I took the boys up the street tonight, to the culdesac at the end of our road, so they could ride their scooters in a more open area than we have in our driveway. I sat on the curb and told the boys they couldn’t go past me, that on the other side of me was too close to the intersection where cars might not see them or may speed around the curve and hit them. This gave them the entire circle and a small amount of straightaway to ride — ample room.
Wouldn’t you know it, Finn comes up and asks if he can just go one driveway past me promising to come right back and be careful and explaining how he likes to go down the little ramp on the driveway because it’s fun. Keep in mind there at least half a dozen driveways with the same small decline as this one, but he wants the one just out of his reach.
I said no, not so much because of the safety aspect (although that was still a concern) but mainly to teach obedience and respect for the limitations that I, as their parent, have set. I tried explaining to Finn that I didn’t set limitations to be mean or to spoil his fun but to keep him safe. I explained that I had given permission for all of this area to the left but he didn’t need to go right and he didn’t need to try to challenge me about the line that I had set.
As soon as I said it the spiritual truth hit me — that’s often how God works with us, setting limitations to keep us safe or sometimes to teach us obedience and respect.