If you've ever questioned whether we, as people, really have a sinful nature, then my guess is that you haven't spent much time with children. Max in his measly first 8 months of life has already shown his strong will and selfishness. Several times. I like to call it other things- you know, cute things or shrug it off as him being a baby, but the truth is that before long we will be working to teach him right from wrong, shape his heart, and even disciplining him :(
According to the Bible, the fruits of the spirit are Love, Joy, Peace, Patience, Kindness, Goodness, Gentleness, and Self-Control. But my sweet, adorable, precious baby, in all his infinite 35 weeks of life's wisdom, struggles with some of those already.
Let me say that patience is something I struggle with and managed to pass along to my son rather quickly. Max already likes to demonstrate that it's his way or the highway and you will HEAR about it if he doesn't get his way. (His Dad keeps saying "We need to nip this in the bud right now"- and I agree... except that I think we'll be "working" on this one for the next 18 years or so.... give or take.) And although he isn't quite old enough for play dates at this point, his interaction with other babies/ toddlers is quite entertaining as he has decided that sharing isn't something he wants to be associated with.
Yes, Max does have a big brother, but for a good portion of the time, while Gabe is at his mom's house, Max is an only child and also has many of the characteristics of "first child syndrome". I, too, have that syndrome- and can honestly say that in Max, I have met my match! I love it and hate it all at the same time, but I look forward to me and him learning to be more like Jesus together, so that we both can possess the characteristics of Christ.
On Monday, my friend Jill's sister was having her 4th baby, so Hudson, Jill's son came to our house to hang out for a while. Max loves watching older kids, and really enjoyed following Hudson around with his eyes and watching his every move. (I was hoping that this would encourage Max to crawl, so he could keep up, but no such luck.) Hudson is 21 months old and a smart kid. He also loves being outside, so I got the key and opened the back door to our fenced in yard so that he could come and go while Max and I followed him around. Hudson did some chores before coming back inside:
Once outside time was over, I locked the door and took the key out. Immediately Hudson wanted the key, so I handed it to him. He carried it around, and even held it while he ate his yogurt. (The key is in the big glop of yogurt on his tray.)
He played lock the door for a while before coming over to peek on Max. He really liked "Beebe Makt" and would bring him things to play with.
Hudson, being the sweet boy that he is, then decided to climb up in the chair with Max. And then the chaos ensued. See for yourself:
[caption id="attachment_236" align="aligncenter" width="300" caption="Hudson: "Hey Max, check out this key""][/caption]
[caption id="attachment_237" align="aligncenter" width="300" caption="Max: "Oh cool, can I snatch it out of your hand?""][/caption]
[caption id="attachment_238" align="aligncenter" width="300" caption="Hudson: "No thanks, I'd like to keep playing with it- there's still some yogurt that needs to be licked off.""][/caption]
(INSERT HUGE TEMPER TANTRUM HERE)
Max continued to lose his mind, and almost threw himself off the couch and onto the floor. I tried to distract him with every means possible- but I didn't give him the key. Everything finally calmed down, for a time, and then Max was diverted to nap time.
I look at these pictures and laugh. Which is the main reason I'm sharing this. I even laughed yesterday as it was happening. Watching the meltdown was humorous for sure. But in the back of my mind, I'm well aware of what's lurking for me right around the corner.... a decisive and determined toddler which only leads to the invincible teenager. And I tell you what, I'm gonna need me a big huge dose of Jesus, if we both want to come out alive. Unfortunately, sin is something that we will face for the rest of our time here on earth- and the flesh is weak. But fortunately, Jesus conquered it all, already. So now, it's up to me to abide in Him and model that for my beautiful blue-eyed punkin head. I mean let's be honest- God already took sin, Satan, and temptation and squished it like a bug. Now, in the words of UNK, let's walk it out.
I have no idea where that came from- but I think certain unedited portions of the blog are necessary for you to fully understand my brain (and sympathize with my husband).
** Without getting into a theological discussion I want to point out that I believe the Bible makes it very clear that each individual person has to choose to accept Jesus as their Savior, and believe in the Truth of the Gospel, and that it isn't until that point that we receive the Holy Spirit, through which we gain access to fruits of the Spirit. With that being true, Max obviously is not capable of receiving Christ and submitting to His Lordship, and therefore does not have access to the fruits of the Spirit. He IS a baby for crying out loud. But he does indeed already have a sinful nature about him, and he is mess for sure!)