Many parents can relate to the feeling of running to the defense of a child, and you are made to look like the fool in the end. Here you are pulling out your best defenses and name dropping like you are mafia connected only to find out that the situation became worse because your child’s behavior was unacceptable and embarrassing to your very reputation. “The situation was manageable until your child did _____.” This information was a death sentence in my house. That’s when you pull out the infamous response: “Wait until we get home.”
By the time you get home, all the excuses come out before the hammer drops. You have to stop the runaway train in its tracks with the oldie but goodie! “When I’m talking to you, I’m talking to you about YOU! I don’t want to hear about everybody else! Everybody doesn’t live here! You do! You live under my rules and expectations, not them! So let’s try this again. What did YOU do?!” I probably should have done that reenactment with all caps. It was one of my favorite homilies.
Let me interject a side note here. Raising my kids began to seem redundant after changing my career to teaching. It seems like the same things I had to say at home, I now had to say in the classroom. Some days, I wasn’t sure which group was worse and who actually paid attention to anything I said. Not to mention, I am not one that enjoys repeating myself. There were many days I felt like I set myself up for the “punch line” while teaching. At the time, here was my question. If Daddy knows the plans that He has for me, they were to prosper me and not harm me; then why did I feel so unrewarded and overwhelmed? Because my response to my efforts was pretty much the same as the children. “You never take my side.” And just like my children and students... Back to square one; on repeat!
Fast-forward a little to one of our very own adult children. Yep! One of those phone calls again. I listened. I went ahead and made a sandwich once I could tell it was going to be a good version, tailor made just for me. So at the point of exhaustion I began to do my Perry Mason routine to see if this warranted going to trial. “So you said what now?” “Wait… back that up. Sounds like you hesitated. What were your exact words? What was their response? Mmm hmm. Then you did what? Why?”
Sadly, I can relate. Many times as a Christian I felt that Daddy never took my side in many of my conflicts and battles. It got to the point where I felt I had a “crash dummy” ministry. Everyone was allowed to mistreat me, set me up, put me in situations, or use me without permission. I had become very good at giving my side of the story with fervent justification. I was a good lawyer in defense of my own actions. But, in actuality I could not defend myself. If I did, the wrath of this angry God would swoop down on me riding in a Bugatti Veyron Super Sport! (Look that one up. I did!) I wouldn’t even have time to revel in my defensive attack before that little lady Karma knocked at my door. But it took a friend and mentor who is also a lawyer to reveal why my defense was always faulty. Here is the comment that changed my world. “Problem is an attorney's job is to manipulate the facts in the best interest of the client.” Boom! That was it in a nutshell. I manipulated the facts for my own best interest to my Father who knows me well. (Thank you LaKia Johnson!)
Still on the phone with the child, the explanations and excuses began to grow. I felt the hovering of, you guessed, Holy Spirit. (He tends to enter in my conversations that way; no greeting just hovering.) “Only question their actions that go against the Word,” He interjected. Two hours and bottles of water later, the point of discovery happens… reluctantly, of course. Then they said it. “Why do I have to be the one to apologize?” They may as well have said you’re never on my side. Then it hit me as I began explaining over the phone.
Ladies and gentlemen, Daddy is always on our side. However, we must make sure we are on His side whenever there is conflict within or an assault against our circumstances. Holy Spirit reminded me right then how I used to tell my kids (all of them) that when you decide to act against your upbringing or expectations, you take the power from me to come deal with your enemy because I now have to focus on you and what you did. You cannot make a decision to represent me wrong and then expect me to cover you. You are no longer the victim when you take matters into your own hands. You become a participant. So when you choose not to follow my direction during your conflict, you have made a decision to refuse representation by me. Stay in your lane, and you have my support from the beginning until the end of the problem. In other words, remain blameless until I get there! How many times did I miss that with Daddy?
Bottom line folks, when there is conflict He is going to talk to us, and He is going to talk to us about US and the part WE play in situations. He’s not concerned with those “other” kids and what they did. They’re not His. But what if it is another Christian? Same rule applies even more. It takes two. So when you come to tell on your brother or sister (husband or wife), make sure your version is in “right standing”. Here’s a hint. If He asks, “And what did YOU do?” You’re already in the wrong. When you deal with conflict by applying the Word, more than likely you will not hear that question asked of you. Daddy was always able to show me where I got it wrong. Most of the time it was hiding deep within my attitude and thoughts prior to the attacks. And when these two things are not working with Holy Spirit, then more than likely they are working against Him.
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Just a little birdy and fish about the Father's business. Helping to better the world one blog at a time.