I have a little boy. He really is a super sweet little boy. Sometimes, however, I don't understand little boy ways and I get frustrated. For instance, I'll ask my boy to help clean up. When I turn around I see him slowly working with one hand...the other hand is tightly clutching some special toy that he doesn't want anyone else to get. This almost always makes me angry. I try to explain to him that he can't clean as well when he is holding onto something and only using one had. He would be able to work much more efficiently if he had both hands free. I pray that this doesn't reflect how selfish he is, that he can't even set one little toy down for fear that his sisters will snatch it away. Over and over I explain this to him, day after day, it doesn't help. He doesn't understand. I don't understand.
So, one night when we had a chance to discuss some different things, I shared this with my husband. I want to be understanding.
By wisdom a house is built,
by understanding it is established.
The Lord suddenly, clearly filled my mind with understanding. Perhaps there are lessons to be learned here, bit by bit, little by little, about letting go, surrendering. Just as Abraham believed in the Lord and was willing to let go of his only son as a sacrifice on the altar, we too need to let go of whatever it is that we are holding to too tightly. What is my Isaac? What is it that I need to let go of in order to be more useful to the Lord? Could my boy slowly learn this lesson too, just as I am slowly learning it?
OR could there be a good side to this boy habit? I only call it a boy habit because I've only ever seen little boys do this...I'm sure there are little girls who must do it too though...I'm a big girl and I do it to- in a different way, a heart way. I began to reflect the wisdom that Jean Fleming shares in her book A Mother's Heart.
In one part of the book, she encourages moms by reminding them that there are usually two sides to everything. Yes, your child might be very messy, but perhaps that means she's also very creative. Not that we can overlook the bad habits of being messy, but that we should be careful to also see the good in our children. So, I began to think what this habit could reflect other than selfishness!
Perhaps there is a good quality in that part of my boy that drives me crazy that I'll one day rejoice about! Perhaps, he's being protective. If he is this protective of this little toy now, will he grow to be a protective brother, son, husband, and father? I pray he will!
Thank you Lord for giving me understanding in this matter! I won't be so quick to scold him now. Now, I can address him as I ought rather than responding in frustration. I still need to teach him to set his toy down so that he can do the job well, but instead of sharply snatching it away myself or putting it out of his reach as a punishment for being selfish, I can encourage him to set this toy that he wants to protect somewhere safe, so that he can use both hands and work diligently.
416. lessons learned from little boys
417. Selah's big hugs
418. baby sign language
419. unexpected help
420. warm baby cheeks with heads and eyes still heavy with sleep
421. a new coat
422. the helpful advice of my children
423. privilege of praying for friends
424. a chorus of birds singing outside my window
425. bright sun breaking through heavy gray winter clouds
425. winter walks
426. new fabric
427. clean rooms...even if but for a night
428. the smell of fresh roasted coffee
429. lingering evidence of a good workout
430. beanbag chairs, books, and bedtime
431. This poem by Irene Foster (taken from the book mentioned above)