I am a believer in the biblical teaching of total depravity which teaches that we are sinful from birth and in need of a Savior to redeem our sinful natures. It is a very easy doctrine to believe in your head and deny with your heart. I believe it. I can argue the point from scripture and in theory, I can tell you that my children’s hearts are sinful.
I can tell you that with my head, but I find myself encountering my daughter’s sinfulness and asking myself “Who taught her that?” She has just learned the word “MINE” in the last few days. I caught myself wondering who taught her that phrase. No one has to teach her to be selfish – she was born with selfishness in her heart. It’s my job as a mother to point her to Christ who can save her from her selfishness. I know it in theory, but I have a hard time applying it.
Today I bumped into my daughter’s depravity in a way that made me sit back and thank the Lord for grace.
We have a seven dollar inflatable wading pool that is a big hit with our mackerdoodle. Almost every morning we put on her bathing suit and put the cheesedoodle in his car seat, with a blanket to shade his newborn skin, and we let the mackerdoodle go for her “fwim”. With a toddler getting in and out of a pool, dropping sticks into it, etc., the water gets pretty cloudy pretty quickly. This morning I took her outside while Jonathan ran some errands. He didn’t have time to empty and refill the pool before he left, so things looked a little grungy – and were getting worse by the moment.
The mackerdoodle wanted to “bwow bubees” in the water, which generally consists of her putting her face in the water and then taking it back out. I told her that the water was too dirty and I didn’t want her to blow bubbles today. She waited until I checked on the baby, and put her face in the water. Obviously this was unacceptable behavior, and she was disciplined for disobeying. As she was bumping and flipping and splashing about, however, I was forced to admit that the dirty water was getting into her mouth and the rest of her anyway, so the next time she asked me “Bwow bubbees? Peeez.” I said “Okay. You may blow some bubbles. Just don’t drink the water.”
The second I gave her permission, she looked at the water, wrinkled up her nose, and said “No bubees. Dirty.”
If I hadn’t believe in total depravity before, that would have proved it to me. I sat back and prayed because it was all I could think to do.