On Potty Training and Repentance

A sand toilet my dear friend sculpted. I have no idea why she did it, but I thought it was wonderfully fitting for this post.

Today I have fresh (or maybe not so fresh) inspiration from one of my boys. Raising children so often provides me with insights into my relationship with God…

My three year old has been stubbornly resistant to the idea of using the toilet. The arrangement of soiling himself whenever and wherever he feels like it and then having me clean it up has worked just fine for his entire life. If it ain’t broke—don’t fix it, right?

Yesterday he reached a potty training milestone—he recognized that he needed to go, informed me, and took care of business before it was too late. I was elated! I had been waiting so long for him to see that this really was a better option and that he could do it. Good things are in store!

Almost immediately I wondered if that isn’t how God feels when I finally decide to stop resisting his conviction in my life. My husband likes to say that it should be flattering when God offers the opportunity to repent. God sees something better for me and He knows I can do it.  He’s willing to help me. The creator of the universe is lovingly showing me how to get rid of things that are holding me back. Why on earth would I resist that?

I suppose I do the same thing as my son. Sure, the way I’ve been operating stinks and it’s  a little uncomfortable, but it’s worked for me so far. It’s just how I am, how I’ve always been. I’m afraid to try another way—what if I can’t do it and I fail?

However, if I am rational about it, I can’t think that God’s finger pointed at something undesirable in my heart means that He wants to watch me squirm and fail. It just means it’s time to grow up a little bit more. It means that this is the next step to be more like Jesus and a more effective minister of the gospel. It means I can have a deeper, closer relationship with my God. Even if I’ve been getting by just fine, it makes no sense to choose to stay stinky and soiled when God is showing me a better way.

When I finally decide to yield to Him, I wonder—

Does He feel something like I did with Soren yesterday? Perhaps a mixture of joy for what this new step means for my life and  regret for the unnecessary pain my stubborn delay caused?

One thing I know; I always have room for improvement. I want to learn to be so eager for God’s work in my heart that I am flattered when He convicts me. The invitation to repent will always be accompanied by a level of discomfort, but it should also be exciting that He thinks I’m ready for the next step!

When you are given to opportunity to repent, do you feel condemned, defensive, fearful, resistant? Or do you hear God saying “It’s time—you’re ready. This is the next step to being all that I know you can be!”


3 thoughts on “On Potty Training and Repentance”

  1. Yep, some kids are just more stubborn and wilful than others. However, I have noticed that the stubborn, willful kids usually grow up to be leaders and are especially effective in kingdom work – when they are finally submitted to God. Frankly, I think God enjoys a good challenge (even though the theology of that idea stinks!)

  2. Good job at the God job, Crystal.

    “The Heavens declare the glory of God…”

    … and so do empty diapers.

    Blessings, John

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