by Kathy Howard @KathyHHoward
Because those whom the Lord loves He disciplines, and He scourges every son whom He receives. Hebrews 12:6 NIV
I love watching my daughters parent my grandchildren. They’re both wonderful mothers – loving, kind, and patient. But of course, challenges pop up constantly, and they both regularly text me for advice or just to share something funny or frustrating.
One day, our oldest daughter Kelley had a particularly bad day with one-year-old Micah. Like children are prone to do, he had thrown multiple fits throughout the day whenever something didn’t go his way. And not just a pouty face and a few tears. These were lay down on the floor, kick your legs, and bellow kind of fits.
For fun, she sent me a list of some things that set him off.
Things she stopped him from doing:
- Grabbing the handle of the pot on the stove
- Pulling electrical cords out of the sockets
- Shutting a door with his fingers in the hinges
- Digging in the trash can
- Pulling the lamp off the table
- Licking the bottom of Dad’s shoes
- Sucking on the acorn he found in the yard
- Tearing a page out of her Bible
Things he did and then didn’t like:
- Pulled the stopper out of the tub and lost all the water
- Crawled under the ottoman and got stuck
Things she did he didn’t like:
- Shut the fridge door
- Shut the dishwasher
- Made him ride in his car seat
Even though Kelley acted completely in Micah’s best interest or to prevent unneeded destruction, he rebelled. Kelley sighed; I laughed. (Nanas can do that.) But Kelley handled it all well. Micah eventually learned that this kind of behavior is not productive.
When we were toddlers, most of us eventually learned that tantrums and fits were not acceptable behavior. Most of our parents did not fall for that kind of manipulation. We never allowed our children to manipulate us like that. So why do we still sometimes try it with God?
- God, if you’ll do this for me here, then I’ll obey you in that.
- If you’ll let me get away with this one time, I won’t ever do it again.
- I can’t believe you aren’t going to let me have that!
God is the perfect, ultimate parent. He only acts in love toward us and for our good.
Our fathers disciplined us for a little while as they thought best; but God disciplines us for our good, that me may share in His holiness. No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it. Hebrews 12:10-11, NIV
Whether God withholds something we want, stops something we’re doing, or does something we don’t like, we can fully trust that it’s for our good. Even if it seems painful at the time.
God is working for our spiritual health and eternal welfare. Yet sometimes we end up on the floor, kicking our legs, and throwing a fit. Wait… maybe that’s just me?
About the Author: A former “cultural Christian,” Kathy Howard now has a passion for God’s Word that’s contagious. She encourages women to get into God’s Word for themselves in order to build an unshakable faith that will stand firm through all the trials of life. With more than 30 years of experience, Kathy has taught the Bible in dozens of states, internationally, and in a wide range of venues including multi-church conferences and large online events. She has a Masters in Religious Education and a certificate in Women’s Ministry from the Canadian Southern Baptist Seminary.
Kathy is the author of 8 books and Bible studies, including “Lavish Grace” and “30 Days of Hope When Caring for Aging Parents.” She also writes for multiple online magazines and devotional sites. Kathy and her “mostly retired” husband live in the Dallas/Ft Worth area near family. They have three married children, five grandchildren, and three dogs – one of them on purpose. She provides free discipleship resources and blogs regularly at www.KathyHoward.org. Kathy also connects with women at Facebook, Pinterest, and Instagram.
Join the conversation: Don’t leave me hanging! Tell us about a time you threw a fit with God!