When our boys were toddlers, I’d cordon off the breakfast room and family room area with baby gates so they were ‘contained’. This way if I had to go to another part of the house for a few minutes, I knew they were safe. Everything was child proofed or out of reach… or so I thought.
I kept a bowl of apples on our breakfast table. Every afternoon the boys would have one. One day I walked by the table and noticed that a little bite had been taken from one apple. I asked the boys, but no admission. A few days later the same thing happened; only this time a couple of the apples had one bite taken. I was mostly in the room with the boys so I was baffled and frustrated that I kept missing the culprit. Until the next week.
I’d returned from distributing laundry and looked to the table. Sitting ON the table with an apple in his hand was 2 year old Ellison. Next to him was a bowl full of apples, each with one bite taken! I still smile just retelling the story.
I was torn between busting out laughing and figuring out how to correct him for this. I did neither really. I did tell him not to climb on the table any more (which I’d never seen him do before) and to only eat the apple that I give him. This worked. But what stayed with me was Ellison’s quiet determination. At 2, I don’t think he was trying to be sneaky. For his little legs, climbing up there would have taken some effort- and I don’t want to think about how he got back down.
God gave me a humorous peek at one trait that He wanted to develop in our son. However, our child’s will, people, and circumstances can affect how traits are developed. So, over the years Terrell and I have prayed that the Lord would protect and grow Ellison in His way and show us how to participate with Him in encouraging and developing particular traits.
What traits has God given you a glimpse of that you can pray for your toddlers, teens, and adult children? The Lord encourages us in James 5.16, “The prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective.”