“But you, man of God, flee from all of this and pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, endurance, and gentleness.” I Timothy 6:11
Every morning, I sit my 1-year-old, Carter Mackenzie, on my bathroom counter so that I can comb her hair. I’m sure there are much better places for this daily ritual to occur, but the convenience of the sink, her hair bows, and rubber bands all in one place keep me coming back to this same spot. Every day as Carter sits there, she touches this thing, picks up that thing, smells this bottle, pours out the contents of that container….and every day, I constantly say, “Carter put it down,” “don’t touch,” “that’s not for babies”…and every day, she gives me this look that clearly says “Yea, whatever mom!” As she was getting her hair combed for church Sunday morning, and we repeated the same scene verbatim, I wondered, “How many times will I have to tell her this before she just doesn’t do it anymore?” Then, I had an epiphany; she’s not going to stop! As long as I keep sitting her on the counter with all of these temptations, she’s going to keep touching, picking up, smelling, and pouring out. She’s a toddler. That’s what she does! As her (hopefully) more mature, wiser mother, I have to know that I have to keep temptation out of her way or….wait for it…comb her hair in a more kid-friendly place. So tomorrow, maybe I’ll try the breakfast table :).
It is funny how learning moments with my kids turn into learning moments for me. How many times do I know something is bad for me, but I keep tempting myself with it? How often do I talk with friends who say that aren’t going to do something anymore, but they go back to a person or place that triggers that thing they aren’t going to do? A LOT. It’s so easy to do, and sometimes, so difficult to even recognize the things that provoke us. When we are spiritual or mental “toddlers” in trying to overcome a temptation, we have to completely remove ourselves from those situations as much as possible, or we will continue to fail when trying to fight it.