Today, my son and I spent some time together. We saw a movie…all action…not my kind of movie, but it was pretty good. Then, we had a nice dinner at my favorite Mexican place. Great day – except for the snarky comments and attitude.
My son is 15…taking driver’s ed…pointing out everything I do wrong when I drive…and falling into the habit of saying not so nice things as opposed to nice things to me. On top of that, there is a lot of arguing instead of taking responsibility for his actions. Don’t get me wrong, he is in no way out of hand. He is actually a very good kid. Still, these teen type actions can get under my skin, and kind of hurt my feelings. I miss the little boy that thought I was wonderful, that I was fun, that I was good and right. I miss the hugs and the little cards he would make me. Ugh! It makes me tear up as I write it!
OK…so, obviously, I need to pray about my own patience. But, my prayer for my son today focuses on this verse:
Do everything without grumbling or arguing, so that you may become blameless and pure, “children of God without fault in a warped and crooked generation.” Then you will shine among them like stars in the sky as you hold firmly to the word of life. Phil. 2:14-16
Wow…this says it all. Let me first point out that God does not make the point of the no grumbling and no complaining so your mom won’t be upset. He does not say do this to keep out of trouble. No. Instead, He says to behave this way so you will be pure; so you will be blameless; so you will be a light to this world.
I’m pretty sure God is teaching ME a lesson with this verse. Instead of reprimanding my son because of how he is acting towards me, I need to explain to him that his actions are a light to this world. That what he does, what he says, how he treats people, his actions when he thinks no one is looking, these are all the world sees of Jesus. It is all they understand. No wonder Christianity is becoming so unpopular. We look so much like the world, it’s impossible to tell the difference sometimes. Even the way I talk to my son about his attitude should have nothing to do with me but everything to do with Jesus and the witness my son is creating for him.
Lord, You made teens. I know You know what You are doing. I know only You can take all of that teenaged bravado and make it something amazing.
So Lord, I hand You my son, in complete trust. Lord, teach him to do things without grumbling or arguing – but not for me, Lord. I know You know that would make me happy, but that’s not the point. Please guide him in a change of his attitude and his responses so he can be a strong, light filled witness for you. Please Lord, fill my son with so much of Your love that is just spills out of him. Please make him shine for you, Jesus! Please allow him to push down the part of him that want to complain or argue, knowing that this act of self-control is a fruit of Your spirit. Let him always want to be filled with your Spirit, Lord.
And Lord, let him learn to cling to your Word. Please help me to gently remind him to spend time with You each day, because Your Word is literally You talking to us.
Lord, he is such a good boy. Thank you so much for sending me a son that is usually so sweet. But most of all, thank You for sending me Your son. I still cannot imagine what You went through watching Him suffer…even knowing the end result as You did. Your love never ceases to amaze me.
Thank You, Lord. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
Oh…and by the way, He pretty much was answering this before I wrote it! (…for your Father knows what you need before you ask him Matt. 6:8) I asked my son to come in my office and change the cat litter (that is one of his jobs in the house). I asked once, and he said he would in just a second. I asked again, and he put down his video game, came in, spoke to the cat, then proceeded to change the litter with a most pleasing attitude. Thank you, Lord, for knowing what I need before it even comes out of my mouth.