Originally published on June 21, 2013
Almost every door in our house now has a reverse doorknob on it. We have changed them - one at a time - as we have deemed necessary. Once Shelby makes a huge mess in a room - a dozen or so times, we decide to take measures to keep her out of it. The most recent string of destruction has involved water facets. When she gets a few minutes alone, she likes to turn one on and splash and splash until she and the room she is in are soaked. Not very fun for me or very safe for her. So the latest lock to be reversed - the guest bathroom. Now we can lock it from the outside. She doesn't know how to unlock it. At least for now. The one thing you can't do if you come into my house, is lock the door when you use my restroom from the inside. Sorry. If privacy is a huge issue for you, you may want to empty your bladder before you come over. We haven't figured out a way to secure the kitchen sink yet, so we will just have to be as vigilant as we can. And clean up a few wet messes when we do have to allow ourselves a few minutes to go to the bathroom or take a shower.
Sometimes I wish God would use something as concrete as a locked door to keep me from doing the things I shouldn't do. When I am tempted to say something rude or unloving, place a locked door around my mouth. When the show I'm watching on TV turns raunchy, a locked door around my eyes would help me make the right decision. When I'm emotionally eating and reaching for empty calories - and too many of them - a locked door around my lips would save me from guilt and regret. When the urge to buy something I don't need strikes, make my wallet impossible to open. There are so many things I could do with our money that would glorify God instead of me. But God gives us a free will. He wants us to choose Him and choose His best for us of our own accord. So he lets us make our own decisions. I long to tell you that I make right ones more often than not, but I'm working that through every day. And I'm so thankful that God doesn't abandon us to our earthly desires. He does send us the Holy Spirit to be a guide and help us. 1 Corinthians 10:13 says, "No temptation has overtake you but such as is common to man; and God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will provide a way of escape also, so that you will be able to endure it." God will provide us a way to walk away from temptation, but he won't make us take it. And the verse doesn't say He will offer it again and again. We have to be listening for the voice of the Holy Spirit, watching for the escape route. This takes practice and mindfulness. In the same way, each time we have changed a door lock, there has been a time of adjustment for us. It takes practice and mindfulness to remember to lock the door. And while we work on it, we have to clean up a few more messes. But the messes don't mean our safeguards have failed. They just mean we are imperfect, but in the process. What safeguards do you need to put up in your "house"?