7.19.2010

No Visible Fruit

ohenryAs a mom, there are often times when it seems that I see no fruit of my labors (in parenting or homeschooling). I have one son in particular, who always has a reason why my ideas and suggestions won't work - for him anyway. Now I understand that as a teenager, he needs to start figuring things out for himself. But he will ASK for my input. And silly me, I give it to him. Only to find myself engaged in a near debate. I usually become frustrated and say that I don't know why I even talk to him sometimes. No - I'm not being mean and nasty with him, nor do I plan to cease all conversation. Ironically, he really does want to hear what I have to say and the reasons for what I say. Sometimes I think it's so he can dispute with me. But lately, this is really getting to me.

Last night, I picked him up from a friend's house and it started again. Actually, he wasn't even asking for advice or input. It was merely a conversation . . . or so it appeared. Alas, it was yet another camouflaged opportunity to be contrary. And I started to get sucked right into it. But instead of letting him know that I was exasperated, I just stopped talking. Period. End of discussion. I don't think he had any idea how I felt. We just rode along in silence for awhile. Eventually, I asked him a nice, neutral question, "Did you have fun?" Yes, he did. And then things moved along to less dangerous topics.

But I couldn't let go of it. I just kept ruminating over the fact that he has a contrary opinion to EVERYthing, or at the very least, a REASON (excuse, imho) for things. And everything I've tried to teach him seem to be lost somewhere in that head of his, archived away, never to see the light of day. I was grateful for sunglasses, because I was nearly in tears and I doubt I could explain to him why if he had asked.

But then I began to sense the Lord asking me if I would be faithful to His calling, regardless of the results. I believe it's Jeremiah (I'm not that well-versed on OT prophets) who proclaimed God's word to the people for many, many years and never saw a single convert. So am I willing to continue to train, disciple, and love my son, whether or not I see any evidence of that which I pour into him? And will I do it with grace and mercy, just as the Lord as extended to me?

Of course, I had to say, "Yes, Lord." I have to trust Him with my son and the outcome of his life. It's never really been within my control anyway. It may have appeared that way at one time, when he was a very small child. But that was merely an illusion. God's in charge of my son. My responsibility is obey His call on my life. Right now, that is primarily homeschooling our boys, training them in the ways of the Lord, being a helpmate to my husband and tending to our home. Not necessarily in that order and not exclusively.

"For in this the saying is true: 'One sows and another reaps.'" John 4:37

"And let us not grow weary while doing good, for in due season we shall reap if we do not lose heart." Galatians 6:9

I may or may not see fruit in my son's life. But that should never change my choices.


24 comments:

Becky said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Sprittibee said...

Excellent post. :) xoxo

Michelle said...

Sometimes I grow weary too, but it's God's Word and posts like these that spurn me on to keep going when it seems like it doesn't make a difference!

Thanks, Dianne

The dB family said...

Very well said! I appreciate your honesty. We do tend to forget that our children our not our own, but God's. Thank you for the reminder, and the encouragement!

Blessings!
Deborah

Denise said...

Stopping by from the Homeschool Crew. You have a very nice blog.

My oldest son is currently 11. I can't say I am too excited about his becoming a teenager! lol

Heather said...

Thanks for the honesty. My oldest is/was like that. He is 19 now and starting to get better. Of course, it helps that he is living in his grandparent's house for a while (closer to his work and less full of little kids), but now that he is "on his own" (he has a farrier business), he is actually more open to listening to my thoughts. I am starting to see things I have said for years being reflected back to me as "his" opinion. I am glad he has taken ownership of them!

Raising kids, especially strong-willed, opinionated ones, is a long road paved with lots of prayer. I, too, found that refusing to get drawn into a discussion (argument) by not talking, or leaving the room, generally worked best (assuming they don't follow you!). They seem, sometimes, to have no ability to turn off their opinions. It's almost funny, when you think about it...later.;-)

Blessings to you.

Berry Patch said...

As the mother to a VERY contrary 13-year-old boy, I very much needed to read this today. Thanks for sharing your insight.

Stopping by as part of the TOS Crew blog walk.

Pebblekeeper said...

What a beautiful heart-exposing post. I love it. Stopping by for the blog walk.
My boys are at 9 and 12. The nine year old is especially more verbal than the 12, and he is starting to question everything. The 12 yr old comes up with the strangest logic. When they question what I've poured into them, my heart freezes. I am so glad they question it though, I'd hate for them to grow older and hit their 20's and then question everything - I'd like it to be their choice of how to live. But still. The heart still freezes, and the panic button gets pushed. :) Glad we have the crew to pray for each other!

Christi said...

I was complaining to my mother about this very thing with my teenage boys. She said that if I wanted to know where they got it, I should go look in the mirror. What a wake-up call! She also told me they will grow out of it. Thanks for reminding me that they are in God's hands, I needed that.

Sheri said...

Welcome to life with a teenager-you never know which kid you'll get each day-Dr. Jekyell or Mr. Hyde. LOL It is worse with girls-LOL, but hey, so very, very worth it! Stopping by on the crew blog walk and wishing you a great time on the crew.
FM Sheri

jlsgrant said...

Well said! I feel your pain...loved the verses you selected! Do not lose heart! Stopping by on my blogwalk!

Jill said...

I am stopping by on the blogwalk as well. I enjoyed reading this post! I really needed the encouragement--thank you for providing it!
I love your blog design, btw, and the title--I, too, find myself meandering along life's bunny trails.

Laura O said...

Dianne ~ a thought provoking post that brought to mind some recent reading I did (Love and Logic for Teens.) My almsot 13 year old loves to debate things and thankfully isn't to the contrary all the time stage. But, I see it coming and have to hold tight to the faith that the ground work we've laid will help get him through to adulthood. Hard to sometimes let go and trust that God will guide them where they need to go.

Briana said...

One of my boys has gone through this phase and my 12 year old is starting it already. It is difficult to deal with! I don't think they realize how hurtful they can be when the make you feel that everything you say is wrong. Now I understand more of what my parents went through! Hugs!!!

I'm visiting from the blogwalk on the crew forum.

Cheryl said...

Hey there! Stopping by on the blog walk. I have an 8 year old son and I often wonder what his teenage years will hold, thank you for your insight, so when it does start happening, I'll know that I'm in good company.

Blossom said...

Hi, Dianne. I thought I would check out the blogs on the Blog Walk from TOS tonight while I wind down before turning in.
What a great post. There are a lot of comments already but you may never really know what good you have done with this post. It's amazing that regardless of who He chooses to do the speaking, God has a way of letting people know He is there...and with us.
Thanks again...and a pleasure stopping by :)

Our Village is a Little Different said...

I'm stopping by on the Blogwalk, too. this is a wonderful post. Thank you.

Rachel said...

I'm stopping by on the blog walk. I don't have teenagers, but I could have written most of this post about my 10 year old. I love what you wrote about our responsibility as parents. Too often, I think parents want to control their children. We can't, but we can control our own words and actions.

Stacy said...

Hi Dianne! I am stopping by on the blog walk and read your post. I know how you feel. This was a very good, inspiring post. Thank you for sharing with us what the Lord shared with you.

Be blessed!

April said...

Teens can be tough sometimes. I know my daugther, who is 19, thinks I'm an idiot. Yet, I'm usually right. "Train a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not turn from it." Sometimes it just takes patience to see them get back around to the right path.

April

Guiding Light said...

Ha ha ha - RIGHT THERE WITH YOU GIRL FRIEND! I "feel your pain" and you worded it wonderfully! Let's continue WITH STRENGTH this road our Lord has called us to...and leave the outcome to Him. Praying for you - would appreciate your prayers as well! (BTW...stopping by with the blog walk.)

Bethany from Confessions of an Organized Homeschool Mom said...

Amen, Sistah! I've got a teenage daughter who always has an excuse and a reason she "can't" do what she's been asked. Sigh. This, too, shall pass, and God has a perfect plan for His perfect timing.

Stopping by on the Crew Blog Walk.

Elinette said...

So glad I stopped by your blog today in my blog walk. I too struggle with one son in particular (but he's only 7!) who doesn't seem to work with him in terms of parenting. I get discouraged often and that verse in Galatians is always a comfrot to me in difficult days.

Amber@ClassicHousewife said...

I'm starting to get into something similar with my ten year old (from what I hear contrary is a teenage trait? We're not quite there yet but it's starting to look that way.) It's very exasperating, but you're onto something with the need to continue pouring ourselves and God's word into our children even without any evidence of fruit. (Some trees take a handful of years to mature, some take dozens, right?) Hugs and blessings.

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