NO, I don’t want to…..

Words all parents have heard at one time or another. Now I admit I am a newbie to this thing called parenting. My children are under the age of four so I am definitely learning and by no means am I a perfect parent…..who is?!?!?

So when my child has a power trip and feels the urge to lash out with her defiance how can I not help getting frustrated? No, No, No, oh and by the way NO! That two letter word bugs me to no end and ever since she learned it, it’s been at the top of her vocabulary. Her favorite time to use it against me – nap time. It’s like pulling teeth.

Then I ponder how other mothers deal with the defiance that seems to overflow once she has reached the peak of exhaustion. She can’t be reasoned with and seems to exist in her own little world. While unacceptable and inappropriate she knows she can only get away with so much. Her “NOs” are more of a test to see how far she can get away with. FYI, not very far with this momma.

Where does this power struggle come from and is this original sin rearing it’s ugly head? The sin that we are all born with? The free will that we were so generously given that even a three year old has started to use to get her way?

While she is three and by no means can I get all philosophical. The truth is that I do (not with her but myself). I think, “is this how I am with my heavenly Father?” When he prompts me to listen to him and do his will. How often have I said no, and just like my daughter says No, I don’t want to. And again not just no, but no, no, no, and by the way no. Is it the internal power struggle that we all deal with, the power to be in control? We want to be in control of our own lives, our own selves, and our own destinies. But the truth is we don’t know what is ahead. While as a parent I can explain to my children the reasoning behind my requests. She, from her perspective, cannot comprehend the reasons why just yet. As a parent she needs to nap not only because I said so, but because I need my daily two hours of sanity (how I love nap time). But really, she naps because I know what happens when she doesn’t. I know the toll it takes on her when she is sleep deprived. As a parent we know.

Just like when I choose not to listen to God or His promptings. At the time of my defiance, because I don’t want to, I don’t know – But he does. He knows. He knows what’s ahead and He knows why, because he is the perfect parent.

Ephesians 6:1-4 (NLT)

“Children obey your parents because you belong to the Lord, for this is the right thing to do. ‘Honor your father and mother.’ This is the first commandment with a promise: If you honor your father and mother, ‘things will go well for you and you will have a long life on the earth.’ Fathers do not provoke your children to anger by the way you treat them. Rather, bring them up with discipline and instruction that comes from the Lord.”

Dear Lord, Please help me as an earthly parent to stay away from power struggles with my children. At times it is hard and frustrating when they don’t do what is asked of them. Please give me strength to endure and please give me wisdom to discipline wisely according to your purpose. Help me not to provoke them but instead treat them with dignity and respect. Please help me to obey you even when I don’t want to and please help them to see you through me for you are my perfect heavenly Father. In your name we pray. Amen.

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