"Don't touch, Selena!"
These words have been heard in our humble home many times over the last few weeks. Selena now knows what "no," means, and what happens when daddy and mommy's heedings are ignored.
It gives a satisfying feeling to the heart when "no!" is spoken and Selena immediately pulls her little hand back and turns around to crawl in search of greener pastures. This week, however, I am being tested, often, by my little sweetheart. Sometimes when she hears "no," she turns and looks at me while reaching a second time for whatever it is she was touching. Many times this week, I have had to put aside what I was working on to enforce the lesson. Which brings me to Little House in the Big Woods by Laura Ingalls Wilder.
Lets join Laura and Ma. They think they see their cow, Sukey, standing at the barnyard gate:
"Laura was surprised to see the dark shape of Sukey, the brown cow, standing at the barnyard gate. Ma was surprised too...
"Sukey, get over! She (Ma) reached across the gate and slapped Sukey's shoulder.
Just then, one of the dancing little bits of light from the lantern jumped between the bars of the gate, and Laura saw long, shaggy, black fur, and two little, glittering eyes.
Sukey had thin, short, brown fur. Sukey had large, gentle eyes.
Ma said, "Laura, walk back to the house."
So Laura turned around and began to walk toward the house. Ma came behind her. When they had gone part way, Ma snatched her up, lantern and all, and ran. Ma ran with her into the house, and slammed the door.
Then Laura said, "Ma, was it a bear?"
"Yes, Laura," Ma said. "It was a bear ..."
"... He didn't hurt us."
Ma said, "You were a good girl, Laura, to do exactly as I told you, and to do it quickly without asking why."
I read this with a little chill, as I realize how important it is to teach our children to obey ...
immediately - this means the first time
without asking why
Notice that Ma has to speak once to Laura, and without knowing why, Laura obeys.
I remember a sermon by Pastor Carlson when he said that our children need to obey "sweetly, neatly, and completely."
Oh, may we not weary of training her little soul ... it could be a matter of life and death.