Isaiah is normally a very responsive child when it comes to correction or discipline. If he is doing something that i don't approve of i will ask him to come to me and look me in the eyes. I then tell him what he did, why i don't want him to continue and to please stop. If he did something wrong towards myself or someone else i will ask him to apologize. If he is just doing something that i would rather him not do, i will ask him to say "okay, mama". I very rarely have to ask him him twice and he has always seemed very content with my correction.
Today i parented a very different child. I don't know what got into him or why he was being so stubborn, but it seemed like he didn't want to listen to me at all. I didn't give in and let him carry on or continue with a negative attitude.... because i just don't ever want him to see that i am going to give up when it comes to fighting for his heart. I ended some of our "battles" in prayer because i had no idea what else to do.
I was SO ready for 6 o'clock to come around so that i could put him to bed and i don't usually feel that way, especially on a night that i know my husband will be getting home quite late. It was a struggle to get Isaiah to settle down for bed, but finally we read some books together and he was content. Then somehow he got all worked up again over something... i honestly don't know what and he decided he didn't want to share the pillows with me. Finally i just laid down and he swung backwards and the back of his head collided with my nose. That's when i burst into tears......
I didn't even know what was happening. It honestly took me a second to realize that i was balling my eyes out in front of my son. I sat up and just held my head in my hands as the tears seemed to endlessly flow. I glanced up and saw that Isaiah was sitting there in the dark watching his Mama as he had never seen her before. I felt absolutely horrible, but at the same time i couldn't stop. It was an entire day of worry, confusion and question all coming out at once.
Finally, Isaiah.... my sweet Isaiah, put his head into my shoulder as if he wanted to cry too. Then we both laid down and he wrapped his little arms around my neck so tightly and it was silent for a while. Then he put his head up and looked at my face and asked "Are you sad?"....
"Yes, yes i am sad." I gave him a kiss and told him i loved him.
Then he fell asleep.
I laid there for a while feeling awful about the day, and how it had ended. I was searching for an excuse for Isaiah's actions so that i could continue to give myself a pat on the back for being a good parent. I try to always stay patient and gentle with Isaiah. I never yell at him or disrespect him. But ya know what?? I am not perfect either. I could try to do all that i can to be an example to Isaiah but he is not in my hands. His heart, and his mind are not in my hands. Even tonight when i was crying out for his heart, i was not alone. There is someone so much greater than I that is constantly fighting for his soul. Yes, Isaiah behaves. Yes, he is sweet. Yes, he is happy.....But no, he does not always behave. He is not always sweet, and he is not always happy. Why? Because he is human and a sinner just like me, and just like you. It is absolutely heartbreaking to watch my own child make mistakes and choose to be obstinate. It leaves me feeling helpless and like i am a horrible parent but....it doesn't matter if i am known as a good parent, i would rather God be known as a great God.