A Broken Spirit…FINALLY!

I don’t think he means to be this way.  He just doesn’t know exactly what to do with frustrated feelings.  He’s only six years old, after all. His continued whining, complaining and downright disobedient behavior had officially gotten to me Sunday morning.  Less than an hour before, my neighbor offered to take all three of my boys to 7-11 for free Slurpee day. (Upon her arrival she learned that none of the Oklahoma City metro locations were participating.) (Of course they weren’t.) I really didn’t want to take this treat away from him, but quite frankly, his attitude was far from acceptable and the blessed trip to the local convenience store seemed to be my only leverage. “Seth, please go to your room.  You will not be going to 7-11,” I calmly replied.  (Emphasis on calmly, thankyousokindly.) “But, mom, I’ll be better.  I pwomise,” he began to beg.  After a couple of minutes, I firmly let him know that he needed to go to his room. He stomped all the way there. The old me would have just sent him to his room, gone up to have a good “talk” with him, told him to stop it and then gone ahead and let him go with his friends. Not this time. This time I held firm to my decision despite the fact that it was killing my ever-lovin’ heart to do it.  The superhero in this mom wanted to sweep in and save the day.  But, I knew that if I didn’t begin to deal with this issue of his now, the same thing would happen the next day. And the next. And the next. After my other two boys left for their well-earned treat, I decided to go up and talk to him.  He didn’t even acknowledge me when I walked into his room.  I asked him if he was mad at me and he simply nodded his head in the affirmative.  I tried my best to explain to his little mind that his actions caused this, not mine.  I told him that I really needed him to obey me and stop whining, complaining, arguing and being disrespectful to me.  As I gently shared with him my heart, big tears began to well up in his eyes.  He was anything but comfortable with what was happening. And then I saw it.  He let loose and they poured down his face.  I asked him if he felt bad for treating me that way and he said yes.  I scooped up his 48-pound body and hugged him like I hadn’t seen him for years. And he cried and cried and cried. I began to sing a song over him: I’m forgiven because you were forsaken.  I’m accepted, you were condemned. I’m alive and well, You’re Spirit is within me because you died and rose again. Amazing love, how can it be? That you my King would die for me. Amazing love, I know it’s true. And it’s my joy to honor you. In all I do, I honor you. Within minutes, his tears subsided, peace fell upon him and he hugged me tighter. I don’t want my sons to just throw out an “I’m sorry” to someone they’ve wounded all the while watching the latest episode of Spongebob Squarepants.  No, I want what God wants which is a broken and contrite spirit that recognizes their sin. That day, Seth knew what he did and his spirit was broken over it.  I don’t expect that to be our last encounter like that, but hey…it’s something, right?

6 thoughts on “A Broken Spirit…FINALLY!”

  1. thank you thank you for this post. i needed to read it for several reason – not the least of which is to be reassured that i am not the only mom with a sassy-whiny-disobedient child (mine is 7). I really want to experience the contrite heart, but without manipulation – exactly as you experienced it. i know what makes him cry…and regret…and i don’t want to “use” that. last night i tried logic and the bible – the honor your mother & father thing. he actually argued with me even when i got out his adventure bible and SHOWED him the “top 10”. he said only 1-3 were true…and #5 definitely didn’t count. points for creativity i suppose.

    i too struggle with the talk-then-still-permit cycle. i keep a cape handy way too often.

    anyway – thanks for the reminder that God can and will work in his heart, and the encouragement to stand firm.

  2. Same kind of situation occured yesterday. My 7 year old cried like I had crushed his superhro action figured. But I wasn’t calm which probably the waterworks to be more than I could imagine. I am really failing at this counting before I speak thing (as hubby suggested) this week.

    I didn’t hug him as tightly as I could have afterwards either…be right back…

  3. side note: I never proofread my own responses and now i am realizing that I am not as perfect as thought! (Sacastic tone) LOL Sorry for the typos…again!

  4. what an amazing interaction! the gift you gave him in those moments was SOOO much better than a slurpee!! way to go! and thank you for the inspiration to do the right thing, and not swoop in and make it all better! 🙂

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