“Not everyone likes to hear you talk as much as you do, Mom!”
As my daughter left the room, I felt her words pierce my heart. After a good cry, I went to talk the the Lord about it. I found out that He agreed with her. Granted, He said it in a much gentler fashion, but I hadn’t listened to Him, until my daughter managed to say it first.
Your children, especially in their teen years, are your soul’s best mirror. If you really want to see how others see you, ask them. Because, at some point or another, they are going to tell you just what they think about you.
I’m not saying that every word is truth or that teenaged attitudes should be given carte blanche.
Yet as you filter their words through the screen of His Word, you may find a few kernels of truth worth noting.
Adolescent hormones and puberty are the gravel through which you sift to find the nuggets of gold. Your children are selected especially for you. Part of that purpose includes seeing yourself through a candid set of eyes.
God has given us spiritual reflectors all around us:
In our parents
In our husbands
In our children
In our mentees
In our bosses
In our co-workers
Like living in a house of mirrors, every corner offers us a self-reflection in the eyes of our family. Our trouble is that we often don’t want to see our true image. Seventeenth century French Christian Francois Fenelon says, “The pain you feel at your own imperfection is worse than the faults themselves. Your problem really is that you become so irritated by seeing your faults.”
Are you willing to see yourself as God sees you? Then pick up the separating screen and begin sorting through words of Truth you hear and words of emotion:
- You can most usually throw out sentences that include the words “always” or “never”. Things like: “You never let me have any fun.” “You always look for ways to embarrass me.” Look for the nugget of truth within the statement, but sentences with extreme qualifiers are usually emotion based.
- Is there a Scripture verse similar to the statement you just heard? “Not everyone likes to hear you talk as much as you do” is quite similar to our next verse in James: “If anyone thinks himself to be religious, and yet does not bridle his tongue but deceives his own heart, this man’s religion is worthless” (James 1:26). Forgive the pain of how it was said and move on to living the revealed Word of God.
- Just because you find your child’s disobedience similar to your own, you must still discipline. As you do so, invite the Lord to work within you in that specific area. Take disciplinary action cues from the way He disciplines you.
I’m sure you have so many more practical insights.
How has seeing your reflection in the eyes of another made you better?