|We’ve heard this before. “No! no! I can do it!”
And we watch as a little child struggles to put on her shoes, left on the right and right on the left. We put out our hand to help, but “No! I can do it!” When it comes to the shoelaces, she doesn’t have a chance in getting it right, but continues to insist that she can. We give up, and walk away from the double struggle of will and skill.
There are times when our children need to learn the hard way. So we leave them to find out, and at some point, we might hear, “Can you please help?”
It’s a picture which we see so often in our children, but not just the three year olds. We see it in our teens, and if we are honest, we see it in our own hearts too. It’s the struggle for independence, which of course has it’s origin in Eden. As our children grow older, the struggles are different and not as innocent. Some of these struggles can become sinister. As much as we want to help our children, they often don’t want the help we can easily give them.
And so, when we are finally asked, or our advice is finally accepted, we gently remind them that independence is fine, but has boundaries. Adam and Eve were not created to be independent from God, but they made the choice. And as long as we maintain that independence, our struggles will multiply.
That’s a good lesson our children should learn as they move from childhood into adulthood. And it remains with us to reinforce this by responding in like manner as our Father.