Criticism, What To Do With It

I read this the other day and thought is was good. 

Don’t Take Criticism Too Lightly – you will fail to learn, you won’t mature as quickly. 
Don’t Take Criticism Too Seriously – you will lose heart, you will become depressed.
Now, what do you do if it comes from your oldest son who thinks he is a bit bigger than he really is. You listen and you don’t take it too lightly and you take most of it seriously. After all, they are 11 and try to manipulate you to get out of trouble but that is beside the point. We are having an obedience problem in our house. Not just theirs either, mostly theirs but I have realized that I have contributed to the problem. Let me start at the beginning. 
Have you ever been in the grocery store, mall, etc. and heard a mom just letting her kid “have it” and you say to yourself that you never want to be THAT mom, but we all know that we are. We all get frustrated and let our kids “have it” on occasion. Well, yesterday was that day. After countless times of me telling the kids thing over and over, there was no reaction. You know when you say, let’s go and no one even moves. It is like you know that you are speaking but no one seems to hear you. Or after church when I told Drew it was time to go and he just looked at me, 10 minutes later he showed up at that car. Yes, it was that kind of day. 
When we got home, I asked the boys to help pick up a bit. I asked Drew to get some chairs by the front door and move it to the garage. They were still there from our football game the day before. About 5 minutes later, he still hadn’t done it so I asked him about it and he said that he didn’t know what chairs I was talking about. He was confused as to what I really wanted put in the garage. Now, for your information, there was only one thing by the front door (the bright red chairs that we sit on at football games) that needed or belonged in the garage. I don’t really think he thought I was asking him to move the couch into that garage but I am parenting a future lawyer and he was trying out his super skills of pleading a case and I just got frustrated. I told him enough, go get the chairs. You see, I am the original lawyer and I can argue with the best of them. 
Then the poor kids eyes fill up with tears and he tells me that, “EVERY TIME he makes a mistake, I ALWAYS get mad a him. I have no grace and mercy.” I just about fell over, if he only knew how much grace and mercy I have given that child but that was beside the point. If only he knew how much grace he was receiving for me to listen to him. But, thankfully, about this point, I was silently praying, “Oh Lord, how do I handle this?” He kept saying you apologize for what you did do. Now, here is where I start by arguing with the Lord, “But he is trying to manipulate me, trying to get out of trouble for his earlier disobedience by blaming it all on me,but . . . but . . . but . . . ” you know how the argument goes. Not me Lord, but them. You deal with them and not with me. We all do it. 
I finally listened and stopped the whole thing – very hard for me. I pulled both kids into the living room, we all got on our knees and I read James 5:16 “Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective.” We all held hands, and confessed our attitudes, anger, and disobedience. Then we hugged and all was well in the Ewing household again.  
I must tell you the best part, a few minutes later the boys asked me to come upstairs. SCARY. But when I got to the top of the stairs, they had unloaded all the clean laundry and put it up in the right place, even dad’s was put up right. Drew said, “I’ll make a deal with you, you wash the clothes and we will put them up.” WAHOO! Matthew 23:12 “For whoever exalts himself will be humbled, and whoever humbles himself will be exalted.” I choose to humble myself and admit my part and where I was wrong and then I was exalted and by exalted I mean, I had two boys who put up two baskets of laundry without even having to be asked. Oh yes, God is so good. 

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