My kids cannot tolerate much sugar. These past few weeks I’ve been noticing the effects of sugar on their behavior and as I have made a connection between them acting in extreme disobedience and their eyes glossing over when I try to discipline them I realized I am battling a similar battle as one trying to reason with a drunk. It’s not their fault, it’s the sugar. They can’t control it and help themselves and who gave them the sugar in the first place? Well I did of course and now here I am pulling my hair in frustration over these uncontrollable wild and crazy kids! So my natural response is to cut out sugar. Only on very special occasions and in smaller quantities. Now here comes the test . . . daily I hear “mom can I please have a piece of candy after lunch? Can I please have juice for breakfast? Can I please have dessert, I ate all my dinner? Can we please have a special drink, we’ve been really good at the store?” And these pleadings come from 4 different directions and they all gang up on me! Well, after all they did eat all their food. . . They have been doing good at the store . . . Okay you can have some sugar. Then all of that goodness and any clout I thought I had to my consequence goes flying through the roof and we’re back in that state of uncontrollable sugar high. Why can’t I just say no and stick with it?!? Why do they have to gang up on me and beg and use reasonable arguments to plead their case?!?!
I was reading this morning in Deuteronomy 3 and God blessed me with a little golden nugget of encouragement. In this chapter Moses and the Israelites are fighting their way to conquer Canaan and claim the Promised Land as their own. Moses was not able to enter the Promised Land because of an act of disobedience in Numbers 20. Moses is here asking the Lord to change His mind and give him a second chance to enter the Promised Land. After all it was Moses right? He did lead these people out of Egypt and spoke face to face with God and spent 40 years in near perfect obedience among a group of complaining idolators without ever faltering and just giving in to the majority rules. He really did deserve another chance right?
Moses begins his pleading by trying to butter up God: “Then I pleaded with the Lord at that time, saying: ‘O Lord God, You have begun to show Your servant Your greatness and Your mighty hand, for what God is there in heaven or on earth who can do anything like Your works and Your mighty deeds? I pray, let me cross over and see the good land beyond the Jordan, those pleasant mountains, and Lebanon.’ ” I would equate that to my kiddos saying,
“Oh wonderful mother, this dinner you cooked was so delicious. Thank you for all of your hard work, what mother is like you? You are so wonderful . . . now we beg you, could we please have some dessert, some delicious, mouth watering dessert that you baked so lovingly?”
Um . . . Ok. My response: “Ok, just this time because you guys are doing so good. Now remember to show me you can handle your sugar.” And we all know where that leads. Now here’s God’s response to Moses’ pleading: “But the Lord was angry with me on your account, and would not listen to me. So the Lord spoke to me: ‘Enough of that! Speak no more to Me of this matter.’ ” Wow. God you are so good. You are perfectly wise knowing when to extend grace and when to not falter on your word. There’s no changing God’s mind here. I also appreciate that Moses just took God at his word here instead of pressing the issue. This is my encouragement to stand up to the battle against sugar : ) My word is final. Do not beg and plead with me or butter me up. I can think of so many other areas of disobedience in my kiddos I need to extend this knowledge to.