by Tad Lindley
Years ago, doctors told Nicole Davis that she would never be able to have children. So when she went to the hospital in January of 2008 with extreme abdominal pain, it was a great surprise to everyone when twins burst forth from her womb. According to the UPI report, doctors at the Cincinnati hospital misinterpreted Davis’s symptoms as the onset of menopause. But when the babies came out, there was no denying what the real problem was.
We might wonder, “How could a woman feel the children struggling within her and never know?” Such stories actually are not that uncommon. They seem to pop up in news reports with surprising regularity. Let us now turn to an even more common phenomenon: when a grown man has a baby trapped inside his body.
Ahab, King of Israel
In case you do not read the Bible regularly, let me catch you up to speed on King Ahab. Ahab was the king of Israel about 2,900 years ago. He married a non-Jewish girl, Jezebel, who was extremely evil. Her wicked influence drug her husband down. King Ahab and Queen Jezebel’s rejection of God led to a three and a half year drought in Israel. Their reign was a dark time for the nation.
You can’t always get what you want
It came to pass after the drought had passed and rain had returned, that Ahab noticed another man’s vineyard. The man’s name was Naboth. Ahab said to Naboth, “Let me have your vineyard to use for a vegetable garden, since it is close to my palace. In exchange I will give you a better vineyard or, if you prefer, I will pay you whatever it is worth.”
But Naboth replied, “The Lord forbid that I should give you the inheritance of my fathers.” (1 Kings 21:2-3 NIV)
It might seem unwise for the farmer, Naboth, to refuse the king, but the Naboth had a mandate from God to keep the land that he had received from his father (see Leviticus 25:23). If Ahab were a real man, he would have been able to accept this. He would have honored the God that had protected and preserved his people. But Ahab had a little problem: he had a four year old boy trapped inside of his body.
The baby comes out of the King
So Ahab went home, sullen and angry because Naboth the Jezreelite had said, “I will not give you the inheritance of my fathers.” He lay on his bed sulking and refused to eat. (1 Kings 21:4 NIV) He may have appeared noble and stately to the outside world, but when Ahab got into the privacy of his own home, the baby came out. Just like a toddler who has been told, “No”, Ahab sulked and refused to eat. When a grown man is really a toddler inside, that toddler eventually comes out. Usually this happens when he does not get his own way. In Ahab’s case his tantrum got him what he wanted; Jezebel had Naboth killed and then she gave his vineyard to Ahab.
How a grown man ends up throwing tantrums
When a child throws a tantrum that is normal. When a grown man or woman does it that is not normal. If you want to raise up your children to be like King Ahab here’s how to do it. While your children are still young, take them down the candy aisle at the store. When they ask for candy, tell them, “No, I am not buying you candy today.” Then wait until they begin to throw a tantrum. Once they are pouting, crying, or throwing themselves on the floor (manifestations of the tantrum may vary), then change your mind. Tell them something like this, “I’m sorry son. Here have some candy. Then you will feel better.” You have just sent the message to your child that the way to get what you want is to baby out. Continue this throughout the teenage years. When they ask to use the snow machine tell them, “No”. When they start slamming doors and giving you the silent treatment, then change your mind and let them take the snow machine. You will have showed them as you have so many times before that the way to get what you want is not hard work, it is acting like a baby, and you will produce an adult with a tendency to have horrible tantrums. Just like Ahab, adults don’t usually tantrum in public, they only let the baby come out at home or around people that they know they can manipulate.
Not as easy as it sounds
For those who have heard their own child issuing the deep mournful bellowing that comes from Mom or Dad saying, “No”, you know how painful it can be. You have refused to let the child go outside when it is -20 and windy. Now the howls coming from her mouth seem as if you had plunged a knife into her very soul. The natural thing is to want to spare your child from this pain. To give in now is the worst thing you can do for them. The Bible puts it this way, Chasten thy son while there is hope, and let not thy soul spare for his crying. (Proverbs 19:18) Never let a child’s tantrum control you. Even if his crying tugs at your own soul, do not change your mind.
Delivering the baby
Just as it was no accident that Nicole Davis ended up pregnant with twins, it was no accident that King Ahab threw the tantrum that resulted in an innocent man’s death. If you are an adult that suffers from a tantrum driven lifestyle, you can be delivered from the baby inside. Jesus Christ is the answer. The Bible promises that if any man be in Christ Jesus he is a new creature, old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.(II Corinthians 5:17) If you are a parent raising children, it is important that you deliver the baby into adulthood, instead of letting them control you with tantrums. If you refuse to discipline your children, it proves you don’t love them; if you love your children, you will be prompt to discipline them. (Proverbs 13:24 NLT)
Tad Lindley is a minister at the United Pentecostal Church in Bethel, Alaska.