It is remarkable the impact that 6 letters, strung together to form a word, can have on a child’s heart. This is what I faced this week head on and it was not at all easy. However, the lesson learned will make a difference on this generation and those to come.
One of our kids is very much like me in personality and sensitivity. We also tend to hurt each other the most. When this particular child was getting ready for school, I made a few appearance suggestions. They were not well received, but that did not stop me from pressing for this child to make the “necessary” corrections. Silent tears fell and words were exchanged. I remember the feeling of conflict before heading off to school and how it cast a dark cloud on my day. This is exactly what my words did to this precious child. I sent a few texts, but they were read and not answered.
Later that morning, I was very convicted about my actions and knew the Lord was telling me to stop. I would be sharing this with my child and asking for forgiveness. That forgiveness took all day to be given and I understood. The next morning went much better, but the following did not. It is true that obedience to what the Lord clearly instructs is for our benefit. When we “go sailing off on our own”, as my youngest put it the other day, we have consequences. In this case, it was a broken relationship and a heart that hurt.
We had another bad morning due to my suggestions. Then a little boy of ours had stayed home sick from school. He walked up to me with paper and pencil. He said we needed some rules and asked me to write them down. There were 10 rules in all, each written just for me. The remarkable thread that I immediately saw with the rules it that each had to do with the outward appearance of me or our home. He taped them up right beside my makeup mirror. Just looking at the made up list gave me such a feeling of heaviness. Who could ever measure up to this list? And then it hit me. This is exactly how my child felt with my suggestions. Conviction returned and I repented for my heart and words… again.
When school ended and we talked, I heard powerful words that cemented in my heart and mind the crushing weight I was placing on my child. This is what was spoken, “What if you heard everyday CHANGE”? I could have wept right there in carpool line. I know that feeling. “I spend my day trying to figure out how.” Who does that intentionally to someone they love? I did. Our home is suppose to be a place of love and where you are accepted, not told who God has made you is not good enough and you should change. Sure makes a case for why kids seek an escape and acceptance from others outside their homes. If they are not accepted at home, why not try drinking, drugs, vaping, sex before marriage and all other lies of sin satan sets before them?
I am convinced if we would follow God’s design for families, our homes would be different and our world would be too. I was more concerned with my standards and needed correcting. For our children to know and hear they are deeply loved and accepted for who God uniquely made them, is the least I can give them everyday. Honestly, I thought I was doing a pretty good job. I am so thankful this happened and a child’s heart will not have roots of ‘you need to change’ planted. It takes years to uproot those, but it can be done. The Lord in His kindness used a little boys list of rules and another kids powerful words to get this mama’s attention. I am so thankful!