You know what kids are really good at?
You know what parents are really good at?
Ruining their fun.
I honestly hate having to ruin my boys' fun. But for the sake of their lives, I sometimes have to. We'd be at the emergency room every week if I didn't ruin their fun every once in awhile.
Hard core tackling on the asphalt driveway.
Using sticks as swords.
Chasing each other with baseball bats.
Sticking the hose in their mouths and turning the water on.
Shoving as much food in their mouths as possible.
Sliding down the driveway (sitting on a skateboard) into the street.
Dancing on top of the kitchen chairs.
Throwing walnuts at each other.
Laying on top of their sister.
...has to be ruined.
I usually hear an "Aw Mom" type of response when I put a halt to those dangerously fun activities. And then I respond with an "I love you and I'm only trying to protect you" type response which at their age means nothing to them. It's likely that all their thinking about is how lame I am.
This is what parenting is though. We love our kids more than we've ever loved anything in this world and so we do what we wish we didn't have to do because we want to protect them. So we set ground rules and, when necessary, we draw a line in the sand...even when they are having the time of their lives. And these rules and boundaries that sometimes ruin their fun are for their own good.
Nearly 11 months ago, I wrote a blog comparing parenting boundaries to God's boundaries. Here is the link in case you'd like to read it in its entirety: God's Boundaries. However, if you don't mind, I'd like to share with you again some thoughts I had. I feel this topic is worth talking and praying about again because it's vital to our children's growth and relationship with God.
Back in February I wrote the following...
Drawing boundary lines for my kids reminds me of the need for God's boundaries in our own lives. In His Word, there are clear boundary lines drawn which we understand as His laws, commandments, statues, precepts, or righteousness. He does not draw these boundaries to ruin our fun, rather to demonstrate His love for us.
As you read the following Scripture make note of the underlined descriptions of God's boundaries AND then the bold benefits they ensue upon those who follow them.
"The law of the LORD is perfect, reviving the soul.
The statutes of the LORD are trustworthy, making wise the simple.
The precepts of the LORD are right, giving joy to the heart.
The commands of the LORD are radiant, giving light to the eyes.
The fear of the LORD is pure, enduring forever.
The ordinances of the LORD are sure and altogether righteous.
They are more precious than gold, than much pure gold;
they are sweeter than honey, than honey from the comb.
By them is your servant warned;
in keeping them there is great reward."
I love the descriptions of God's boundaries: perfect, trustworthy, right, radiant, pure, sure, righteous, precious and sweet!
I am motivated by the benefits of staying within His boundaries: revives my soul, makes my simple mind--wise, gives joy to my heart, gives light to my eyes, and brings great rewards.
On paper, the descriptions and benefits outshine the fun that might be ruined as a result of staying within the boundaries. However, when push comes to shove we often are blinded to the benefits because we are so fixated on the BOUNDARY itself. And not the perfection of the boundary but literally the boundary...that which we are restricted from.
As we teach our children about God's perfect and trustworthy boundaries for their lives, let's pray the following:
Thank you for loving us enough to draw boundary lines for our own protection. Give us wisdom as we teach our children about Your perfect, trustworthy boundaries for their lives and help them to focus on the benefits rather than the boundaries themselves. May they understand that Your love for them motivates the boundaries you've set and, as they stay within them, may they experience the great rewards of wisdom, joy, and revival of their soul. Psalm 19:7-11