My son’s in a lot of trouble. He’s 16 and completely out of control. Arrests, convictions, incarceration, and probation have had no positive effect at all. I see my former life playing out in him and it scares me. I know that path, been down that road, got the number and the uniform.
I know there are many of us who wish we could be there for our children but because of the choices’ we have made, they suffer. My son is responsible for his own choices, I get that, but me not being there is sure not helping his situation. At this point I pray for him, listen to him, talk to him and remind him that I love him. Regardless of what he does or doesn’t do he’s my son and I love him.
There are also others in his life who genuinely care about him and in their love they try to help him. However in their frustration it often comes out in the form of yelling, cursing, hitting, and threatening. None of these things will change him. How do I know? They never changed me. They only taught me to intensify my violence and become a better manipulator.
Accountability/consequences must happen, it is necessary but it rarely changes anyone. In fact it doesn’t. it may cause the person to modify their behavior but it won’t change them. Rules, laws, threats, AA/NA, incarceration, it’s the same with all of them. They won’t change you. They may change your behavior short term but most likely you will return to your old ways.
So how does a person really change. Through heart transformation not through behavior modification. ONLY Jesus Christ and His love can produce this change of heart in a person. Christ’s love compels me to make good choices to honor Him. Paul said the same thing in 2 Cor. 5:14-15. Not my love for Him, but His love for me. Paul didn’t say it was his love for God, but God’s love for him that compelled him.
My prayer for my son is that he will realize how much Jesus Christ loves him and that he will surrender his life to Him. God’s love is what changes people. God’s love changed me. Christ’s love for me compels me to no longer live for myself but to live for Him. That’s my prayer for my son. That he will come to know God’s love just as I have. In the meantime I will continue to love him, listen to him, and pray diligently for him. Real change only happens through true surrender to Jesus Christ. It’s not a program, it’s not a class, and it’s not behavior modification. It’s heart transformation and it only comes through Jesus Christ and His love.
He lives, I serve,