This morning, I quit my Mommy job.
Perhaps you can relate. My precocious, argumentative, legalistic thirteen-year-old son finally did me in. It seems no matter how cleverly I reason, plead or command, the child outwits, outfoxes and even out screams me. I finally ordered the still-petitioning young man to get in the car, and while I sobbed silently, I drove him over to his fatherís place of business, where I am sure he was unwelcome. Someone had to look after him.
After all, I quit.
The boy is actually quite charming when he is not being belligerent. He is full of vim and vigor, creatively teasing his siblings and generating fun and laughter everywhere he goes. Good-looking, with dark hair and eyes that sparkle, I suppose he thought he could get away with disrespecting and rebelling against his older, weaker, more emotionally driven mother. He almost did get away with it.
Until I quit, that is.
As he peeled his lanky body from the vehicle, my son heard these parting sentiments:
"You obviously donít want to be under my authority, so now you are under your fatherís! You better start thinking about where you are going to live and go to school, now, cause I donít want you in my house," and my personal immature favorite, "You canít tell me what to do!"
Alone, on the way home, I realized that I was the one who really needed discipline. Once again, I was personally offended by my childís behavior. If I could just see it coming and recognize the signs, I might be able to disengage my emotions and glorify the Lord with my response to disobedience, instead of ranting and raving like a lunatic.
I might not have to quit if I could do that.
Praying to the LordÖ okay, whining to the Lord, I complained that I could just not control my sonís behavior. Very, very quietly, the Lord spoke into my heart.
"Let Me control him."
Those words had such impact! Like a bolt of lightning through my tears, I realized that my son is quickly turning into a man, and that despite my best efforts to control him, soon he will answer directly to God for his decisions. The Lord desires to reach him, woo him and enlist him in Godís kingdom. My Mommy wrath would never achieve Godís greater purposes.
Just so you know the end of the story, we did reconcile tonight. I re-enlisted as the boyís mommy and apologized for my immaturity. He apologized for trying to control me and agreed to submit to my authority. His options are limited; the Merchant Marines do not take thirteen-year-olds. I checked.
So, we will begin another day, encouraged that God is listening, watching and waiting for me to practice the principals I teach so confidently. My Savior is faithful; and loving Him enables me to be faithful as well. Maybe I am being equipped for responding to this thirteen-year-old challenge for my four younger children.
I wonder if the Merchant Marines take Mommies.
Kay Brown homeschools her rambunctious brood in the mountains of Northern New Mexico while dreaming of getting her laundry caught up two days in a row. Despite a burning desire to share deep spiritual truths, she finds herself struggling with the same weaknesses as everyone else and clinging to the Lord Jesus.
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