Teaching Parent, Teachable Child
“I HATE YOU!”
“YOU ARE THE WORST MOTHER EVER!”
“I WISH I HAD A DIFFERENT FAMILY!”
These hurtful, angry words were flung at me followed by a resounding bang and wall-shaking tremble as my son slammed the door behind him for added emphasis. As if any was required. Message received loud and clear - he was not happy.
What could have triggered such a response? Bedtime, clearly!
We had a wonderful family day up until that point. I’m quite certain; it wouldn’t matter if we began our day with ice cream for breakfast, followed by Disney and a bedtime light saber battle with Luke Skywalker himself. As soon as the answer is not what he wants to hear, he lashes out.
These episodes are exhausting, discouraging and I even began thinking negatively about my own child. But this particular day something rather embarrassing stopped me in my (thought) tracks.
A little voice spoke directly to my heart - “Heidi, you do this to me.”
All the tension left me as my heart recognized the truth of His words. “Yes, Lord, sometimes I do.”
When the days are going my way and all is well, I praise Him for His many blessings. But when He requests something unexpected of me or circumstances are undesirable to me (like moving across the country), I immediately lash out. I question His love, His faithfulness and doubt His ways.
As for God, his way is perfect: “The LORD's word is flawless; he shields all who take refuge in him.” Psalm 18:30
His “No’s” are decided with perfect love.
His “Yeses” are arranged with perfect love.
His “Waits” are prescribed with perfect love.
His gifts are handed out with perfect love.
His blessings are showered on us with perfect love.
And I have finally come to the beautiful understanding that even our struggles are permitted with perfect love.
“Not only so, but we also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope.” Romans 3:3&4 (NIV)
He is directing His children more purely than we will ever be able to guide our own because we are imperfect. I admit that there are many times my responses are rooted in selfishness not selfless love.
As Moms, we are called to be both a teaching parent and teachable child of God.
I needed to approach my son the same way God speaks to me when I have an outburst: gently, patiently and in love. I knocked on his door and entered with a corrected spirit. This discussion was different than our others.
Enfolded in my arms, I told him that there was no one on this earth that loved him more than I did. That whatever mattered to him, mattered to me and that he is never alone. He always has me; we are a team and we will face anything – together, with God.
He instantly relaxed into me and asked who I was! Just kidding, he said he was sorry but the look on his face made it clear and I am ashamed to admit it. This was not the response he expected, the response I had trained him to anticipate from me.
I accepted his apology, tearfully asked for his forgiveness and then together, we approached our Heavenly Father.
We bonded in an extraordinary way that day and I have lived (and repeated) those same words to him, many times since, so he will recognize their truth.
How many times does God need to repeat himself to us before we believe?
That He is good. 1 Chronicles 16:34
He can be trusted. Psalm 9:10
That God IS love. 1 John 4:8
He will strengthen us. Isaiah 41:10
And He is for us. Romans 8:31
Whatever your current circumstances may be, I pray that you are filled with joy when it’s a “yes”, peace for a “no” and patience for the “wait”. Regardless of His answer now, He is preparing something beautiful for you and He will sustain you until the day it is revealed to you, my sweet friend.
With Sisterly love,
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