My son is entering a new phase. It’s a phase that many call the “Terrible Twos”. I have no idea how my son got to this phase being that he’s only 16 months old. But somehow he’s learned that if he arches his back when I try to pick him up or throws himself down on the floor and cries, then he can get us to do whatever he wants. Now, maybe we are part to blame. He’s our first and only child and we are attentive to his needs, but we’ve never just given him what he wants. He eats his vegetables. He goes to bed. He plays where we allow him to play. But, now he’s getting a little out of control. He wants us to do what he wants, when he wants. And to ensure that we are at his beck and call, he’s been throwing temper tantrums. Yes, my angel has learned the art of the tantrum. My husband and I are wondering where he learned this from. He doesn’t attend daycare. He’s not around a plethora of kids. He’s never seen one on TV. We can only chalk it up to the sin nature. He was just born this way as Lady Gaga would say.
Well, watching my son throw temper tantrums has made me think about our relationship to our Heavenly Father. How many times do we—even as sophisticated adults—throw super-sized temper tantrums in order to get God to move heaven and earth to give us what we desire? I don’t know about you, but I can be honest and admit that there were times when I cried, stayed up all night, and kicked my feet against the mattress wondering why I was going through what I was going through when I was going through it. And true to form, God did not give in to my temper tantrum, but helped me realize that His will is what’s best for me. Patiently and gently, the Lord helped me to trust His perfect will and accept that He wasn’t going to do whatever I demanded. What an amazing lesson that is for us as parents. Yes, it’s embarrassing to have your toddler turn out the restaurant, church, or daycare, but we have to teach our children that we know what’s best for them and that it’s better to wait until we give them the thumbs up to do whatever it is they are trying to manipulate us to do. Now, I’m not talking about doing something mean-spirited like withholding a need or basic necessity. I’m talking about not giving in to childish demands and using godly wisdom to help them see things our way. That means that we must correct and discipline in the same manner of our Heavenly Father—in patience, wisdom and love.
I hate the “Terrible Twos”. I remember when my nephew went through it. We couldn’t take him anywhere. But, just like my nephew who’s now 4, I know that this, too, shall pass. With God’s help, my husband and I will lay the foundation for an obedient child.