The privilege of being a mother is one of God’s greatest gifts. The privilege of being a mother is also one of God’s greatest responsibilities. We are not only to love our children, but to discipline them and correct them. A couple of years ago, when I was teaching Sunday school God gave me this verse:
But if anyone causes one of these little ones who believe in me to sin, it would be better for him to have a large millstone hung around his neck and to be drowned in the depths of the sea.
I am, by nature, a very lenient person. If I had my own way I would be all hugs and kisses and no time outs or structure. But after spending time with children who were given too many cuddles and not enough structure, I realized that I need to be firm, gentle, but firm. Dori has a temper. She has been known to strike out when she does not get what she wants. Sometimes that striking out is in the form of a naughty hand hitting whoever is closest. If I do not take immediate action to discipline her, usually a time out or a time in, I teach her it is OK to hit and be disrespectful to adults. My inaction would be causing her to sin. If I continuously gush about how cute Dori is, I am encouraging the vanity that is not so cute beyond a certain age. If I shower her with gifts and toys and distractions, I could encourage selfishness and discontent. In limited time I have been a mom I have learned that Dori the kind of child that will push the limits, but I have also learned that with consistent firm guidance she responds well and we are all happier. That is not to say that there have not been times that I indulge Dori beyond what is healthy. And at the end of the some days I am just tired and decide to ignore some naughty behavior. But for the most part, I am trying very hard not to cause my little one to sin, knowing that Dori and I are both better off following the plans God has laid out in His Word.