Monday, April 7, 2014

The Toddler Nos

I knew it would happen, but that didn't make it any easier.

Our cute little 17-month-old started telling us, "No."

Honestly, sometimes it is hard not to chuckle at how cute he is when he says it. It's not yet that ugly, screaming, "NOOOOO!"  that I know I will hear one day soon. Right now it's just a cute, almost innocent sounding,"No?"

But, it is not honoring and obeying his parents.

It seems like with each new development I'll text Stephen: "Jude has started _____________, what do I do?" And, thankfully, he always has just the right answer.

As we parent a little sinner, I am becoming overwhelmingly thankful that the Lord has led us to a gospel-centered approach to parenting. I'm thankful that Stephen and I are on the same page. That we are a team. I know it is not that way in all homes. But, by the grace of God it is a blessing to be a parent alongside my man.

It is so sad to see your child's sinfulness. I mean, you KNOW it is there. Yet it hurts so much to see it come out in defiance and tantrums. And as I see it, I am reminded that he needs a Savior. And, I am reminded that I need a savior to navigate these parenting waters. 

So, what do we do when he says "no?"

We discipline defiance.  For issues of defiance, we remind him that the Lord wants him to obey mama and daddy (Ephesians 6:1) and help him practice. If it is a "no" to something he doesn't want like food or a toy we remind him to be thankful for what he is given rather than coveting something better. We pray with him that the Lord will one day save him and give him a new heart - one that desires obedience to God and therefore his parents.

It's hard. So far, the "toddler nos" are not fun. But, I know that how we deal with sin is an important foundation for the gospel. I pray the Lord will save him one day.

I know that he does not understand it all. But, I try not to grow weary from doing good. The routine of discipline and training may be more for us at this point. We are getting into the habit of pointing him to God's word and praying with him about his disobedience every time we discipline. 

The "toddler nos" are no fun.  But, they bring an opportunity for us to teach the Gospel and I pray we not forget it.

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