No, he’s not doing heroin or selling his body on the street, or anything even remotely like that. But frankly, I have been operating under the assumption that if I did everything “right” then my kids would turn out a certain way. And this kid has let me down. He owed me perfection for all my time, effort and sacrifice, damn it, and now he thinks he gets to just go and live his life and make mistakes and not be a living monument to how great a mom I am?
My son is an artist and artists must suffer, doncha know? Unfortunately, it wasn’t in MY plan that either of my children ever suffer. I’ve done the suffering for them…if only they’d listen to me and follow my advice then they’d be exempt. But that’s a no go.
Anyway, back to love. When I was pulling out the art to stick up on the wall of my guestroom I found this:
I did this needlepoint while on bedrest when I was pregnant with my first child. As I was admiring this the Lord brought to my attention the saying, “Children need love when they least deserve it.”
Hmmmm. Didn’t the Lord love me when I least deserved it? He most certainly did. He took care of me and watched over me when I deserved most to be tossed out the window. Then I felt in my heart the Lord ask me, “How are you loving your son right now?” Suddenly, my eyes welled up with tears that began to run down my face.
I guess yelling at him and letting him know loud and clear on a nearly daily basis what a big, fat disappointment he is to me isn’t exactly like loving, is it?
The next morning I got up early and made his favorite muffins. And everyday since that day I’ve tried to find and do something loving for my son. I helped him with his laundry (I usually make him do his own). I bought him a favorite snack food. I say positive, affirming statements to him about the good things he is doing as soon as I notice them. I acknowledge the right things he’s doing and I thank him whenever he’s thoughtful, helpful and/or respectful. Etc, etc, etc. Everyday. Something loving.
And guess what? We’re getting along better and better. In fact, I see his heart softening towards me. He’s seeking me out. He’s asking me my opinion about things (miracle!). He’s very affectionate. He’s been calling right away when he’s going to be late and when I ask him to do something he’s been doing it right away without any negative attitude at all. It is actually becoming fun to have him around. And some other really good things are happening too.
The other day a wise lady I know brought this Scripture to my remembrance:
“….’If your enemy is hungry, feed him;
if he is thirsty, give him
something to drink.
In doing this, you will heap burning coals on his head.’
Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.” (Romans 12:20-21)
I’d been trying to win my son with my anger and unkind remarks and it wasn’t working. Duh.
So may I suggest that if you are having strife with someone you love consider doing something loving for them. At the very least, you’ll be heaping coals on their head and at the very most, you’ll be acting like Christ…loving them, like He does us, when they least deserve it.