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There’s an old saying in our house that stems from the kids being young, tired, unreasonable, you just need a juice box and a nap. And without too much grumbling they would comply, they would sense the love behind it. Their parents weren’t just being bossy or telling them what to do, we were being sensible, even when they were not.

A juice box and a nap solves a lot of problems, although when you are a child, naps don’t seem like much fun. That all changes when you are an adult and a nap can feel a bit like winning the lottery.

Julie wrote a lovely post called, Don’t Tell Me What to Do, about some of the struggles we face, our will versus God’s will, freewill versus the rules, “the rules” being put in place to bless us, to protect us, to shelter us from harm. Loving rules, designed to make our lives easier.

So many people struggle with negative perceptions of authority, with the taint of abuse and misapplied laws, with defiance. My kids too, as they grew began to struggle against the idea of being told, “you just need a juice box and a nap,” as in don’t tell me what to do, a great offense when you are like, 14. An insult, and offense to the pride, the love behind it completely forgotten. That only lasts for a season, a moment in time… unless there has been wounding there, in which case we never grow out of it, or at least it lasts much longer than it should. Perpetual adolescence.

That “don’t tell me what to do,” tries to pop up in my life too, and in marriage sometimes. Let me tell you, I can be extraordinarily defiant, not a bad skill to have in the face of injustice or assorted wrongheadedness, but when we can soften our hearts to the idea that discipline is often really just about love, we are much blessed. We will than walk in that spirit of protection and love, of safety and concern, rather than perpetual offense.

Our kids are mostly grown now, so we try not to tell them, “you just need a juice box and a nap,” although that is precisely what they often need, the cure for ails them to this day, words I cannot always speak to them anymore.

Hubby sometimes still tells me I need a juice box and a nap, and it is rather funny, that old offense will try to rise up before I catch myself, feel his humor, sense the love, realize the truth behind his words, the fact that I truly would love nothing more than a “juice box and a nap.”  It took me a while to understand that, to realize I was arguing against my own desires. What is better than the safety of a nap and the possibility of waking up refreshed, renewed? Well, when you are not two yrs old, that is.

Often there is freedom in surrender and only bondage to be found in rebellion and strongholds. God is like that too, He is not trying to steal our fun, He is not trying to “tell us what to do,” He desires to bless us, to protect us, to shower love upon us.

We often try to lean into our own understanding, defying even our own desires in the process, never thinking it may be our own understanding itself that is flawed.