If you ask your child what the word RESPECT means, can they tell you? Ask your 12-18 year old. Collin didn’t have a clue. But yet that is the buzz word now. They don’t “respect” me. Believe it or not, the best definition I found was in the Urban Dictionary:
It means valuing each others points of views. It means being open to being wrong. It means accepting people as they are. It means not dumping on someone because you’re having a bad day. It means being polite and kind always, because being kind to people is not negotiable. It means not dissing people because they’re different to you. It means not gossiping about people or spreading lies.
Well, that sounds kind of biblical to me. I think we overlook respecting each other as adults in order to teach our children. This starts about the preteen age and goes down hill! At least it has for our boys. I even remember dealing with it myself. I wasn’t a very respectful child. It turned into anger issues which has taken me 40 years to handle properly. I know, you can’t imagine. Me? Anger issues? Hush Donna. I even did it to Collin on Sunday just because I didn’t like what he had on for church. The hardest thing for me was to go to him and apologize. I did it. His response was, “I don’t care anymore.” It hurt me deeply, but others assure me that he heard me.
We ran into a situation this week with Collin who is now hitting “that” stage. I wasn’t looking forward to “that” stage; the teen years. About two weeks ago he asked, “When am I going to be able to make my own decisions about my life?” I’m glad I was around the corner when he asked that question and I fell out on the floor laughing. The second time around, this is SO much easier. Anyway, Collin had a respect issue with an adult at church this week. I did reprimand him at church and he did get upset because he naturally defended himself. I also made sure I got the story from the adult.
The car ride home was very quiet, but I was humming and singing to the radio to let him know that I wasn’t letting this get under my skin. When we got home, Collin went in the house upset and Jay asked what was wrong. I told him about the respect conversation. “She doesn’t respect me, so I don’t care.” To me, that relates ~ I’ll do what I want. As Collin was going upstairs I asked him if he knew what respect meant. He didn’t answer. He told me everyone says that and everyone feels the same way. I told him do not jump on a bandwagon if you don’t know where it’s going! Be a leader not a follower. He said he was trying. What I didn’t tell him and Jay and I discussed is that the adults must deserve the respect. But we did tell Collin that no matter what the adult is doing, they deserve respect.
I hate to compare my sons. That is a sensative matter with Collin right now, but there are just traits in their characters that are naturally different. Trey was a leader. He didn’t mind standing alone. He did it often and sometimes he was lonely. Collin is a follower and has never met a stranger. When we were having this conversation, I tried to explain to Collin a little bit about respect and obedience because what he did was disrespectful in talking back to an adult. I told him all the times that crowds called out bad names at Jesus and threw things at him, what do you think he did? Collin said, nothing. I said exactly. And that is what we are supposed to do. If someone says something we don’t like and as much as we want to correct them or get angry, we need to keep our mouth shut. Collin’s reaction was–BUT, But, but. . . I said Collin, we are not responsible for THEIR actions, only our own. We can’t control them. Maybe if they see our actions, they will think about their own. And I thought of Trey. His simple actions impacted so many. His tweets of scripture. I think I told you where it started. It started at home. After the family of families weekend when he wrote on the brick Eph. 6:1 ~
“Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right.”
That is what he vowed to work on. That brick is on our mantle for all to see and for all of us to work on. We are also children of the Lord, who we need to obey.
Collin still struggled with the fact that people talk out of both sides of their mouth. I told him, honey, you will see girls (I had to use girls!) huddled in a group talking about someone and then the next minute they will be that person’s best friend. I said, don’t ask me to explain it, it is just they way it is at this age. He doesn’t understand it and it makes him angry. In some ways, I’m GLAD it makes him angry because he knows it’s wrong. But he is also seeing it in adults. He sees the youth talking about the adults and then stabbing them in the back. I told him, don’t be a part of that. It will go on your entire teen years. The best thing about the whole incident ~ (and you have to know Collin) he looked me in the eyes and he listened without voices being raised.
Then we watched Duck Dynasty as a family. Respect. A teaching moment I will cherish. A moment I remember having with Trey, and he learned it. God’s word DOES NOT come back void. For it says in Proverbs 22:6 ~
“Train up a child in the way they should go, and even when they are old they will not turn from it.”
Trey may not have lived to be old in years, but he was wise in mind. All because of obedience. I will keep teaching Collin and keep praying that he will learn the same lessons. Not that he will be like Trey, but that he will be the man that God wants him to be.
Eph. 6:12 ~
“For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.”
Pray for us tomorrow, it is Jay’s birthday ~ without Trey. At least Jay will be at work and hopefully busy.