Oh what a torture to be around unruly children who are selfish! Oh to be a parent of one of those children is even worse! All my instructions won’t guarantee that my twins will be angels, but not doing anything guarantees that they run wild with the desires of their hearts and we were each born with a sinful nature. I’m starting young trying to teach manners and some self discipline. When the mere act of self control has progressed, I will attempt to reach their hearts and instill values and attitudes to go with the actions. This week I had reached my limit on Lance stealing James’ toys from him. The stealing happens about 2-4 times each hour. That makes for a lot of correction and sometimes exasperated yelling on mommy’s part. I knew it was time for a change when one morning at breakfast little Lance proudly said “stop it.” That’s when I knew the change needed to come now. I had to think about what I was going to do different and that took about 1.5 days. I had decided that Lance needed to give the toy back to James himself instead of mom taking from him and giving it to his brother. Then Lance needed to follow up with “Sorry.” I had mentally prepared myself for war when I first started this, but to my surprise, Lance behaved well. I did have to catch Lance first, turn him around, lead him by the shoulders and take his hand to give James the toy back. I told him he needed to say he was sorry. After a few seconds of Lance not saying anything I turned to walk away and within a few seconds he said the cutest “sorry.” I’m so glad he did. I sang his praises from here to kingdom come. James started clapping with me, they were smiling and you would have thought that was the biggest thing he had ever done. Most of the time they behave well when mom walks them back to their brother, but we have had a few times were one of them cried and acted so pitiful. I know that in learning, the boys won’t always get things right. Like at the end of the week, we went grocery shopping and they behaved so well. We had gotten in the car and I praised them for behaving only to have both boys say “sorry.” The correct usage, the change in behavior and the heart will follow some day. It reminds me to be careful of my attitude when I need to say I’m sorry and how important my example of telling my own children I’m sorry when I yell or do something I shouldn’t have. How joyful it is to extend grace and mercy to my boys, especially after they repent. How much more so does God rejoice over my repentance?