The boy was noticeably angry and upset, likely about his soccer game that had just finished. His mother said something to him, I wasn't able to make out what she said but I do know her words were gently spoken and her face showed motherly love and compassion as she said them.
What happened next I haven't been able to get out of my head since.
The boy looked at her and violently yelled,
"Shut up B**ch! I don't want to hear your F***ing voice. I'm sick of you, you stupid piece of SH**."
It took me a few seconds to register what the boy had said.
I thought, surely this is a joke. I honestly had the thought that I was on one of those Dateline shows...you know the one where some crazy, unreal injustice occurs and the producers want to see if everyday people will jump in and "do the right thing." Unfortunately, Dateline wasn't filming.
It was very much real life.
I was completely and utterly dumbfounded at the audacity of the boy. He clearly had no iota of respect for his mother and found it extremely easy to dishonor and verbally abuse her, in public nonetheless.
I felt so sorry for them both. Sorry for the mother who was visibly crushed, yet not visibly shocked by his words. Sorry for the son who obviously had so much hurt inside.
I'd like to say that my first response was to pray for them. But to be honest, my first response was selfish.
I thought, "What if someday one of MY sons talks to me that way?"
Even thinking about it, made me sick to my stomach.
Honestly I couldn't even go there and imagine it without my heart & mind consumed with crippling fear.
Yesterday changed everything and this whole disrespect thing became very real to me. We were running late for my six year-old Grayden's soccer practice and he was eating a quick snack beforehand. He was dawdling and messing around with his brother while he ate and I simply reminded him to eat (for the 3rd time). He violently turned his face toward me and yelled indignantly, "I am mom!"
Did that just happen?
I wish I could say I calmly responded with a controlled, reprimanding voice.
But that was not the case.
Instantly that boy's face came to mind, I became gripped by fear which led to uncontrolled ANGER.
I yelled back at him something along the lines of "Don't you dare talk to me that way. I am your mother. You're to show me respect."
I'm not particularly proud of how I responded. I need to seek the Lord and ask Him for more control next time.
I wish I could say that Grayden was repentant. It breaks my heart a little to even write these words, but he never really showed any remorse for how he had talked to me. He tried to defend it and eventually reverted to indignant silence.
So, today's blog topic was an easy one for me.
Ephesians 6:1 says,
"Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right. 'Honor your father and mother'--which is the first commandment with a promise--'that it may go well with you and that you may enjoy long life on the earth.'" [Exodus 20:12; Dt. 5:16]
I read a commentary discussing the meaning behind the word "Honor." It said, to honor one's parents is to "show filial (devoted or dutifual) affection for them, and reverence and esteem of them, and by yielding obedience to them, and giving them relief and assistance in all things in which they need it; and if honour, esteem, affection, obedience, and reverence, are to be given to earthly parents, then much more to our Father which is in heaven. [Malachi 1:6 & Hebrews 12:9 speak further to this]
Oh how I pray that my children will honor me as this verse means with esteem, affection, obedience, and reverence.
Yet even more earnestly I pray that my children will honor their Heavenly Father with esteem, affection, obedience, and reverence.
This is an area of parenting that I have great fear. I have uncertainty and so many questions regarding the best way to teach my children to respect Keith and I. You better believe that after yesterday, this is a conversation I will be having often with Jesus as the years progress.
But for today, I am drawn to lift it up to my Heavenly Father in prayer. I am certain He has the answer.
Won't you join me today and pray for the children in your lives?
Father God, Hebrews 12 teaches that as we are called to submit to our earthly fathers but that we have an even greater call to submit to You, our Heavenly Father. I pray that my children would submit and honor You with their lives. I pray they would be obedient to Your will, reverant to Your glory, affectionate to Your Spirit, and that they would esteem You above all else in this world.
I also pray that You would give them a heart for obedience to their parents. I pray they would show us honor and respect in both private and public settings. I pray they would revere our council. I pray they would be affectionate and considerate, as well as, kind to us. And I pray that their love for You would motivate and inspire them to show honor to us no matter their age.