When I got our first two children, I either was completely ignorant of all the parenting techniques, tips and helps, or I was simply being unconsciously organic in raising them. In fact I remember only reading a book titled What to Expect In Baby’s First Year. My area of focus then was on milestones, diet, and baby safety.
Seven years down the line, things seem to have changed a whole lot. Besides me being older, we also have a lot of information at our disposal through the internet. From this, I have gathered that there are now numerous new tools, technologies, methods and helps to aid mother and baby in a variety of ways. Baby bum fans, breastfeeding simulators,white or natural noise and artificial baby cuddling chests to replace you so that you can focus on more important things are just a few examples. I leave it to your judgment whether these are actually good advancements or complications that the human race has added to itself.
The one I have interacted with a bit more is literature on sleep training, A good friend gave me a book on this, fearing that life would be quite hectic for me with a new born plus homeschooling two super-active boys. Thank you friend.
The baby came soon after I had read and decided how to implement the suggested sleep system. However, there was one problem. He did not fit into the script of the book… He came premature, later suffered from severe jaundice and hence needed a different way of handling. Both mother and baby became frustrated trying to work according to the script that was supposed to make life easier.
In the heat of this frustration, I heard that still small voice “Dheri (our second born) was a good sleeper and you had nothing to do with it.” I prayed and surrendered our little one’s sleep pattern to God. Since then, baby has been having what I can call good night’s sleep. 11 pm to 4 am. Not bad at all for his age.. All this with no effort I can attribute to myself.
This small issue of sleep training can cause a serious divide splitting us right in the middle with some swearing by systematic training and others vowing by a natural or organic approach. Our Christian walk is faced by the same conflict- should we simply accept that we are in Christ and hence cannot do anything but by Him and in Him? or should we look at him as an outside enabler of a good life? See, in an age of qualifications, many in the body of Christ are asking; what do I need to do to walk more righteously, what do I need to do to live a successful Christian life etc. We focus on what we should do.
When I look at what Christ offered, I see he offered ‘organic life in Him’ as opposed to a man driven life. This is what I mean:
In the planting, God chose the best seed for us to shoot from:
But I was the one who planted you, choosing a vine of the purest stock—the very best (Christ).How did you grow into this corrupt wild vine? No amount of soap or lye (human strength, techniques) can make you clean. I still see the stain of your guilt. I, the Sovereign Lord, have spoken! (Jeremiah 2: 20-22 NLT)
Our Lord gave us salvation out of no effort of our own:
But God showed his great love for us by sending Christ to die for us while we were still sinners. (Romans 5: 8 NLT)
He desires that our fruit be borne out of simply abiding in Him with the Father working in us to fulfill His good pleasure.
“I am the true grapevine, and my Father is the gardener. He cuts off every branch of mine that doesn’t produce fruit, and he prunes the branches that do bear fruit so they will produce even more. You have already been pruned and purified by the message I have given you. Remain in me, and I will remain in you. For a branch cannot produce fruit if it is severed from the vine, and you cannot be fruitful unless you remain in me. (John 15: 1-4 NLT)
What will you choose? I hope we choose the rest that comes from being qualified by Him, birthed and sustained by Him and life through Him and for Him.
Note: Emphasis in the brackets mine