we keep trying and trying and trying to get them to understand...and to know that we see so much more than they do, and that even little mistakes can sometimes have huge consequences, and yet they still don't always trust us!

And all the while God looks down on us, with love, and maybe also a sly grin, and says, "It's tough, isn't it?"

Well, I love my kids.  And I really love it when they trust me and obey. And when we all feel joy together.

Hmmmm, makes me want to go try my very bestest to keep the commandments.


Pini Family said...

LOVE this post! I felt like I was reading my life...haha! Thanks for putting it in perspective. Sometimes we need to just stop and breathe...right?! Thanks again!!

Zip said...

This is a great blog! this post made me laugh ;)