When Noelle turned 4 months old, she already wanted to drink from my glass, and she would stare at food like she wanted to eat. I let her try drinking from my glass, which she was able to do, but she coughed up most of it. When I fed her with a spoon, she still didn’t know what to do with it. She didn’t even suck on it. After a doctor’s visit, I confirmed a lesson that we could apply in our lives. Even though Noelle wanted to eat and drink already, she wasn’t ready for it yet. Much like us, there are things that we want and want now, but God can’t give to us yet because we’re just not ready.
One evening, just recently, while I was helping her drink her milk, Danae was asking me if she could do something. I think I told her to finish her milk first. She has this habit of grunting and tsk-ing when she doesn’t get her way, which she did. I found myself saying “di ka kasi nag-oobey kaya ka nafu-frustrate.” Think about it. The reason why we get frustrated with life is because we do not obey God, and we’re so insistent on our way, forcing things to happen how and when we want them to.
Many times, we tell Danae to obey first before she can get what she wants. There’s nothing we enjoy more than seeing our girls happy and having fun. But sometimes they need to obey first before they can enjoy the things that make them happy. Why? Well, I can’t give my children chocolate first thing in the morning, without having breakfast first. I can’t allow them to watch tv or play computer games when they wake up, buy every toy they see in the store, let them make a mess and not clean up afterwards. Those would not be good habits to form. I can’t let them leave the house or go to sleep without brushing their teeth first. I can’t let them run around outside the house without the supervision of a trustworthy adult. I love them too much. God is the same way with us. He wants us to obey Him first, seek His kingdom first then all these things will be added to us. He loves us perfectly and knows best after all.
When Danae was around two, I heard her say when she was sitting in the corner after a rod, that she’s bad. That really broke my heart because we never said that to her and we never meant for her to feel that we thought she was bad. Right then I prayed with her and let her declare that she is a good girl. I remind her every single day that she is a good girl, despite the many rods that she gets. Now she knows it well. I wanted her to declare herself that she is a good girl so that she will remember and believe that she is good. When she believes that she is good, she will act according to what she believes. Isn’t that the same way with us adults? Sometimes we make mistakes and condemn ourselves. We start believing the lie that we are no good, unworthy, ugly or unlovable, and start acting out those beliefs. Then the cycle starts again. I say declare that you are good, that you are a new creation, changed by God! Declare it, so you’ll believe it, and then live it.
Danae is 3 and a half. The things that we discipline her for are the same things that she does over and over. It’s pretty tiring, so aside from telling her that we give her the rod because we want her to learn and we want her to learn to obey because we love her, we tell her to remember the pain of the rod. If you don’t want to get the rod because it’s owie, obey. It’s that simple. But of course, she’s only 3, so she does them again. She only remembers the pain when it’s already time for the rod. She doesn’t remember it when she’s in the middle of disobeying. If only we adults would remember the pain of disobedience too. Sometimes we act like 3-year-olds and forget God’s discipline, committing the same offenses over again. God disciplines us because He disciplines those He loves. Discipline is always painful, so let’s remember the pain!
King taught Danae this “catch phrase”, which we remind her of every time she gets the rod: REMEMBER TO LISTEN AND OBEY RIGHT AWAY. Listening, after all, requires obeying, or else it’s just hearing, and delayed obedience is still disobedience. But it doesn’t end there. I added something to that as well. When she says that sentence, I ask her “without?”, she says: WITHOUT WHINING, OR SHOUTING, OR MAKING DABOG. She must learn to obey without complaining. Can’t we all learn from this? Say it with me. REMEMBER TO LISTEN AND OBEY GOD RIGHT AWAY WITHOUT COMPLAINING. Good job hehe. 🙂