True Confessions Of A First Time Dad: My Living Room Is An Octagon

My son, Easton, turned 9 months old and when it happened it was as if all of his motor neurons began firing at the same time because he is now a power crawling, belly scooting, table pulling up on, stair climbing freak show.  Gone are the days of being shackled by gravity and uncoordinated appendages because things are clicking and he’s “getting it” fast.

As a result we no longer have a living room fit for entertaining guests because it has been transformed into a UFC Octagon.   You know what I mean.  It’s the fighting ring the MMA guys use for two grown men to step into a ring in their underwear and punch each other in the face until one of them taps out or an arm breaks then hug it out when it’s all over.

That’s what my living room has become.  Our couches, end tables, and every possible dining room chair we have is used to create a barrier to keep my son from climbing or tumbling into a trip to the emergency room.  You would think we were raising a small puma and not a human baby because inside the ring are rubber toys and the occasional rice puff to entertain Easton for a few minutes.  It’s silly sauce.

As goofy as this may seem I would dare to say you would probably look at me equally as crazy if I didn’t do any of that.  I mean, what if I just let Lil’ E grab, climb, touch, throw, or ingest anything he wanted to?  Wouldn’t THAT be nuts?

No one says anything about protecting a small baby from danger by restricting where he can go and what he can touch but when God puts perimeters on our spiritual lives we lose our minds.

  • What do you mean I can’t sleep with whoever I want?  It’s my body and I can do what I want!
  • Don’t tell me I need to forgive my father.  You don’t know what it was like to live with him and he isn’t worth forgiving.
  • You want me to give up my time and serve at church?  Listen, it’s my time and the fact that I’m going to church is good enough.

We never balk at the Grace that wipes our sins away, but we bristle at the thought of God expecting us to change our ways.

God’s design for our life is not made to be a hindrance in our life but a deliverance from it. Yet to receive the fullness of that deliverance from our sinful life we need perimeters, guardrails, and directions in our life to follow.

Solomon says it well,

Listen, my son, accept what I say,
and the years of your life will be many.

I guide you in the way of wisdom
and lead you along straight paths.

When you walk, your steps will not be hampered;
when you run, you will not stumble. 

Hold on to instruction, do not let it go;
guard it well, for it is your life.

-Proverbs 4:11-13

As a parent, sometimes we need to set up guardrails to keep our kids from harm and this is no different than our Heavenly Father.  His love for us is so great that He sent his son Jesus to create the ultimate guardrail to prevent an eternity apart from him.

Only when we see Him face to face will we comprehend how important that barrier truly was.  The earthly perimeters He asks us to place on our lives are simply there to keep us from unnecessary scars and bruises which will hamper us from the total joy found in a life following Him.

So maybe take a fresh look at the living room of your life and see where some “sin proofing” is in order.  The only person that will look foolish is you if you don’t.  When you end up at the bottom of the stairs wondering what happened, it won’t be because God didn’t give you guardrails to prevent it.

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