Oh little one, you come to me with so many questions. I wish I could answer them all, but sometimes, I just have to smile at you, and let you figure it out on your own. The struggle is part of the journey. You will stumble and fall, and I will not always be there to pick you up. You must learn to rely on someone stronger than me, stronger than you.
Before you were born, I gave you life. Your little heart beat inside my body and I surrounded you to protect you from any danger. Now you are growing up. I wish sometimes that I could put you in bubble wrap and keep you on the sidewalk, but you want to run. You want to explore.
There are many dangers in this life. As much as I want to keep you safe, I cannot. I can only provide you with rules and guidelines that will lessen the risk of serious injury. We start so simply. “No.” Then it becomes a game. You want me to say “no,” so you do it again. You wonder why I say “no,” but don’t fully understand the implications. “No” don’t eat the dog’s food, the plant, your brother’s legos, dirt.
Then, to my little toddler. I say, “No touch, hot.” “No biting.” “No pulling hair.” You are constantly testing and trying out new things. How amazing you are. How I wish I only had to say yes.
You are older now and we have had some growing pains. Our vocabulary is growing too. "Don’t play with fire." "Never run with scissors.” "Keep your hands to yourself.” “Wear your coat.” “Do your homework.” “Brush your teeth.”
My words sometimes sound like nagging, but they are really meant to protect you. I don’t want you to get hurt because I feel pain when you do. I wish I could take the agony from you, but it is yours. All I can do is be here to comfort you through the suffering.
That is my ultimate role as your parent. I must first protect, and nurture, then I guide and comfort. This is my vision of God. Regardless of what faith you choose, I believe that we all have a creator that loves us. He gives us basic, simple rules, then more advanced guidelines. Our decisions are ours to make. If we so choose, we can break the rules and live with the consequences, but He will always love us, no matter what. Just as I will always love you, my little child.
So, if you wonder why I make you wear a collared shirt, and drag you to a “boring" service on Sunday, it is not to torture you. We go for two reasons. One, so that I can be reminded that I am not alone in raising you; and two, so that when you are grown and facing temptations, pain, and trials, you can turn to the One who is stronger than you and me. He will always be there.