Thursday, February 25, 2010

He is Not my Enemy

OK, so yesterday I told you about a choice I had with regard to how I handled a certain situation with Joshua. Wish I could say that one revelation led to a never-ending occurrence of peaceful moments between my son and I.
But that would be a lie.
And you all are my friends, and I don't want to lie to you.
The truth is Joshua and I continue to clash often. And I don't like it. I want to live at peace with him. I try. But it feels like a battle.

How does that work? A battle for peace???

Whatever.

So the other day I was sitting and praying about my relationship with Joshua. Telling God all about my desire to have peace reign in our home, and between Joshua and me. I was pouring out my heart and in the midst of it, God poured something in.
It was a simple statement.
Joshua is not your enemy.
I stopped for a moment and just sat with that thought.
Joshua is not my enemy.
He is my son.
He is my flesh and blood.
He is a gift to me from God above.

He is not my enemy!

And I need to stop approaching my interactions with him as if I am facing opposition. I don't think it was coincidence that moments after God spoke this thing to my heart, I read the account of Jesus washing His disciples' feet. Right before Judas was to betray Him, and Peter was to deny Him, Jesus displayed His love to them!
Maybe Joshua and I will continue to clash as he enters his teenage years. Maybe there will be times when I'll feel disrespected and put-out. But Jesus loved those who would betray Him, who would deny Him. He knew what they would do and He loved them anyway! And by His grace I will love my son through our trials, too.

Father, please give me - give all of us - the grace we need to love our children even when we don't feel like it. Help us in each moment to remember how great Your love is for us, and move in us to pour that love out over our children.


Karen

18 comments:

Jessica said...

This is a really good post for me today. My two year old woke up at four and refused to go back to bed. I gotta say, he was definitely feeling like me enemy.
I hope you have peace too, but if you don't at least you'll have lots of love. :-)

luvmy4sons said...

Thank you again for your honesty. I needed this post coming off a very difficult week with my youngest who has multiple learning disabilities. School has been such a struggle lately. I can relate so well to your prayer and what you heard from the Lord. As parents we love our children but it is so easy to get caught up in a negative cycle, treating them as enemies-especially when they become teens! Blessings and hugs sister.

Angie Muresan said...

Oh wow! That is one of the most profound thoughts I have read on parenting, Karen. I have a friend who is going through things with her boys. She does treat them as if they are the enemy. Praying that you have a blessed day.

Irritable Mother said...

Jessica - Hope you get a nap today! *grin*

Leslie - I was thinking of you in the midst of this "stuff" with Joshua. Knowing you've been where I am, wondering what encouragement and words of wisdom you would have for me. And then God spoke to my heart! Love that He used the same thing to minister to yours today.
He's good!

Angie - Thanks for the blessing. I need that today.
I hope your friend will also understand that her boys are not her enemies. We've got to get past battling and learn to love them. *sigh*

2Thinks said...

You keep on taking this to the Lord and speak the Truth in love to your son! He'll roll his eyes now, but later on...the harvest.

I've told you before, I backed down from giving spiritual Truth to my son back in those dark days where hostility reigned. I didn't want to rock the boat. If I could go back in time, I would always stand up for Jesus' teaching in what I said to my son, calmly, in humility with a soft voice- no matter what.

I believe my son is working his way back to the Lord now. But in our misunderstanding and impatience with him, we drove him off- to California. I miss him, but pray for him always.

Love to you!
Heidi

Jan said...

It IS hard to remember they are a precious gift from God when they aren't being so precious! I know that I am trying to be more conscious of how things look from their world, their perspective and it has really made me stop and reconsider what I was going to say. Thanks for such great insight, you are a blessing! I am glad that I "found" your blog! I am looking forward to hearing you speak at the MOMS event in Burnsville. Can't wait!

gianna said...

so they aren't my enemies? Are you sure? (j/k)

Irritable Mother said...

Heidi - Thank you. Esp for this: "He'll roll his eyes not, but later on...the harvest." I need to be reminded of that daily.
Sometimes the temptation to give up is huge. Especially when it doesn't seem like what I'm doing makes a difference. But I will remain faithful - trusting that God sees what I cannot!

Jan - Oh, yay!!! I'm so glad you're coming to the MOMS night in Burnsville. I can't wait to meet you! *grin*

Irritable Mother said...

Gianna - Yes. I'm sure. *grin*

Patricia/NYC said...

Everyone here left such great comments on this subject! I am so glad I am not alone in this one! ;)

My latest mantra, if you will, when I am faced with these kinds of moments is, "God is in the Room", (no, I'm not that clever to think this up myself! I just got the book, "Devotions for Sacred Parenting" & this was in the first chapter)...anyway, by just repeating this to myself changes my response & my attitude when I need it most! :)

Blessings to all of you ladies, always!
Patricia

Ronel Sidney said...

AWESOME!!!

destrella said...

Praying for you and your son. Good words to hear. Many of us have that mentality with our spouses too at times.

Irritable Mother said...

Patricia - I am loving the conversations happening here in the comments, too.
That's a great thing to repeat to yourself. Sounds like something to put on notes to stick on the mirror and fridge, etc.

Ronel - *grin*

Diane - Thank you.
The funny thing is, after I wrote my first book, some of my hubby's friends teased him and asked, "Aren't you afraid she'll write Confessions of an Irritable Wife next?"
I always grinned and said, "I'd have nothing to say!"
But I know what you mean. And once or twice I *might* have had that mentality with my hubby, too. LOL!

Irritable Mother said...

Patricia - I am loving the conversations happening here in the comments, too.
That's a great thing to repeat to yourself. Sounds like something to put on notes to stick on the mirror and fridge, etc.

Ronel - *grin*

Diane - Thank you.
The funny thing is, after I wrote my first book, some of my hubby's friends teased him and asked, "Aren't you afraid she'll write Confessions of an Irritable Wife next?"
I always grinned and said, "I'd have nothing to say!"
But I know what you mean. And once or twice I *might* have had that mentality with my hubby, too. LOL!

OutnumberedMama said...

Karen - this is beautiful! You are an amazing writer! And this lesson is valid for all mothers. Our kids are not our enemies they are just trying to figure out who they are and where they fit in to this world. Thanks for the reminder!

Irritable Mother said...

Pamela - Thank you.
Had a conversation with Joshua in the van tonight, check that - I was listening to Joshua complain in the van tonight and needed to remember that very thing you said - he's just trying to figure it all out.
Yeah. I was 12 once. I remember.

Jean said...

Hi Karen, I try to read your blog as often as I can. You help me so much. More than you know. But there have been two instances within the last month that you really made me think. You see my son has ADD as well so there is usually excitement around my house as well, especially homework time. The two times you espcially caught me was Feb 9th, "Footprints in the snow" where you say that there are legitimate times our children need understanding and compassion and how we often respond with impatience. I cannot tell you how as sad as it sounds I need reminders of this. The other was on this day where you state that it is not your son who is the enemy and your prayer at the end of the post. I so needed that! I just want to thank you for how honest you are and how you are helping me to deal with what can be difficult times.
Thank You!
Jean Laurie

Irritable Mother said...

Jean - Thank you!
Do you know how many times I have been ready to pull my hair out and simply quit? Sometimes it just feels like too much to me - this dealing with ADD and ADHD. But God's grace always brings me through, and I am so, so very glad to know that He is using my experiences to bring encouragement to another mom who is going through the same thing.
We'll make it - by the grace of God, we'll make it!