the temptation of freedom and independence

This little lady… crazy how fast time flies. Doesn’t seem possible she is almost 3. But it’s true. And, let me tell you, 2 turning 3 is a rough place to be. Growing by leaps and bounds while running into every boundary and falling down along the way.

See her face? This is the face of regret. She’s had that look a lot lately while navigating the ins and outs of life while developing self control and struggling to choose obedience. The temptation of independence and freedom is more than she can handle.

This particular “face of regret” moment you see here happened last week from a non-sanctioned, self-administered hair cut. We’ve lived through this before, at about the same age Lily cut off her bags to keep them off her face, Isaiah cut Elanor’s hair and I think Avari trimmed pieces of her pony tail. I’ve been know to tell our preK teachers that my kids will probably already know their letters but they will be deficient in scissor usage… for just this very reason. Yet it happens.

Insatiable curiosity, emerging independence, and creative problem solving combine into the perfect storm resulting in the rash decision to cut their hair.

And there we are back to Calah’s look of regret. While we’ve worked through forgiveness, this hair cut has lasting impact. Once you cut hair, it doesn’t go back on. And those hair cuts are are almost always done close to the scalp and right up front for all to see. Hair takes a long time to grow and perfecting a comb-over takes some work.

Calah regrets cutting her hair. But she can’t go back to that quick, spontaneous decision she made and undo it. Developing decision making skills and self control is a long process. Thankfully children aren’t alone. Parents guide them along the way, redirect when they get off course, place boundaries for safety, and pick up the pieces when they’ve crashed.

Hey, adults… what lessons can we learn from her? How many times do we make quick, rash decisions only to regret them later? Maybe it is a harshly spoken word, an impulsive decision, a careless mistake, or hurtful actions. Just because we’ve achieved “adult” status doesn’t mean our development is done. We still have a lot to learn. There are times when our freedom to make decisions leaves us with a “face of regret.”

It goes deeper too, in Christ we have freedom, scripture reminds us, “For you have been called to live in freedom, my brothers and sisters. But don’t use your freedom to satisfy your sinful nature. Instead, use your freedom to serve one another in love.” I might not be prone to using my freedom to cut my own hair, but I still have a lot to learn.

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