Status: In a Relationship

Taking selfies... (when we're not butting heads) :D
"Mom, I think I should be punished." My son popped his head out of the bathroom door where he was getting ready to take a shower as he uttered those dire words. I was surprised at what he said but deep inside I was doing a victory song and dance: "My God is working! My God is working!"

Previous to that, we had a conversation about the liberties he was taking in using the computer, and in going places and doing stuff without parental consent. At his young age of eight, even though he is independent in many ways, he still needs guidance and, recently, a lot of correction.

A few weeks ago, I would never have thought it possible that he would say those words. When corrected, he was defiant and willfully lied straight to my face. Our family's situation may not be the best as you probably can figure out from my previous posts. I was not around to personally guide and teach him most of the time for the past few years. And with his sisters' coming, one after another, the storm and trauma, the transition from his birthplace to one of his countries of heritage, we sort of lost him along the way, just like Mary and Joseph did to Jesus on their way from Jerusalem. At home, I am deeply concerned with how my children are greatly affected with the stress that I'm receiving and the by-play of negative emotions flying around, and I am at a loss on what I can do about it. Thank God, He has been giving answers to these many dilemmas and I can see His hand in redeeming my son back to Him.


One such answer: something horrible happened. My son did a terrible mistake of willfully going on his own and was tempted to do something bad. Right away it reminded me of Eve when she went on her own, straight into the serpent's trap. The incident opened my eyes to how flawed my beautiful children are. And that we parents, have been given the power to do something about it.


In my eyes, I have always seen them as angels--- yes, precocious and naughty at times, but I've always thought that that is because they're still children. Almost everybody wants to see children as these innocent, cherubic beings, incapable of doing anything wrong, much less, sin. However, the recent incident got the nerves on my brain all charged up the way a rattlesnake's rattle would sound off before an attack. Children sin. I have known this for a long time, but for the life of me, I was still caught unawares.

I was surprised, but I thank God that moments like these in our lives, the times when we go astray and fall, can become celebrations of His redeeming grace. For the next days after my son's 'fall', I was desperately calling on God for help on behalf of my children. My heart was quaking in fear for their lives. I felt helpless. Now I see them for who they are---sinners, just like me, in need of God's redeeming grace. They need a Savior. 

God had been trying to get my attention. The job of lifting sinful human beings is not for the faint-hearted, not for a mere human being. Not even for a mom.

However, God has given mothers (and fathers) the divine calling to work for Him, in His might, in His power and in His Spirit. We do not need to flail around in our own weak strength and limited wisdom. God has promised that He will work with us, supplying us with all that we need when we bring our children to Him. 

Well, with me having no idea what I was going to do or whether what I was doing would bring in any results, I went to work. And God set everything in place. During the next two weeks after the incident and even up to now, when I need something to use to teach my son, God provides. He even uses people, somehow without their knowledge that they are being used to God's great plan of saving my children.

God wants a relationship with each of my children, as much as He wants to have a relationship with me, and I with my them. Right now, He is becoming real to them and is slowly revealing Himself to them. I must trust God to do His work.

In my relationship with my son, it's not my role to control. Control results in defiance, especially when the other person feels out of control. This is one of the reasons of children's misbehavior and often spawns the many conflicts in a relationship. It is my responsibility to foster a safe and loving environment for my son to grow up in, where he can feel safe to be honest and receive unconditional positive regard despite his 
shortcomings and sins.

In a particular way, my son and I had to tackle the issue of trust and honesty in our relationship due to this incident. He lies to protect himself from "mom's wrath" whenever he does something he thinks I find unfavorable. Aware of that now, instead of asking my children whether they did the offending act or not, I show them what is not right in their actions, based on God's Word, especially His irrevocable Law of Love for humanity, the Ten Commandments. I pray that they may commit it to heart, just like the Psalmist did, "Your word have I hidden in my heart, that I might not sin against You" (Psalm 119:11). And as they get to know God and come to love Him, they will delight to do His will. They can either take the way to freedom by telling the truth or (as they are reminded about the sin of  lying) go ahead and lie anyway. However, I also remind them that I want a relationship with them and when they lie, it hurts me and lying breaks my trust in them. It makes them think. 


At first my son persisted in lying. Impulsively, I would be furious. But after a week of of reminding myself that I don't want to be an accuser and a resident punisher, but my children's mother who disciplines by teaching and guiding them, with the purpose to redeem and to ransom, I find myself acting instead of impulsively reacting. I tell them that it is okay for them to be honest, while I try (though difficult) to make them feel safe instead of being threatened.


One day, hard work paid off. My son told me, "Yes, mom, I did do it. I'm sorry." Then after looking at my face, he asked, "Ma, are you sad?" Being deep in thoughts, I was surprised, 
and told him how I trusted him and now he has once again jeopardized that trust and our relationship. Since we were eating dinner, I told him that we were  leaving that conversation to talk over in a more appropriate time. He was quiet while we ate. After he was done, I was still assisting his little sister  to finish her food, I told him to take a shower and get ready for bed. He went right away into the bathroom but after a while came out and told me in a brave, clear voice, "Mom, I think I should be punished." 

The Bible has said, "Even a child is known by his doings, whether his work be pure, and whether it be right" (Proverbs 20:11). When we have taught our children God's Law, they will know for sure what is right and base their actions on it. 

Amazingly, it becomes obvious to me now that God is redeeming my children and has used many people, not only me, in teaching him His irrevocable law in the clearest manner possible. Oh, how God loves him. He really wants to have a relationship with our children. But the blatant way that my son ignored His law destroys this relationship. Not because God gives up on this relationship or on my son,  but because the sin, which is the transgression of God's Law (1 John 3:4), separates Him from my son. Sin does that. Sin separates (Isaiah 59:2).

Many of us don't want to call what we do as sin, that's why God's 10 commandments have been trampled on, excused as simply old-fashioned, only for the Jews, or done away by Jesus at the cross. What was Adam and Eve's excuse if the law was only for the Jews? Why did Cain have to lie about his brother after murdering him? He knew God's Law of Love. Don't murder. What we fail to think is why would Jesus die if that law could just simply be done away? Why not just simply take away the law so Jesus didn't have to die? Jesus died because he said 'not even one jot or tittle' should be taken away from His Law. He wrote it on a stone with His very own fingers so it will forever be graven, and He continues to write it in our minds and hearts if we allow Him to. When we do allow Him, it is with delight and with full consciousness and strength that we obey and follow Him. He died that we too may have the same victory that He did over our own sinful bodies by the blood that He had shed. Our faith in Him will lead us to victory. He died that we will be redeemed and be restored to His image and bring Him glory.

Only when we fully admit that we need to be punished, but was absolved instead, will we realize how much Christ's sacrifice have done for us. Then and only then, will we see that all the lying, the excuses, the denying destroys our relationship with our Savior and find the ugliness of our nature and  seek to be reconciled with heaven. We will see how much hurt we have inflicted on Jesus in that cross and confess how much we need Him. Daily we can either choose to rely on His grace and be transformed in His image or go on our way and stray, breaking the heart and the relationship God wants so badly to have with us. I hope we will choose to stay honest with Him despite breaking our own precious image of ourselves, and take on God's glory.

My son told me that he wishes someone will write a book about what he has done so other children will learn a lesson from his experience and the other adventures he has gone through as he tries to grow up in God's grace. If he wishes it, I hope one day God will give him the skill to write the book himself. But what he doesn't know is, I am learning from his experience, and I hope more people will do too. 

I try to write the best I can of what God is teaching me, but how I wish I am a better writer. Maybe someday as I try to make use of the many opportunities God gives me to write (not much though... as I am up cleaning, cooking, housekeeping... and teaching all day), I will become one. As for now, this is all I can bring, and may God turn it into a blessing to anyone reading this.




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