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Jesus Didn’t Parent Toddlers

In his perfect holiness, he did not do what I have done today.

Today sucked. Forgive me if you do not like that term. But it did. No way around it.

My boys were disobedient and whiny. I was out of patience and fortitude. We were plain sick of each other. This house (and the surrounding parks) were not big enough for the three of us. There was yelling, whining, snapping, and crying, among all parties. I did not behave as I would have hoped. But neither did they.

I called in reinforcements. Friends prayed for me. I bought – and pleasurably drank – a mocha. And I called on all the Scripture I could recall to please, please, get me through the morning. Carry me to naptime.

And that’s when it suddenly occurred to me: Jesus did not parent toddlers. Yes, he withstood and refused temptations of many kinds, of his eyes, his stomach, his flesh. But of all the paths he walked that are ours as well, he was not the stay-at-home parent of preschoolers.

When he escaped the throngs and pursued solitude with his Father, he did not have to arrange for childcare.

When he fasted, he did not have to prepare meals for picky eaters.

“Let the little children come to me,” he said. But he could send them home when he was finished teaching them. And when they fell into tantrums in his presence, I’m pretty sure their mothers swooped in to avoid a public scene.

“Be holy as I am holy.” In his holiness, he did not do the day-in-day-out constantness of arguing, negotiating, potty training, timeouts, scraped kness, lessons in sharing, and weary exhaustion with their little sinful natures.

But he did give these children to me.

And he ordained today.

And his grace is sufficient.

(And they are sleeping now. Thank you, Lord.)


Previously posted on Teaching Tuck and Ty

Tricia Lott Williford

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  1. I laughed in recognition at this. A few years ago, I read (oh, where?) that the verse “Be ye perfect” could be more accurately translated, “Be compassionate, as I am compassionate.” I sure like that version better!

  2. He parents us each day in our stiff necked rebellion with His daily sanctification through love, grace, mercy and discipline. And He has promised to give us what we need in perseverance and peace through His Spirit.

    • Yes! Unfortunately, WE are the whiny and complaining toddlers Tricia is referring to. The Lord has to put up with us (so many of us!) day in and day out. However, the beauty of it is that He doesn’t really “put up” with us. He loves us unconditionally, something I am learning to do daily with my two daughters as they know how to push my buttons in ways I never thought possible!!!

      (Love my Tricia.)

  3. Nope, Jesus remained wisely single. I’m definitely trying to be more Christ-like in that way. 😛

  4. Good insights, Tricia. I never thought about Jesus and toddlers that way when I was raising my own. I hope they took nice, long naps so you had a chance to recharge!

  5. THANK YOU! Your words brought a smile to my face… I’m looking forward to nap time too.

  6. Whew! Your timing on this is perfect as I had one heck of a morning, which also included crying and yelling and prayers for more patience, and wondering…who can I talk to about how horrible I am feeling right now? Sorry you had a tough day, but I’m happy to know I’m not alone in the struggles, because I often feel guilty when I’m not handling things well.

  7. As I read your narrative today, I couldn’t help but think we are more like the children than we know. How amazing then that He does not grow weary.

    Even though my nest is near empty, your words are a daily encouragement and challenge to me.

    Thankful for your skilled pen and transparent heart. Hang in there. It gets better. 🙂

  8. I’ve enjoyed Ellyn Sanna’s book “Motherhood: A Spiritual Journey”. It’s a short read, but definitely worth digesting a chapter at a time. Reminds me that I am communing with the Father even in the noise of life.

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