Sunday, May 22, 2011

Lessons From the Litter Box

As my children and I were doing our weekly chores this past Saturday my youngest son, Joshua, says to me “I am so glad that I don’t have to clean the litter box for my chores any more”. For those of you who have cats you know how revolting a litter box can be. My Pastor happens to believe that cats are straight from the underworld and if you have ever cleaned a litter box, you might agree. I went on to explain to Joshua that while it was difficult to train the cats to go to the bathroom outside and there were times I had to clean poop off of the kitchen floor, the training was well worth not having the stink of a litter box in the house. Now they come in and out of the cat door as they please and my house doesn’t smell like a dump.

I love it that God can use even the stinkiest of lessons to show us how his principles work. He used this conversation with my little one to remind me to continue the hard training with my children and I won’t have to clean poop off the floor when they older. Ok, not poop literally, but there will be a lot less messes to clean up if we continue to work hard on God’s parenting principles while they are still small. Gary and Anne Marie Ezzo, two of my favorite people in the world, have taught me that if I do the hard work up front then the teenage years won’t have to be tumultuous and messy as most people expect.

There were times in the midst of training the cats that I wanted to give up. It would have been much easier to just let them do what they do naturally and continue to step in their own poop while carrying it on the bottom of their paws making a mess of my house. In the same way, sometimes I am completely exhausted and want to just stop training my children for a bit but I know if I do, my house will be a complete mess in a few years. They will do what they do naturally and sin, only if they don’t have the foundation that God provides for all parents, that poop won’t be so easy to clean up. So I, for one, will continue to train my children, even when it gets tough and I am pooped (pardon the pun), by relying on God for his strength and searching his word for wisdom. He is faithful if you just ask for help. His timeless principles are found in his word and in the godly wisdom of those who have already been there like Gary and Anne Marie.

Proverbs 22:6 ~ Train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not depart from it.


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