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September 7, 2007

I know a lot of moms who would be…well…flabbergasted at what I am about to write.

I don’t believe in babyproofing our home. Well, let me clarify, I do make sure my home is safe for our children, but I don’t go overboard. I take care of the things that could potentially cause serious injury or death, like electrical outlets and furniture that could tip over. But, I don’t remove every little item that might cause an injury to our children. Why? Because I believe that God gave us senses so that we can learn from the world around us.

Here is an example. My eight month old loves anything that looks like a cord. Strings, ropes, plugs, etc… So when I see him crawling toward the baby monitor cord, plugged into the wall and sitting about 2 feet above his head, I have a choice. I can remove the monitor, immediately stuff one of the plastic outlet protectors into the offending hole, and my son is safe and all is well. OR, I can leave the monitor where it sits. When he approaches the cord, I utter a firm “NO, NO.” Then he looks at me, looks at the cord, then looks at me again and smiles, continuing on his journey to the cord. So I say again, “NO, NO!” He looks at me again, smiles, then reaches for the cord. One more time, a little firmer and louder, I say “NO, NO!” This time he doesn’t look back, he just grabs the cord and pulls.

So what happens next? Well it is possible that the monitor falls and thumps him on the head, or it may just crash to the floor. Either way, he has been startled enough to learn that Mommy has a reason for saying “NO”. Now what could have been just a routine play session (had I removed the monitor) has turned into a very valuable lesson in obedience, and gravity.

Of course I don’t like to see my children get hurt. It is probably much more painful for me than it is for them. But too much of the time I think we protect our children so much that we remove some very valuable teaching tools. They have to learn that bad choices have consequences, and in my opinion, the earlier they learn that lesson, the better.

When I sat to write this morning, I had no idea that I would discover a lesson for myself in what I was writing. But what an incredible parallel to our walk as Christians. So many times we hear people say “how could God let this happen to me?” But imagine yourself standing at the end of your life looking back. Who would you be without all the bumps and bruises you encountered along the way? What would your character be like if God had made your life easy and removed all the little things that caused you pain? I can only imagine how painful it must be for Him to see all His little children making bad choices that He knows will hurt them.

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