Friday, January 8, 2010

Sometimes Saying Nothing Makes The Best Statement

This morning I felt like a very ineffective mom.

My seven year old son loves to pick fights with me, and today was no different. When he does not get his own way, he blows up. I can understand that is a symptom of his ADHD, but understanding does not make it any easier. At least not for me.

He has such a good spirit about him. He cares about people and loves with his whole heart. It's just hard for him to follow the rules, which can make a momma look bad to onlookers.

After his home school co-op classes today, he wanted to stay and play with his buddies. That is all good, except for the fact that after class is not the time or the place for running around and playing in the building while other classes are still in session.

Of course, when I summoned him to get his backpack and leave with me, World War Three began. As usual after calling his name, chasing him around and giving him "the look", I told him goodbye and headed for the door. Finally he followed, as he usually does, but he was filled to the brim with hatred for me, the one who had destroyed his fun.

On the short ride home, he said many not-so-nice words to me. I announced in a calm voice that there would be no privileges for him for the rest of the day; No video games, no television, and no skateboarding or bike riding.

That only fueled the fire of his anger and the hurtful words began to spew from his little dimpled mouth even louder. Instead of more rules and whys and why-nots, I decided to keep silent.

We pulled into our driveway and I unlocked the front door, giving him no response whatsoever. I just pointed to his room and he quietly went in.

For once, he didn't know what to think. He wasn't getting a reaction from me. What did that mean? He was stunned by my silence. The Holy Spirit prompted me to remain quiet. I was struggling to obey with every fiber of my being, but inside, my heart raced with guilt, frustration and anger at his harsh words.

Awhile later, the silence emitting from his room was deafening, so I went in to see what he was up to. There he sat, in his bean bag, holding his open Bible and a family picture album on his lap.

He looked at me with repentant love in his eyes. My heart melted as I stood there and watched him write down something on a piece of paper. In his own seven-year-old-boy-script, he had written the words "I 'poligize, Mom. Do you forgiv me?"

Never speaking a word, I gave him a hug and he squeezed me back with all his might.

The silence was hard for both of us, but after the negative words that had been aired earlier, the silence felt good; So did the unspoken knowledge of forgiveness and love between us. God's presence was definitely with us both.

Maybe today is your day to keep silent. Those raging thoughts you have do not necessarily need to be spoken. Hold your tongue just for today and see what happens. It may be the most effective comment you have ever made.

"Therefore He who is prudent will keep silence in such a time, for it is an evil time. Seek (inquire for and require) good and not evil that you may live, and so the Lord, the God of hosts, will be with you, as you have said." (Amos 5:13-14 AMP)

"By a long forbearance and calmness of spirit a judge or ruler is persuaded, and soft speech breaks down the most bonelike resistance." (Proverbs 25:15 AMP)