God keeps these boys safe
You know how when teenaged boys act on impulse and try things they know they're not supposed to? And then this impulsive action puts them in physical danger? But somehow they manage to survive it? And they learn a sharp lesson?
This is the kind of weekend I had. Without going into too many details, let's just say I had up-close-and-personal experience with this kind of eventuality. My son seems to fall in the "I have to learn by doing" category. And learn he did. When we talked about it afterward, I told him he could tell God loves him for two reasons: he didn't get hurt (well, not too badly), and he did get caught.
I'm amazed at the capacity of divine Love to keep people safe even in the face of their own experimentation. When I look back on my own teenage years, there were plenty of opportunities for disaster to strike, but it didn't. I credit my mother's prayers, and the basic goodness of myself and my friends.
For we were all basically good kids, just curious and energetic and bored. I see this now in the kids I know. Unfortunately, I also see many of them not learning from their bad moves, but continuing to repeat them even when the results are poor. I also see many of them developing a cagey ability to hide everything from their nearest and dearest. This saddens me, because I know it just makes the recovery process longer and more difficult.
So I'm grateful this morning that for some reason, my son never gets away with anything. I know everything as soon as it happens. We then talk about it. This weekend, for example, the primary purpose seems to have been to teach him what to do when he's upset about something—and what not to do. He should avoid drowning his sorrows, so to speak, with unhealthy activity and irresponsible associates. He should instead find something constructive to do, and we talked about what those things might be. And, we shared lots of hugs.
They're all good kids. And God is paying attention. As parents, we are God's agents in this transaction, and we need to pay attention as well. Close, non-judgmental, non-furious, patient, loving, understanding attention. And trust that this attention, in combination with the child's inherent goodness and the Divine's watchful eye, will keep them safe.
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