Welcome to Titus Two Saturdays (TTS) at the MOB Society!
Does it seem to you that there is a shortage of older women who are making themselves available to speak into the lives of younger women? Because we know how important that is, every Saturday we ask a couple of women from our Titus Two team to answer a question that has been featured in our Question From A Boymom series.
This weeks question:
“I need prayer for my 13 year old boy. He has decided in the last few months that he doesn’t believe in God and he refuses to go to church. I am a single mom and I get no support from my son’s father. He needs to be in a church environment and have positive men in his life. I try and have a “grown up” conversation with him and I end up in tears or yelling at him. It really hurts because I became involved with the student ministry this year and I feel like the worlds worst mother. I feel like I shouldn’t be allowed to pour into other kids because my own kid won’t go to church.”
First of all, you are not the world’s worst mother. Your son has a mind of his own. You are doing what you know to do and encouraging him to go to church and pursue God. You are being faithful. Be encouraged!
The best thing you can do is:
- Be in prayer for your son. Ask God to do a work in his heart. God is able to change his heart, you are not!
- Be in prayer for yourself. Ask God to help you to relate to your son in a controlled manner. You already see that tears and yelling do nothing to help the situation. Continue the discussion as you are able, and then try to listen more than you speak. You might learn a little bit more about why he is feeling the way he is. He already knows you want him to go to church. He probably even realizes he needs to be there.
- Love him unconditionally. Ask God to show you how you can love your son each day. Ask God to help you show him grace, and to give you ways that you can encourage him, focusing on the things he is doing well. Don’t allow the fact that he is not interested in church be the thing that creates division in your relationship. Find other ways to pursue your son and love him no matter what.
- Be authentic (not perfect!). Live your faith in a consistent manner and your son will see your example. Your life will speak volumes to him. He is living life with you. The way you interact with him, and the way you live out your faith, will be greatly used as a tool for God to point your boy towards his Savior.
I know it is easy to become fearful when our children are resisting us, especially when it comes to spiritual matters. But we need to see these times as an opportunity to press into God and ask Him to work in our child’s heart. God is always working, even when we can’t see it!
Your boy has entered a season when sons often strain to make truth their own. They are prone to influence by peers and impressionable in their closest relationships. Though you’re a single mom, you aren’t his single influence. You are wise to recognize his need for other influencers of faith in his life right now. But, you’re not alone in struggling to have godly conversations between mom and son or in feeling the pain when things implode. Your heart for your son comes through loud and clear. Let’s talk about him first, because we know you’re called to mother him first.
- Bless your son through your faith. Even while our boys make decisions about where faith fits in life, they benefit from the fruit of God’s Spirit in their mom’s life. A mom’s close walk with God produces a fragrance that sweetens life for a young man, even though he may not have the maturity yet to appreciate it. You can still bless your boy through your faith.
- Reach your son through your faith. Nothing impacts the direction of a boy’s path like the example of a parent pursuing Christ. You don’t have to be perfect to steer him toward Jesus, but he needs to see evidence of your life change. As he watches you face life’s challenges (even challenges HE creates), he will notice if you experience peace beyond his understanding in the midst of your storm. God can use the testimony of your faith to reach your son.
- You’re definitely called to reach your son, but you are also gifted to reach other students. You have one of the most important qualities needed to minister to young people: personal certainty that we need Jesus and life is empty without Him. Other students like your son long to see authentic faith modeled by adults within their reach.
- Your boy is watching and listening for genuine faith. Bless him. Reach him. I know it’s hard to believe, but God wants your boy to choose Him even more than you do. God Himself is working to reach your boy. Join Him by adding the sweet fragrance of a mom who blossoms in her imperfect, but persevering, walk of faith.