Friday, September 9, 2011
Holding the Line
Young Master Calvin was rather cranky the other night. It was bedtime but the truth of the matter was that he wasn't the least bit tired (or so he thought!). He hummed, he shouted, he thrashed his bed. Knowing I couldn't allow him to terrorize the entire house just when we were settling in for out nightly slumber, I made my way to his bedside.
Explaining to him that he must be quiet I hugged him, kissed him and tucked him snugly in his bed. With a heavy heart, I trudged downstairs. I knew that this quiet was to be short lived. I took up residence on the couch (getting back into a warm bed makes it so much more difficult to discipline with consistency). Five minutes later Master Calvin was loudly expressing his dislike with his current confinement. Upstairs I went. The problem was quickly dealt with and I again creeped downstairs.
Within minutes, my presence was again required. Vowing to remain consistent, I once again corrected my wayward son. Back in the living room, I prayed for my young man. As I prayed, I realized that I was not just correcting naughty behavior. I was witnessing a battle. My son was battling with himself. He was itchy, he was hot, he was uncomfortable in his own skin. He knew what was right, but he didn't want to do it. He wanted his own way. And as a mom, I had to give him the tools to fight his battles.
I realized that Master Calvin had to learn to hold the line. He had to know what was right and do it no matter how he "felt". He had to fight this battle with himself and come out victorious. He needed to develop the inner strength to hold whatever line had to be held, regardless of personal comfort or personal desire.
It was in this moment that I gained a more focused vision of parenthood. I realized that it was not just poor behavior that I was correcting, instead I was giving my children the tools to build their lives. I was instilling self-discipline, self-control and the ability to deny their fleshly desires. In my lowly occupation as a mother, I was shaping the character of our world.
I want my children to hold the line. I want them to stand in the gap between good and evil. I want them to do the right thing when it is uncomfortable. I want them to look into the face of impossibility and boldly make a stand. And it starts in the crib. Men don't learn to hold the line on the field of battle, they learn in the bosom of their parents home. If we fail to give our children the tools to master themselves, we fail to give our world the men we so desperately need.
Hold the line. Your children need you.