Lately, as my kids have been getting bigger, I’ve noticed that t least one of them seems to be doing something I have an objection to almost all of the time. Johnny’s throwing a ball up to the ceiling and Joshua’s jumping off of a chair, or somebody’s pulling a pen out of the desk, or someone’s got their face pressed up against the window (leaving a mark, of course)… Some little annoying thing.
I could just stay on them all the time – telling them “don’t do that,” “stop it!” “put it back” over and over and over…
Now I’m not recommending laissez-faire parenting. But I realized couple of days ago, that I don’t have to do that. I can let some of this little stuff go. Otherwise, the kids will just learn to tune me out. Then when something big comes, they won’t even hear me. Not to mention that it’s hard to feel loved by someone who’s always criticizing you about something.
Another thing Eleanor and I do is to focus on whatever issue is most pressing at the time. We currently have zero tolerance on a habit Joshua has developed. When we tell Johnny not to do something, Johnny immediately does it. Right now, it’s straight to “time out” every time he does it.
It occurs to me that this is the same way the Holy Spirit works on us. God could easily say no to me every second or two for some action or thought. But instead God seems to focus on one area in our lives at a time. One day something seems OK and the next day the Holy Spirit is on it until it’s gone.
Kind of nice that God doesn’t beat us up as often as would be justified. It’s a lot easier to feel loved this way, and I don’t have to crawl into a hole and hide feeling like there’s no hope. There is hope as long as God is working.