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In which a mom finally learns what it means to judge.

posted Nov 26, 2013, 11:36 AM by Christine Merrill
Last night I was making dinner.  Baby Sam was standing at the dishwasher, pulling out the silverware, taking a lick, and dropping them on the floor one-by-one.  It's a favorite hobby of his.  But compared to his other hobbies (eating paper, crying to be held, and finding random little choke-ables on the floor to put in his mouth) it's pretty benign, and I was happy to have him doing something that didn't get him in trouble.

Unfortunately (as I think I've mentioned) I have a mini-mom in my house, and she came down the stairs just then.  She saw Sam getting silverware dirty - oh, horrors!  Very efficiently, she swooped down, grabbed the spoon out of his hand, told him not to do that any more, and closed the dishwasher.  It does not take a mother of four to guess what Sam did next.  He cried.  I was so frustrated!  Why did Ellis think she knew better than I did, who was standing RIGHT THERE next to him?  And now I had to deal with a crying, wounded baby! 

The point Ellis missed is that, as the mom, I get to set the rules for each person in our family (ok, I guess Dad gets some say as well...) and the rules aren't actually the same for each person.  No, it is not ok for my 7 year old to take out the silverware, lick it, and drop it on the floor.  But you know, a baby is just not going to be held to the same standard.  Ellis thinks she knows what is fair, but she just doesn't have a clue most of the time.  Which is why I reserve for myself the right to decide what is fair, right, or just. 

God, as the father of us all, is a lot like me in that situation.  He knows each of His children intimately, he knows what they are capable of, what their spiritual maturity is, what obstacles they face.  He sets the rules for each of them.  And when he says, "Judge not," he's really saying the same thing I wanted to say to Ellis - "Leave them alone and let ME decide what is fair.  You think you understand things, but you really don't.  You don't really think you know better than I do, when I'm standing RIGHT THERE, do you?"

This little experience really made me pause and think.  (After I was done calming Sam and trying to make dinner with a baby on my hip, that is...)  I've got to change.  I've got to stop worrying about what other people should be doing, and let God do His own parenting.  What do I wish Ellis would have done instead?  I wish she would have encouraged and taught.  I wish she would have talked to me.  And the next time I come across someone who seems to be struggling in life, I'm going to try to do just that.
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