One of the verses that has wedged itself in my mind fairly deeply across my entire walk with God has been the one from Hebrews:
No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it. – Hebrews 12:11
As a couple we have recently begun the process of sleep training our baby, I am reminding myself of this verse over and over again.
What I never appreciated to such an extent before, was that the process of disciplining a child could be painful for a parent.
Some other observations I’ve noted:
- When a parent “inflicts” the discipline on a child/baby, he or she does it within parameters and controls that the infant is usually unaware of. For example in the sleep training method we are using, we periodically visit our baby to calm and sooth him at timed intervals. Of course, our son has no idea that’s what we’re doing!
- Because the discipline process is so painful, the good parent will do the best job that they can trying to find the most effective means possible to get the child through the process. We went on so many websites and read so many pages, asked friends and listened to other parents. We made ourselves as informed as possible. Yes, we might be making mistakes (there are lots of qualified opinions for and against each sleep training method), but we are certainly not trying to.
- Finally, when it was time to begin the process we did not delay. One of the things we discovered is that there is a 2 month window to do the sleep training when it is effective – according to our searching this is between 4-6 months. And then the window is “closed” until around 9 months. (I have no idea why!) But when we hit the 4 month window: we began.
In light of these observations, I believe God is teaching me some things about his discipline towards me. My response:
- Will I trust that his parameters are good and controlled. I remember the verse: “He will not let you be tempted beyond your ability”
- Will I yield to his process or try to forge my own path. I think of God’s relationship with Abraham and how he promised Abraham and Sarah a son. But because they doubted his timing, they decided to try another way to get a son. It totally backfired!
- When God asks me to move will I dither and delay, or will I go. My friend has a motto which I particularly like:
Whatever God wants, Whenever He wants it, Whatever the Cost.