I've been arguing a lot with my son lately.
He's nearing 16 years old, and the other day I likened parenting him to taking my beagle on a walk. Sydney Bristow the Beagle is the WORST... she pulls and chokes herself and runs ahead of me. If she'd just relax and stop resisting the leash, we could go more places. But because she is so awful, we spend most of the time trying to establish who's the boss and then we return home, both exhausted and weary, and me just.plain.mad.
yeah, it's like that.
So, the other day was particularly rough. Finally, in sheer desperation, (not my finest moment)I approached him:
Me: Dude, it's been a long day. I need some nice words from you...
Him: what do you want me to say?
Me: Tell me you love me....
Him: I love you, Mom.
Me: Awesome. Tell me I am pretty...
Him: You are very pretty, Mom.
Me: Thank you. Tell me I am smart...
Me: Come on!
Him: Well, you're smart about SOME things.
Here's the sad reality. The kid genuinely believes that I am not smart. He is truly, honestly, completely convinced that I am so dumb that following my direction would lead to a life of pain, frustration, and oppression.
What kills me is that, though I have my ups and downs, our history proves that I have made wise decisions for my children. My son has benefited from my advice for his entire life- he's been kept alive, succeeded in school, and had his needs provided for. And not that I want to be all 'toot my own horn' girl, but my life story should speak to the fact that I'm not completely daft. I hold a job, have an education, maintain friendships... I can go on and on but the long and the short of it is this: I KNOW STUFF, YO.
(I feel so much like I'm setting myself up for a humbling, but stick with me, I'm going somewhere)
So, as I was venting about this to a friend yesterday, I saw a little lightbulb go off as I was talking-
I don't understand why the kid all of a sudden thinks I am dumb and want horrible things for him!
I'm the same mom who has only ever done things for him that will help him because I love him! What happened to the little boy who used to think I was the smartest person in the world? How has he forgotten?
Then, I realized... when I pull against the will of God, it's because either I really AM an idiot or because I have lost sight of something... the unchanging nature of God. The same God who got me through THAT will get me through THIS. The same God who provided for THAT need will provide for this need. The same God who turned THAT into good will turn THIS to good. When I am beginning to rebel or despair it's because I have developed spiritual amnesia. I need to turn and remember that even though my circumstances peak and valley, my God never ever changes. If I need help remembering, I can look in my prayer journals, the scriptures I've painted on my walls, photos of the amazing events in my life, I can even scroll back on my blog.
So, from this, I figured out the secret to my son's arguing. I applied it and he hasn't argued with me since. He remembers now that I am the Mom who loves him, and there is no more rebellion in my house....
HAHAHAHAHAHAHHAHAHAHAHA. oh, man. that's rich.
No, I haven't figured out the secret for that teen boy. I'm not sure it's something I'll ever really get. I did figure out one thing, though. I need to stop worrying about who my son thinks I am and start making sure He knows Who his God is. I am intentionally becoming more purposeful about pointing out things God has done in my life, in the history of our family, and in even his life. I am taking the time, also, to remember that the truth is that my boy is actually a cool kid... he's really not always a toad. He's smart and funny and helpful and good to me most of the time. I am actually proud of him, and full of hope that he will eventually think I am ... well, at least a little less dumb.
I remember your genuine faith, for you share the faith that first filled your grandmother Lois and your mother, Eunice. And I know that same faith continues strong in you.
2 Timothy 1:5