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Dependence or Independence?
Dealing with the Cries of Your Baby

Children are born with a sin nature. But that doesn’t mean their cries are selfish.
That’s their language to tell something is wrong. “I’m wet. I’m hungry. I want to be held.”
These are needs, not selfish wants.
Security and trust are nurtured in the baby when his cries are met. He knows you are there. He stops crying.
Allowing him to cry himself to sleep teaches him not to trust. Moms have been told, “Let them cry. They’ll go to sleep. It’s good for them.” While the mom listened, her heart broke.

I am not a baby, but I know without my husband lying beside me I don’t sleep as well. On his army drill weekends, I’d paint, remodel, anything because I couldn’t sleep. And I’m an adult who can reason my fears away. How does a baby understand his fears when his provider won’t come when he cries?“He will be too dependent upon you” the voice of “wisdom” says.

Humans don’t have instincts like animals that enable them to survive on their own. God made them totally dependent upon their mothers.
We teach independence, before they know what dependence is. They depend upon you. Will they find you trustworthy?
Does God ever tell you when you cry out to Him, “Wait, I’m busy” or “You need to be independent of Me?”

You give your child security and confidence. That confidence will help for independence later, not as babies. There is time later, to teach them they must wait their turn, the world doesn’t revolve around them, but not when they are babies.

Can you spoil a baby? No. Spoiling implies giving them something they don’t need, but only want. Babies needs you. You are supplying their needs. Later, when the child demands what he only wants, that is when you train and discipline. That’s for the defiant child.

As mothers, we must harden our hearts to ignore their cries and walk away from their needs. We justify other priorities as more important.

God describes the spiral downward of a man who has forgotten God. He says, “Professing to be wise, they became fools…For they exchanged the truth of God for a lie…for their women exchanged the natural function for that which is unnatural, and in the same way also the men abandoned the natural function of the woman and burned in their desire toward one another, men with men committing indecent acts and receiving in their own person the due penalty of their error….” Romans 1:22-28

Part of that natural function of women is for women to be mothers and helpmeets for their husbands. We have hardened our hearts to our babies, and elevated other work as more important than the job God has given us to do.

We pay when we don’t listen to God. Romans 1 continues, “God gave them over to a depraved mind, to do those things which are not proper…untrustworthy, unloving, unmerciful, and although they know the ordinance of God…they not only do the same, but also give hearty approval to those who practice them.” Romans 1:28-32.

Showing your baby security through dependence is not easy. I like feeling empowered by what I CAN DO, not by what I can’t do. Dealing with a helpless, crying baby is not empowering. How can such a little thing, lower me to such baseness and lack of love? I see my own selfishness. I must depend upon God to do the task He has given me. I direct my requests to Him.

He alone gets the praise. He alone is worthy.



What other ways does the world tell us to be independent, yet God calls us to depend?

I've always heard that debate about whether to pick up a crying baby or not, and you answered it wonderfully. I'll be sharing this with Katrina.

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Author of Biblical fiction, married to my best friend, and challenged by eight sons’ growing pains as I write about what matters.

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