Monday, January 30, 2012

The Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil

(This post is part of item 6 on my 2011-2012 Resolving Life post.)

We're reading a book about training children.  The premise is that we should train E for situations before they actually occur so that we're not disciplining and training at the same time...which is kind of frustrating and generally unfair to her.

The primary objectives in the upcoming months are learning the word "no" (that will be this week-ish, btw), and also learning (once she's mobile) to come when we call her the first time.  


I actually just sighed out loud thinking about the days ahead.  I have enjoyed being the mom of an infant for the last 7 months.  She's kind of like a live baby doll.  She does what I want her to do, she stays where I put her, and she smiles when I ask her to.  

Or, she did.  

That began changing around a few weeks ago.  (insert another sigh here)  She is still quite lovable, but she has her own little mind, and her own little personality doesn't always agree with me.  Shocking. 

Anyway, stay tuned for some delightful updates on the training front.  It promises to be quite exciting.

As I was saying, we're reading this book.  It discusses how children may make wrong decisions, but before they know the decisions are wrong and actively choose to disobey, they aren't held accountable for their sins.  

But, at some point, every person has their moment where they face their tree of good and evil, and (as the author points out), so far everyone except for Jesus has failed in that moment.

I burst into tears when I read that.  

As I sat with a sick feeling in the pit of my stomach, it made me wonder how God felt on the day He woke up in Heaven on the day Adam and Eve disobeyed.  

(yes...I know His time is different, and He doesn't sleep, etc., etc., etc., but whenever that moment was on the verge of occurring in God-time...)  

I wonder if Jesus prayed for them to make the right decision one last time before they sinned.  He prayed for Peter not to fall away, and that after he did, that Peter would come back.  (Lk. 22:31-32)  I hope Jesus will be praying for Emily in her moment, too.  I think he does.  He died for us for just that reason, and he always lives to intercede for us. (Heb. 7:25)


My baby girl, while born into sin as a human being, still hasn't had her moment to willfully flaunt her sinfulness in the face of God (or us), but the day will come.  When it does, she will fail.  There is nothing I can do to stop her.  I can't reason with her about why it's better to do things God's way, and how He knows best, and why life will just kind of go downhill once she chooses to be disobedient to Him.  I can't tell her that she will spend many hours with an aching emptiness, wondering if anyone (even her parents) love her, and that until she chooses to embrace God's gift of Jesus on the cross, she will never find true joy, or love, or peace, or any of the other fruits that come from a relationship with Him. 

I think even harder than that, though, is that I have to recognize that my baby girl doesn't ultimately belong to me, and I cannot make decisions for her.  I have to trust the One who has rescued me from the pit of despair to do the same for my child.  To make her His child, too.  We have been praying for this since before she was born.  Frankly, since long before I became pregnant.

What can I do, then?  My job is to simply trust God, serve Him, and wholly love Him.  Then, my secondary job is to be the best Mama I can.  I know so many people who've had parents whose lives pushed them further from God.  I've also been privileged to experience the fruit of second and third generations of godly parenting for myself and Matt, and I know that being a godly parent is possible.  I never want anything that I do to be a hindrance to her relationship with our Savior.

So...I will begin training Miss E very, very soon.  But, as I do, I will also be training myself.  I'll be working on my own discipline and example, because that will train her just as much as anything else.


Update:  I actually typed this a few weeks ago, but I forgot to post it till now.  We've begun working on "no" already.  She understands it most of the time and cries at me in frustration (a fake, annoyed cry...not a real, sad-baby cry) when I tell her no.  But, she has also begun to stop when I tell her no.  In fact, last week, I was at the other end of the room, and she obeyed me despite the distance.  We still need to work on it, but it's coming along.

The current issue we're having is that she is a screamer.  She SCREAMS when we go into her room, because she knows it'd time for a diaper change or a nap, and she doesn't like either option.  I'm not positive, but I think she's going to be a dramatic one.  :)  Oh!  And she wants to be held all the time, too.  By me. 

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