A few months ago, I borrowed my son’s truck for a quick trip to the grocery store. After a ridiculous amount of time in store, I came home and unloaded my groceries. One of the bags had fallen over so I reached under the seat to grab my lost items and pulled out an empty beer can. Imagine my surprise to find an empty beer can in my sixteen year old’s car.
I quickly confronted him and he calmly explained how it wasn’t his (of course) and he was being a good friend the previous night and driving home a friend in need. I knew that trouble was brewing with him; he had been acting differently, and seemed to have an air of an attitude about him but I didn’t really want to push the issue. Frankly, it was easier that day to believe him and move on.
Then I wake up one Sunday morning and while getting ready for church, I check my email. My son’s twitter account is tied to my email so I begin reading his direct messages. My heart drops as I read one from a friend of his. It read, “Did you make it home ok?” I knew we were in trouble. The messages went back and forth and my immediate conclusion was right, my son has been drinking.
This revelation has led to some needed punishment for my son and deep pondering in my heart. I have learned more about myself in those weeks then I have in a long time. First, I realized that it is easier to deal with problems when they are small. I am thankful my son got busted early on and we can teach our son about alcohol before it is a habit. I also discovered that I had gotten lazy in praying for my kids and a friend suggested that I pick a day and fast and pray for my kids each week. I love this idea because I feel like I am partnering with God in His redeeming work He has planned for my children.
However, of all the lessons looking back over the past few years, I realized the biggest mistake I have made as a mom is interfering between dad and son. I would swoop in to referee or defend and I ended up causing more harm than good. I thought in my heart that I knew more than my husband about what was best for my kid. After all, I am the one who reads all the parenting books, that makes me an expert right? I saw in my son’s eyes and felt in my husbands guarded voice that I had made the biggest mistake of all – I had under minded my husband and allowed my son to create a wedge between us. My interfering had given my son an arrogance that eventually leads to his destruction. I thought of Ecclesiastics 4:12 in a new way, “Though one may be overpowered, two can defend themselves. A cord of three strands is not quickly broken.” I realized that God, leading my husband and I, would create a strong fortress between us for our kids.