Once should be enough.

I was woken early again today by little voices.  When I went into the boys’ room, they were both in one bed, and they were being very awake, not very asleep.  This is Against The Rules.  The Rules have been made quite clear.  The Rules are not generally flexible in this area of life.  And so I went back to the Rules – ‘get out of your brother’s bed – it’s not 6:30 yet’.  I even posed the obvious question, ‘Why on earth are you talking when you’re supposed to be sleeping?’
It was clear that the Rules were known, but somehow they didn’t appeal, and therefore it seemed that they didn’t apply. This is a problem.  I pointed out that yesterday evening’s strife (don’t ask…) was probably related to tiredness, and tiredness was related to getting up too early.  This had little effect.
“Why do I have to say the same thing over and over again?”
It’s quite a common refrain in our house.  You see, I’ve got this problem with my kids – I tell them to do something (or not to do something) and it doesn’t seem to sink in.  So I tell them again.  And then I tell them again.  And it gets sorta repetitive.  And again, and again, and again.
I’m pretty sure they know what’s what by now.  This morning’s conversation made it clear that the Rules are known.  But they’re still not followed.  This is troubling.
And then I take a moment to reflect.
You see, I suffer from the same thing.  Sometimes (only occasionally, obviously) once isn’t enough for me either.  Sometimes, I’ll read something in my Bible – the Rules – and I’ll think to myself, ‘I knew that, but I don’t do that’.  And that must be a bit tedious for God.  How many times does He have to tell me before it’ll sink in?  And not just sink in, but actually change me.  When will I get better at applying the Rules that don’t appeal?
So although there are Rules that need to be kept, I also need to cut my boys a bit of slack sometimes.  And I’m profoundly thankful for that one time when once really was enough.  Where the Rules and my problem with keeping them were addressed by the rule giver.
we have been made holy through the sacrifice of the body of Jesus Christ once for all … For by one sacrifice he has made perfect forever those who are being made holy.
When it really counted, once was enough.
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