18 January 2012

Say It

Remember: you are dust
The last few days have been difficult as a dad; our older boy has been testing the boundaries, and yes, they're still there. I really don't enjoy bringing my son back to his senses, especially when for months he's avoided outright disobedience.

However, there's a freshness to it too. After he's cried and said he's sorry, and we've hugged it out and I've said I forgive him, we know something we weren't sure about a few minutes before. That is, I'm the dad and he's the son. And even though he's acted out for two straight days, part of me can't blame him. First of all he's four, and that's just his M.O. as the representative for his age group. Second, he reminds me of, well, me.

I told myself a long time ago that if I was going to be able to love God and others every day, I would have to practice a small habit before I rolled out of bed: I'd say, "God is God; I am not."

Isn't that the ultimate boundary? Don't we all need to know it before we begin our day?

You see, this habit, this reestablishing boundaries, is so devastatingly simple you'd think it would stick. Yet I find so many ways to skip it. Why? Because deep down where he's working now, I'm still not convinced that I'm not God.

And when I do confess this simple hierarchy - and it's usually mixed with other confessions - the order is set and I can act rightly. I can worship; I can love; I can see with his eyes.

I need to be more like my four-year-old. At least when he's unsure of the boundaries, he's good at begging me to set them anew.

"What do you tell me?"
"I'm sorry."
"I forgive you."

Before you begin, say it: "God is God; I am not."


RachelMaryBean said...

It's tough being a kid, and it's a lot tougher being a parent! As far as I can tell it does get easier. :)(My oldest two are five and seven.)

Margo Kelly said...

Oh. My. Gosh! Great post!!!

When I read the first paragraph, I thought you were talking about a teenage son ... and then I read 4 years old. *sigh*

Parenting never ends. And, it sounds like you're doing a great job. Reread this post when your son is a teenager! It may help then, too.

I have three teenagers, and I love them all so much. But, they test the boundaries and need to be reminded, and forgiven.

cleemckenzie said...

Hang in there. Those boys are a challenge--I speak from experience. But they do grow up and you'll be pleasantly surprised at what wonderful people they are.

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