True Maturity

It was a small thing.  Probably only something a mother would care about.  But, I am his mother.  And I do care.  So I waited until the time was right.  And then I spoke.

I was careful to make sure there was only love in my voice.  Only the sounds of caring that runs deep.  No judgement.  No rebuke.  Just a gentle pointing out of the need for change.

The iron that sharpens iron.  Spoken through tender affection.

And I knew it wasn't easy for him to hear.  Receiving correction is never easy, but it may be the most difficult in the teen years.  And I saw the struggle in his face, his eyes reflecting the processing my words were requiring of him.

I prayed as I spoke.  "Lord, please let there be no twisting of the sounds from my mouth to his ears, no chance for him to misunderstand my heart."

He was silent for a moment.  And then he did it.

He reached for me, pulling me into a hug, letting his cheek rest against mine.  And he said the words I hadn't expected, "Thank you, Mom."

I was humbled by his grace, his ability to push past ego and receive the temporary wound to his pride in order to gain the long-term growth in his character.  I hugged him back and whispered, "You're welcome.  I'm proud of who you are."

And then I retreated to my own quiet place to think that over. 

My son had surprised me with his maturity.  Was I capable of the same?  When God comes to me to correct me, do I respond with "thank you," or do I attempt to justify myself, finding someone else to blame?  Am I able to look past the smarting of my pride to see the love in His eyes when He needs to point out the need for change in me?  After His discipline, am I confident that I'm still his kid and He's still proud of me, or do I hunt around anxiously for something else to make Him like me more?

"My son, do not despise the Lord's discipline and do not resent his rebuke, because the Lord disciplines those he loves, as a father the son he delights in."  (Prov 3:11-12)

And I pray that the truth of this verse, illustrated to me by my own son, finds its way to the deep places of my heart the next time God needs to point something out to me. 

In that moment, may I reach for Him, lay my cheek against His, and whisper, "Thank you."