Boundaries

When our firstborn arrived, the midwife immediately wrapped her snugly in a blanket. The baby naturally felt safe and secure. This instinct for security is one that grows with them. Children feel safe when they have age-appropriate boundaries.
A newborn responds well to being wrapped securely. In less than a year we give them this same security in a new way, as we restrain and guide their toddling feet so that they begin to learn patterns of good behavior. Two goals of discipline as they continue to develop are prompt obedience and self-restraint. Learning obedience is vital because our ultimate goal is teaching them to obey the Lord. Only a yielded person is a truly happy person. As Acts 9:55And he said, Who art thou, Lord? And the Lord said, I am Jesus whom thou persecutest: it is hard for thee to kick against the pricks. (Acts 9:5) says, “It is hard...to kick against the pricks”! When our children are old enough to understand reasoning, it is often good to provide reasons for the limits we place. God has chosen to put parents in control over their children (Eph. 6:11Children, obey your parents in the Lord: for this is right. (Ephesians 6:1)). Children learn the important concept of authority as they are taught to obey.
Our Father is not capricious. “The Lord commanded us to do all these statutes, to fear the Lord our God, for our good always” (Deut. 6:2424And the Lord commanded us to do all these statutes, to fear the Lord our God, for our good always, that he might preserve us alive, as it is at this day. (Deuteronomy 6:24), emphasis added). We can understand why certain boundaries God has established are for our good, just as our children can understand the rationale behind being told not to run into a busy street. But there are some things that we go through that we do not understand! And just as our Father shows us grace in His lessons for us, we must patiently teach our children to obey, even though sometimes they cannot understand our reasons. Only in this way will they come to know how pleasant are the places His will puts us in!
A child who has been taught self-restraint will have the capacity to play well, either alone or with others, without needing constant parental attention. A child trained to share, not grab toys, and not deliberately break the objects around them will enjoy the rewards of playing with others. Play time is important enough to be part of God’s future blessing for Jerusalem. “And the streets of the city shall be full of boys and girls playing in the streets.” Zech. 8:55And the streets of the city shall be full of boys and girls playing in the streets thereof. (Zechariah 8:5) Our Father, who loves our children, can give us wisdom to train our children to follow Jesus even in their play time.