Trying to establish rules with sons that won't listen and have never been required to abide by codes of conduct has been one of the greatest threats to my sanity and the most humbling experiences of my life. I have not been able to get my three younger sons to obey our house rules and live respectfully. Yes, I can take some comfort in the fact that God’s own children disregard His house rules (i.e. the 10 commandments); I am in very good company. Yet I have used every trick and argument I can resurrect to get compliance with my sons….but they still defy me!
What concerns me is that I am getting angrier and angrier, while at the same time trying to temper that fury with compassion. And yet, each time I show I get walked all over!
So lately I been truly been losing my “nerve”, i.e. the confidence that the house rules have any merit whatsoever! My boys would absolutely love me far more if we had no rules and I submitted to their organized chaos. The more I live here the more I feel like I am trapped in “The Lord of the Flies”.
In times like these I have found that I need another soul (parent) to remind me of the things I used to know but have somehow forgotten! I am cognizant of the fact that if I could just imagine what I would counsel a parent to do, if they had sons like mine, and then follow through on that counsel, most of my challenges would be over and my sons would be better because of it! What a wretched, confused and lost father I am!
As with Solomon, I don’t follow my own advice nor do I listen the voice of wisdom—-all to my shame and peril. Parenting requires incredible attentiveness to each child’s personality, but also the wisdom to know when that child’s personality is attempting overtake my own! I need the support of those folks that love my sons and me. Humbly, I must admit that I need help……
And in an act of divine act of intervention, I got the support I needed this past weekend. On two occasions group of friends asked to pray for me. They saw my suffering and wanted to help. In both cases they surrounded me, laid their hands on my should and prayed for me as well as the son that is my present “challenge”. In my mind, the selfless prayers of these friends would soon result in a changed heart and mind in my son. But that’s not what happened.
The very next day my son was more defiant and unkind he had ever been. I wondered, what about those righteous prayers for him just yesterday?! But then, before I knew what I was doing, I called my friend, the sheriff, who dispatched an officer to my home. I’ve never done this in my life, but after ninety minutes of this rather scary officer talking, emphatically and sternly, to my son, about the stupidity of his actions…….. things changed! The officer did a superb job of not only pointing out how blessed the boy was, but how hapless his choices and actions were.
Nothing I have ever said or done brought about change in my son’s behavior like this meeting with the officer. I am convinced it is because people prayed for me that I was able to do the right thing and call the officer. Their prayers gave me wisdom, resolve and backbone to commit a righteous action.
Are you struggling? Find some people who are connected to God to lay hands on you and pray for you—-and then get ready for surprises!