Her first meltdown

Published 3:59 pm Friday, July 6, 2018

My family is having a load of fun watching our youngest grandchild grow and experience the world she is in.  At almost nine months old, there is little that gets by without little Raegan taking notice.  Her big smile is more than adorable and her mannerisms are nothing short of entertaining.  She is quickly learning a lot of things—even a few negative things. 

While we were enjoying a family gathering to celebrate Independence Day, Raegan once again did her part in keeping our attention.  But as the evening proceeded, she started to get irritable and her patience finally ran out.  Whatever angered her brought out a response that we had not yet seen in her.  She screamed and kicked with such intensity I became concerned that she was in acute pain.  As it turned out, it was merely a reaction to her realization that everything will not always go just as she would like for it to.  Thankfully her first tantrum was short in duration and she finally got back to her cheerful self.

Because the human nature has become marred by the influence of sin, we do not have to teach our little ones how to react badly—it comes naturally as Raegan demonstrated to us so clearly Wednesday evening.  That does not make her a bad child, for we expect little ones to have episodes when they respond in rather negative ways.  But it does make clear that there will be some teaching and correcting that will have to take place as she continues to grow.  Teaching and correcting is something that does not need to cease when adulthood is reached; we should spend our lives allowing God to correct and teach us so that we become increasingly more like Him. 

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God was so concerned about His people being taught correctly regarding their relationship with Him and the lifestyles that He expected them to live that He told them to “Fix these words of mine in your hearts and minds; tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads”  (Deuteronomy 11:18, New International Version).  He continued by giving additional instruction:  “Teach them to your children, talking about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up” (verse 19).

Not only does the Bible instruct us about the eternal value of allowing God’s Word to shape and guide our lives, It also reminds us of the value of receiving correction from Him when needed, which is an expression of His love and care for us.  These words from Hebrews 12 remind us of the value of God’s corrective hand toward His people:  “Endure hardship as discipline; God is treating you as sons.  For what son is not disciplined by his father?  Moreover, we have all had human fathers who disciplined us and we respected them for it.  How much more should we submit to the Father of our spirits and live!” (Verses 7and 9).

Among the ways that we can show Raegan that we truly love her is by teaching her what is right and pleasing to God, and correcting her when so needed.  In a much greater way we can realize God’s love for us through His desire to show us His way and by Him taking the necessary measures to see that we live in ways that honor and please Him.  In those moments when He corrects us through means that are painful at the time, we can rest assured that “No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful.  Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it” (Hebrews 12:11).