It might be their first smile…or that first giggle. It might even be that first tooth…or their first step. Whatever the milestone(s) may be, there are plenty of tender moments, which find us doting on our sons…celebrating them and such occasions.
In these flashes of time, we do all we can to remember said instances, right? We take pictures (tons of ‘em in fact), just as we jot down every tidbit of info into the scrapbooks we keep. We stash those memories in our hearts, all whilst keeping them fresh on our minds.
And there’s a reason for this:
Our babies don’t keep. Our toddlers grow bigger… and our little boys turn into young men eager to stretch their wings—desperate to fly.
However, sometimes the temptations our sons do battle with, and the poor decisions they make, create lasting memories we’d soon rather forget—“milestones” that leave you and I second-guessing ourselves as mothers, and those precious kids we’re raising.
It’s these instances I’m referring to that won’t find us reaching for our cameras, or writing in our journals. Nor are we found breathing in the moment or experiencing joy either. Rather, they catch us on our knees, deep in prayer…they’re episodes that leave us embarrassed, frazzled, and completely disappointed.
It’s those moments where trouble finds our sons.
For me, it was the first time my child stole–in the midst of our family vacation (while at Legoland of all places). And I was at a loss. Because that sweet son of mine, who reads his Bible, does well in school, is super-likeable, and just as precious? He had violated my trust. He had broken the law. And he made a decision he recognized was wrong.
That boy I’m raising? Yah, he knew better. He understood there’d be consequences too…but he did it anyways.
And the disappointment crept in.
But can I just tell you something friends? Our boys are going to yield to temptation. They’re going to mess up from time to time and make poor decisions just as often. But those choices don’t define who they are…just as our lack of judgment (at times) doesn’t dictate our character either. And no matter how much we discuss right and wrong, or how prepared we think they are for battle, sometimes they’re going to cave under the pressure. Indeed, sometimes they’re going to make mistakes…some of them serious.
And when they do, we’ve got to remind ourselves that it’s not a reflection of us, just as we’re not to blame for their actions. We’ve got to give ourselves some grace during these trials and you know why? That enemy has set his sights on our boys, and will tempt them in anyway he can in order to separate them from God. Satan does the same thing to us too. He’s putting doubts into our heads, fear into our minds, and flooding our hearts with disappointment.
But hear me out: we’re not powerless during these instances. Not at all. It’s our opportunity to extend consequences while simultaneously serving up some unconditional love. It’s the chance for our sons to learn, and grow deeper in their faith—to strengthen their resolve.
Hey–trouble may find our boys, but know this: they’ve got the power of prayer, the armor of God, forgiveness of sins, and the salvation of Christ behind them. Just as they have the love and support of their mamas–in the good times, the bad, and even the downright disappointing. Always.
Tell me, have you experienced trouble with your son? Has disappointment and those yucky feelings of helplessness taken over?
This is so true! Randomly, I caught a part of an old Andy Griffith Show rerun at my parents house last night, and it was where Opie told Andy he had thrown a baseball and broken a window. Instead of berating him, Andy simply told him he wasn’t mad and that he wouldn’t have an allowance until the window was paid for. That clip and this article reminded me that our boys will “fail.” We’re all going to fall short. Like you said, we have to show them God’s amazing love and forgiveness and grace, while showing them consequences too! So great! Thank you for sharing!
Love that example Meg. Thanks for sharing. Agreed!
As I read this I couldn’t help but weep. The last few weeks I have learned about some very bad choices my son, who is almost ten, made. I needed to hear this today because I’m feeling extremely overwhelmed and discouraged. My husband and I have disciplined our son and also reminded him that we still love him unconditionally, but I can’t seem to get rid of this feeling of brokenness. I feel like I’m the one who messed up big time. I feel like the open relationship and trust I had with my son is gone. In addition to prayer and reading my Bible I will probably have to read this over and over again to remind myself that I’m not alone and it doesn’t mean my son is destined for failure. Thank you for sharing this.
Rebecca, I feel you. I understand where you’re coming from completely. Ask God for clarity and strength right now. You are not alone!!!
Totally agree! Thank you for overflowing & unfailing mercy and love of our Lord in us and in our boys that comes just in time always.
wow. So well said. Thank you for this. It is so much more fun to talk about the happy firsts, but I am so glad you tackled this one. Love your encouragement!
Hugs and thank you!!!!
I’m so glad to find the site! And I knew going into parenting that my son would disappoint, and fall into temptation. We are all sinners. And yes we all need forgiveness. But as a freshman in highschool, he is choosing to take a break from God, and I will continue to pray for him, knowing that thankfully God does not choose to take a break from him. And the enemy will speak to me, and try and put fear and discouragement into my heart, but I have to remember to speak words of victory and promise into my sons future, because the tongue holds power!!