Soup for the Hurting Soul
by Terri Bonin
Do you have any idea how much grief untrained children can cause?
I do! It’s awful!
Whenever I get sloppy with follow through, my kids respond with laziness in their behavior…Funny how that works.
Why can’t they just do what I say instead of modeling what I do? Following through can be SO DRAINING for a sleep-deprived, overworked mama!
But sleep deprivation and pressed for time are…
…just excuses that will leave the young, tired parent frazzled and desperate when the seeds of neglect have sewn disrespectful, irresponsible young adults.
Kids mirror actions and ignore words when a parent lives an undisciplined life.
The other day my husband left the house to run a few errands when one of our neighbors urgently flagged him down.
“Will you help me? This man is trying to get into my home and I can’t stop him!”…
Troy parked his car and ran for the man banging on the front door. (As the mother of his 11 children, I’m not sure about the wisdom of this choice…but he survived so it’s OK now.)
The would-be intruder banged a seriously intoxicated hand against the door. Troy tried to reason with him while the owner of the home, ran to flag down the nearby constable for help.
To greatly shorten a very interesting story…after the big ordeal, we learned the lost drunk man is a new neighbor… not far from us. It was unclear whether he was a diabetic in need of medication, an overmedicated sick person, or simply an alcoholic. So naturally, we gave him the benefit of the doubt and reasoned that he was having a REALLY BAD DAY… and was probably SERIOUSLY HUMILIATED!
As our family discussed the details of the event, we decided as a family that we needed to pray for this man and his family, make them feel welcome… and take them food, of course. Food is always involved when I’m on the council.
So the next day I slow cooked a homemade chicken soup, seasoned it perfectly, and sealed the container with a prayer. The meal was wrapped in a towel and a group of Bonins left to deliver the food as a Welcome to the Neighborhood gift.
Reluctantly the door opened and a frowning, slumping teen said, “What?”
“We made a meal for your family.”
“SO! What is it?”
“Chicken soup,” (said a little too cheerfully.)
Mumbling, “Well, it probably won’t get eaten.” The teen shrugged and whispered a rude name as the door swung shut.
Stunned is hardly the word to describe my kids’ expressions when they retold the story to my husband.
Despondency fills that home.
The father was having more than a bad day. His choices have greatly affected the life of a younger person.
Our kids need us to be emotionally present…even when we’re tired…even when life hurts, even when it feels like one big interruption.
Yes, it’s possible for kids to rise above a parent’s choices and live better, but more often than not, a pain-ridden, selfish life is duplicated times 10 in children. Age does not always bring wisdom and our neglect to love, train and discipline will reap the due results.
Untrained, undisciplined children grow into undisciplined, selfish adults who heap pain on everyone who loves them.
Let’s remember to live the way we hope our children will live when they become adults.