Vipers in Diapers?

By Jenni Zimmerman
December 29, 2017

Many years ago, I used think that babies were born innocent and could do no wrong. I thought they did not understand right and wrong. I thought that as they grew their personality and environment would shape who they were. But then I was taught according to God’s Word that we are born in sin, “Behold, I was born in iniquity, and in sin hath my mother conceived me (Ps. 51:5, GNV), and in Adam we all fell (Gen. 3:6–7). 

I have been shown this recently with my baby who is now ten months old. Don’t get me wrong. I absolutely adore my baby and delight in her. I also know that our family can see firsthand just how depraved these cute little bundles of joy can be. We heard a talk one time from Voddie Baucham that referenced our cute little ones as vipers in diapers. At first, I was taken back to think my little baby could be such a thing. 

To give a little background, our daughter had a rough go when she was born (compared to our other children). She had jaundice and had to be put on bili-lights, she had thrush three times before she was three months old. She had a slow digestive system and she had colic far worse than my other children. We discovered eczema before six months of age which resulted in a lot of trial and error to determine what she might be allergic to. As a result of these trials, she became more attached to me and wanted me to hold her more. She only falls asleep in the car (rarely) or in her bed. She does not fall asleep while being held or rocked. She is also the lightest sleeper I have ever had. As my husband describes it, she can hear a cricket chirp two counties away. At six months old, she started waking up two to five times a night needing comfort. By seven months, she developed a strong case of separation anxiety. I have never had a child like this. 

For about two months, her little sin nature has really begun showing. She does not like to hear the word “no.” She screams if you don’t get to her quickly, or if you do not understand her. She is pickier when it comes to eating. I could not believe a baby so young could understand exactly what she was doing at such a young age. I don’t remember ever having to discipline my kids before they were twelve months old. And while I don’t approve of her behavior and we are working with her, I am amazed at how clear the sin nature is in babies. We hear a lot about how kids don’t understand right and wrong until they are a few years old. But the Word of God tells us that we are born in sin and it also tells us that we have the law written on our hearts. My little sweet bundle of joy knows exactly what she is doing. 

It is because of this sin nature from the get-go that we are to diligently teach our children the Word of God. We are to raise them in the fear and admonition of the Lord, and we are to disciple and discipline them according to His Word. And with strong-willed children, it may take longer, and it may be more work. But we have to be consistent. It will be more trying and tiring for us, but, Lord willing, results will come. Galatians 6:9 says, “And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not.”

It may be years before I can share the full results of Galatians 6:9, but in the last few weeks, our baby started sleeping through the night. We taught her several signs for “please, more, and thank you” and she now points to something and says “please” instead of screaming. We have taught her “hot” so she will not touch something hot and she is understanding “no.” We have had to discipline her, but she is doing better. She is still a mama’s girl and still seems to need extra attention right now, but she is learning to obey. 

Topics: Education, Family & Marriage, Theology

Jenni Zimmerman

Jenni is a homeschooling mom.  She and her husband, Chris, live in Washington state with their four children. The entire family are earnest students of Biblical law.

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