Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Babygates

 
 
1 John 5:2Amplified Bible (AMP)
  By this we come to know (recognize and understand) that we love the children of God: when we love God and obey His commands (orders, charges)—[when we keep His ordinances and are mindful of His precepts and His teaching].

Proverbs 22:15Amplified Bible (AMP)
      Foolishness is bound up in the heart of a child, but the rod of discipline will drive it far from him. 


In other words... your children crave your discipline. They just don't know it yet. They need boundaries; usually so they can crawl on the fenceline, but you get the idea.

My home is being held hostage by baby gates. I remember a time of yesteryear where I could make a cup of coffee and head straight into the living room without a care in the world. It never occurred to me where I should put the cup of coffee. It never occurred to me to drink it quickly so that it didn't have to be reheated 12 times.

Those days are long gone.

I usually try to wake up with Hubster in the morning. However, I've learned not to make coffee or really anything for myself until later. Instead, I fumble around like an overmedicated mental patient getting things ready for the day.

Then, Jminator wakes up. Like all of us, if he's slept well, he wakes up the happiest little boy in the world. Talking, singing, playing with his monkey, jumping on the bed - it's great fun. But like the rest of us, if he's not quite ready to get up yet, it's a whole different little person. Definitely takes more than a bottle and some peanut butter toast to get him in a less cranky mood.

But in order for me to get him anything...  I have to be where he can't be: the kitchen. Where the hot butter and frying pan currently are sizzling.

He doesn't understand that boundary is there to protect him. Instead, he cries wails like I've left him in Siberia. Meanwhile, Dad is sitting there, bottle already made, calling his name... over.... and over... and over....

Eventually, he gives in to Dad's compassion and resigns to watch the news and play with blocks while I get breakfast done. Then, he wants to play with whatever is on the TV stand.

There's a gate around that, too. There's a gate around bloody everything in this house.

But he doesn't understand that the boundary is there to protect him. He doesn't understand that the other way I'd have to protect him is to smack his hands or worse every time he went for a power cord, an outlet, or a switch that could otherwise kill him.

I decided instead of beating the crap out of my son every 5 minutes was a bad idea, so we put up another baby gate. He's not allowed to stick his head in the toilet any longer (oh, c'mon. You know you laughed the first time) so there's a gate in the hallway. All the doors stay shut except the one to his room: the place where he can play with everything and mom doesn't have to panic every time she has to pee.

Boundaries.... Everywhere. And he thinks he's in jail.

I'm reminded over and over again how in our walk with God, boundaries are there to protect us. The young, the immature, think that God is somehow being a Big Meanie because there are things he won't let us do. To the babies, God is the World's Strictest Parent.  But eventually, we learn God's heart, His mindset, and His Truth.

Eventually, my children will be old enough I can take the gates down. They'll know instinctively not to stick their hand in the knife drawer, on the hot stove, or play in the toilet. Me taking the gates down doesn't change the rules, but rather, it means that my instructions are ingrained enough in my children that they don't need a visible reminder every time they turn around.

Until then, I'm a Big Meanie.

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