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Supervision Required
By Janet Rubin

I had just finished taking a shower. Not the luxurious, relaxing soap-commercial-kind-of-shower, but the mother-of-small-children-kind-of-shower. You know, the kind where you soap up frantically while slipping on bathtub toys; just washing the dirtiest parts of your body and certainly not taking time to shave anything. You might "lather and rinse" as it says on the back of the shampoo bottle, but you definitely don’t "repeat"! All the while, you are sure you can hear screams and crashes beyond the sound of the running water.

This was the type of shower I had just emerged from. I stepped triumphantly onto the bathmat, sure that I had set a new record, perhaps under two minutes this time! Surely three-year-old Cassidy and one-year-old Chloe couldn’t have caused any trouble in that amount of time.

Of course, I should have known better. I opened the lid to the toilet and found my hairbrush floating there. Sighing, I went to inspect the rest of the upstairs. Cassidy and Chloe weren’t hard to find. I simply followed the trail of panty liners (apparently, Chloe had found my new 50-count box). The trail led to my bedroom, where Chloe sat chewing on one. Cassidy was dancing in circles with a pair of my underwear around her neck. I had a little clean up to do, but no one was injured, so I considered my shower time a success.

The above story represents a typical scene in my everyday life as a mom. I tell it to demonstrate the damage that can be done so quickly when children are not supervised. Left alone for just a moment, they can do things you wouldn’t think possible – run down the road, climb the stairs, or unpack your purse and eat your lipstick. While some things they do are just funny or annoying, others can be dangerous or deadly. It’s best not to turn your back on them.

As children of God, we are no different. We need to be in His presence all the time, seeking His guidance and direction in our lives. Left on our own, we are accidents waiting to happen, just like unattended toddlers. Taking our eyes off the Father, even for a short time, we make foolish decisions and break His rules. Sin reigns in our lives and we make a mess of things.

Sometimes we think we are smart enough to do it alone, that we don’t need God’s help. We set out, full of faith in ourselves, only to fail miserably. The longer we insist on doing it alone, the more damage we can do to ourselves and to others.

God knows that we need Him and He has made Himself available to us all the time. The Bible says, "He who keeps you will not slumber" (Psalm 121:3 NKJV). I guess He knows how much trouble we’d get into if He dared to take a nap!

He has given His Holy Spirit to guide us, and His Word, which instructs us as to how we should live. He will help us every step of the way when we admit our need and humbly lean on Him. Not only will He keep us out of trouble, but He will also teach us and help us grow in wisdom as we yield to Him.

"Furthermore, we have had human fathers who corrected us, and we paid them respect. Shall we not much more readily be in subjection to the Father of spirits and live? For they indeed for a few days chastened us as seemed best to them, but He for our profit, that we may be partakers of His holiness. Now no chastening seems to be joyful for the present, but painful; nevertheless, afterward it yields the peaceable fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it." (Hebrews 12:9-11 NKJV)
Janet Rubin likes to say she is "just a sheep," but she is also wife to fireman, Dave, and mother to three lovely girls and two sweet Labradors. She lives with her family on the coast of Connecticut, where she tries to balance her passion for writing with homemaking and home schooling. Her number one passion is worshipping and serving along with her family at her church, Calvary Chapel of south-eastern Connecticut. If you would like to write to Janet, you can do so through the Letters page of this magazine.