This morning on my way to church my 15 year old son was sitting next to me with earphones in, mad. James , my husband, had to work today to be off Friday, a VERY important day for our family.
So, it was on me to make sure we were at church. As typical on Sunday in our house, an argument broke out and some behavior between brothers was less than favorable (I'm being very vague here, I know).
After some words back and forth my boy put his headphones in and I thought "Doesn't matter what Sunday, any Sunday morning someone is arguing before church." (Get behind me Satan)
I've never raised a teenage boy before. I am treading in new waters and I have two more coming up quickly behind the first. For a few weeks I have asked about book recommendations, prayed, read devotionals, and asked for advice on raising boys. I've tuned into my Titus women whom I respect for raising godly men. Still, today I gripped the steering wheel and prayed a silent prayer that I do better with my actions, reactions, and words. Any momma's feeling me?
Is it true that if your teenager isn't mad at you, you're doing it wrong? Does it have to be that way? I can not stand that my oldest son, as good and responsible as he is, is mad at me. I want him to understand why I do what I do because it's out of love and to see that I just want the best. Isn't that what we all want?
I pray over my children so often and ask for so much wisdom. Today was no exception. As I walked into my Sunday School class after delivering all the "smalls" to their appropriate locations I took a deep breath. It actually felt good to expand my chest and let it all out. I was handed the prayer request book and scribbled down "wisdom on how to raise a teenager" and a few others and passed it on. I sighed again. It felt good to sigh.
I opened my lesson and my Bible and after a few minutes my friend and teacher stood up and wrote "With Love...." on the board beside her. She was referencing how we are supposed to do everything with LOVE. Then, as God does, He started transforming the words coming out of her mouth to be exactly what I needed to hear. She said something about her coworkers and "building them up." What I heard was "everything you say to him should be to build him up, never to tear him down." That's it!
It's so easy sometimes to hurt others when you're offended or your toes are stepped on and especially since teenagers have such "big feet" and seem to step on toes often.
Build him up with words of love.
We forget that sometimes correcting wrong behavior doesn't have to be with discipline and consequence but sometimes we can use the opportunity to remind our sons and daughters of who they are, that they have a purpose, that they are loved and that they are important. Sometimes all that lashing out and hormonal anger just needs us to dissolve it all with loving kindness and words of wisdom that make them better people to build them up.
It's not easy.
It's worth it.
Proverbs 16:24 says that "pleasant words are like a honeycomb, sweet to the souls and healing to the bones.
This is the verse I choose to meditate over. Like my friend and teacher says "as you mediate, God will take you deeper and peel back the layers." I am praying that it is so.