He’s stomping. The heel walk thudding up the stairs.
I hear his door close. Not slammed because he knows better but loud enough to display his surly temper. And I wonder at this eleven year old man-child, so like me in his temperament and yet I find myself constantly at odds with him.
I go to his room. Pursue him. I am right in this. I am his mother and my decision won’t change regardless of his impassioned pleas for more screen time, more freedom, more video games, more things, more entertainment.
But I am also wrong, because his reaction to my decisions often flares his temper and causes him to protest as if a terrible injustice has been inflicted on him.
I am the mean mom, the strict mom, the no fun mom with too high expectations that no other boy in the entire world has to deal with.
And I can’t help but feel disappointed that these are the crisis of his life right now. That sometimes he is so entirely a first world kid.
And I think of the struggles kids face every day in neighborhoods across town or next door or continents away and I know that the expectations he has for his own comfort , security, and entertainment have been spoon fed to him by our lifestyle. By our extravagance, discontent, and consumerism. I feel ashamed.
And we do all the things you’re supposed to do to create a larger world view for our children. To try to be others focused. God focused.
We try to help them steward their resources towards giving and tithing. We preach the gospel to ourselves and try to live it with our decisions and attitudes. To be light.
Desire beckons and the things that fill spaces, clutter rooms, gratify our time and entertain us spill from our souls. A testament to our worship. The discontentment that creeps in so stealthily and robs so swiftly. And I can always justify it because we have so much less than so many. Or because my discontentment has nothing to do with possessions and everything to do with position or purpose or pride.
And there are never any rules. No bullet lists that tells you when you have crossed the line. Because we are a people that walk in tandem with God and only He knows the inner workings of our heart and so often I don’t want Him to search deep because I know what He will find.
Because I see it in my child, a reflection of me. To be consumed by the petty. To be so focused on the gratification of the flesh and not on the things of God. The sound of my discontent, the stomping heels of dissatisfaction.
And I say a prayer for both of us and knock hard.
Have you ever had your child’s sinful attitude reveal your own failings? Often I find God use my children as a tool to draw me to repentance in the very things I find myself disciplining my children for. How about you? Does God use specific people, situations, and circumstances to reflect your own sin and weaknesses?