Day 18 of the “Wild Kids, Wild God – 31 Days looking at God’s Heart“ Series.
With three little ones running/crawling around the house, a quiet moment with my eldest son is rare. When it comes, I snuggle him close and rustle his hair. He usually looks up and says, “Hug me as tight as you can!” My response is usually,”I don’t want to hurt you.” But he insists, “Pleeeaase!” Yes, I’ve squeezed pretty tight, but at some point I back off lest I hurt him.
Self control is maybe the hardest characteristic/trait on the list of 9 “Fruits of the Spirit” we should be cultivating in our lives. But it’s a necessary one. Without it we can become weapons of destruction, against ourselves and others.
I’d never hold my 7month old baby as tightly as I’d like. I recently realized I clamp down my lips whenever I hold my kids–I think I’m subconsciously compensating for the restraint in my embrace!
But discussing self-control and restraint may seem silly if we think about babies. What about other things? How controlled is my tongue when I’m angry? Or my appetite when icecream is in the house. Can a man keep his eyes on his wife? Can a politician check desire for personal gain and refuse a lobby bribe?
Self control is a beautiful treasure without which we can become slaves– to ourselves or others. Consider an addiction that may make a person focus/fixate on something (and yes, sugar has been proven more addictive than cocaine and heroin). Deception, selfishness, and maybe theft, violence, or worse including death can result from whatever we become enslaved to.
Without self control our lives can be stolen from us. And worse, if our desires go unchecked they can lead to the hurt or destruction of others, including children.
If I’m going to be a Slave to anything, if I’m going to let anything “reign” over me, let it be Righteousness wrapped in #1Cor13 Love, because then no one, including myself, will Ever be hurt. That’s the World we and our children were destined for…
My little 2yr old loves her freedom. When she comes to cuddle, it’s usually a short event. And though my heart and arms long for more, I respect her will, her freedom, her little person. So I let her go.
Doesn’t God do the same for us…?
Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and dine with him, and he with Me. (Revelation 3:20)
If anyone has rightful claim to us, if anyone wanted to love us the most or hold us the tightest, isn’t it God? Yet the One who made the “door” and holds the “key” is actually the One standing outside knocking…
Now that’s some serious Love, Humility, and Restraint.
*There are stronger examples of God’s Self Control, including why He allows this world and suffering to continue.. more coming in the Wild Kids, Wild God series…
*I use He and His as pronouns for God, but fully recognize God with both Male and Female ‘identity’–for lack of a better word–, as evidenced by the human race and through the Bible (yes, post coming!) For now consider Genesis 1:27 and note: God needed two genders to fully express “Him”self.
While God owns everything in the Universe, He allows (and desires) that we be Totally Free. The only intended limit to our Freedom is Love. Check: Wildly Loved, but Love Burns Hot for more.
This is beautiful. Sorry I haven’t been around much. We moved, sold our house, and are now renting. I am doing homeschool with my youngest daughter, and we are in the process of building a new home. Busy, busy. but I hope to make an effort to stop by your blog more often. I love your words, always! Thanks for being so awesome! LOve from me. Also, I pray blessing to you and your family
Thanks so much for visiting, our always welcome and never late! Grateful for your encouragement, as always! Blessings on the home and all transitions, enjoy everything, its God Heart for us…do you want your little one to worry about a thing?
Deep stuff! Love this! Boy, I know all about that hugging self-control as well as the other varieties. With two adopted kids with reactive attachment disorder it was so difficult to know when and how much to hug and even to have them hug me, as it was most often motivated by control issues. Very cool to read your viewpoint on how God allows us the freedom to stray because of His love, and makes it easier too, to realize that no matter what I did or didn’t do right for my kids, they still have that same freedom as anyone else. Learning to see my girls as sisters in Christ was a huge step, made while they were teens. It allowed me to step back from the parent role and see them more as Christ’s and less as mine. Freedom is such a tenuous thing.
Another great post Jasmine!
Self control is huge because it is not a matter of willing your self NOT to do something because it is bad, but rather to choose to follow The Spirit of God at those critical moments of obedience. That is why it is a fruit of the Spirit and not the fruit of behaviour modifcation.
Thank you very much for this post, Mama Jasmine, which — like all your posts — inspires me to dig deeply in my thinking about who I am, of what I am capable, what extents of self-control I am using/should be using, and Who is God, what’s in His Word, what He wants for me, and would like from me.
Thanks allways Gma4 for your encouragement and fellow pondering. God has given us so much “terrain” to explore and uncover–indeed, about ourselves and about Him… in-finite.