How often are we like our children? Way more often than we want to admit. How often do we model God to them? Way less than we care to confess.
Stinkerbell has been very defiant lately. It is a sure bet that if you want her to do something, she will do the exact opposite. As a result (the time change might have a little bit to do with this), she will not go to sleep.
One of our cherished traditions in our home is what DQ first dubbed the God-kiss. It is the last kiss I give the girls before they go to sleep. I kiss them for each person on the list and as I kiss them I say "Your Mommy loves you, your Daddy loves you, your sister loves you, your grandparents love you, and most of all GOD loves you." It is not a goodnight if we do not get our God-kiss.
One habit I've picked up with Stinkerbell (I never did this with DQ because I always 'let' hubby go in to her) is to always give her a God-kiss no matter what the reason for going into her room at night. Even if I have to punish her, I do not leave without a God-kiss. I can think of two occasions before tonight where I've left without a God-kiss and the result is always the same.
Tonight I left because she was upset and wasn't letting me approach her for a God-kiss. One of her fingers nearly stuck my eye. So I left.
The result was an immediate melt-down and shrieks that she needed a God-kiss. I let her cry until she calmed down. Then she came to the door and quietly asked for a God-kiss. She crawled into bed, I got her a hanky, and then gave her a God-kiss. Then she stood up and gave me a big hug and patted my back. I am sorry to say she did get up again but she didn't throw another outrageous tantrum.
It occurred to me as I kissed her that in some ways I was modeling God to her. I always let her know I love her even if I have to punish her. However, sometimes we need to leave our children and let them come to us.
God is better at it than we are. He knows when to pursue and when to walk away. When He walks away, He knows that we will come after Him hungry for the love and assurance that we know He will give us. Sometimes, I think we parents hang on too tight and pursue for too long.
If we are good parents, our children will be secure in our love even when they are angry at us and they will know that they can come to the door and ask for a kiss and a hug. They will know we still love them.
Sometimes we need to remember that we can can come quietly to the door and ask God and he will hug us and kiss us and assure us of His love.