So it’s supposed to be Manna Monday, right? (Missed the first Manna Monday? Click here.) A.K.A. the time where I share what God is teaching me at the time.
So I thought and I thought, and I came up with nothing?
Maybe (and you will all have to excuse me) because I am BLINDED by my anger right now.
Remember our faux child? Also known as my brother-in-law who is living at my house right now. Who just so happens to be a teenager. Who is irresponsible and young.
I am not a patient woman. I wish I were, but I am not. All of the patience in my family is my husband’s. And his is wearing thin too.
We set out very simple rules for him to follow when he came to live with us.
We even had him sign a contract. Why?
Because the whole purpose of him coming was because he had been getting into a lot of trouble back home, so we figured if we offered our home up to him, it would be an opportunity for a fresh start. Since he had been in trouble in the past, we didn’t want to leave ourselves vunerable so we made a contract.
I DO applaud him for coming to live with us to begin with. At least he took the first step to change his life.
But people? I am so angry I literally feel like my whole body is on fire.
Simple rules are simple rules.
#1 Tell us where you are going and be back by 12:30 am.
Telling us where he is going helps keep him safe. And I personally think 12:30 am is pretty darn lenient if you ask me. Brandon and I both have jobs/school in the morning to go to so its not too much to ask him to be back by 12:30.
----Does he tell us where he is going? N.O. Despite numerous requests to do so, he still disappears. Without so much as a note.
----Does he come back by 12:30am? N.O. He blames it on his work schedule. But once? I caught him in a lie saying he was up at the basketball court even though earlier he said he was working.
#2 Do not take anything of ours without asking
-----Has he taken 4 different things within the past month? YES . Most recently? My husband’s $300 MP3 player.
#3 Pay rent
-----He has been here for a month. Not only has he not paid his security deposit, he has not paid his rent.
#4 Do not sneak in and out of our house
----On more than one occasion we have noticed a window being left open or a door being unlocked. Thanks, I really want my house to be burglarized. Thanks so much for leaving us all vulnerable. No really, I am so grateful.
HOW IN THE WORLD DO PEOPLE SURVIVE WITH TEENAGERS IN THEIR HOME?
I feel like I have totally lost my mind! To know me is to know that I am hard core. When I set rules? I am not joking. I really mean them.
But with our faux child? He is sooo sensitive and can go off in an instant, and even though I am furious with him for doing all of the above? I still love him and want him to be safe. The last thing I want is for him to blow up and leave and do something stupid.
I guess this is the same predicament all parents of teenagers have. You want to punish, but you realize they are part adult but at the same time still so very much a kid. You realize that if you push too hard they will disappear, but if you don’t set the boundaries they will walk all over you.
And people? I am NOT NOT NOT NOT NOT one to be walked all over. If anything? I can be way too harsh.
What’s that you say, Lord?
That I am a hypocrite?
The last thing I want right now is to be convicted.
Can’t I just be angry and hold a grudge? Just this once?
Even as I write this blog post, I realize I am in need of a change of heart.
Should I allow my brother in law to walk all over us? By no means. We have already brainstormed consequences for when he walks in the door tonight. And they WILL be implemented.
But when Peter came to Jesus himself and asked how many times should he forgive his ‘brother’ who sins against him and asks: “Should I forgive him seven times??”
What does Jesus reply? Not seven times, but seventy times seven. A.K.A. 490 times. A.K.A. Unlimited forgiveness, which is the same type of forgiveness that Jesus gives to us.
And WOW. I Know that I have just as many, if not more, sins that I have committed against other people.
I know that I am a hypocrite.
Even as I write this? The anger is dissipating as I allow the Truth to wash over me.
Yes he needs consequences, but more than that? He needs love and forgiveness. He needs to have a human experience of a Christ-like love that is so unconditional that it leads him to Christ himself.
If I, as a Christian (a representative of Christ’s name) is not acting like that same name I represent, how will the world… how will my brother-in-law see that the love of God is SO much better, bigger, and greater than any other love you will ever find.
And how will he thirst for a relationship with Jesus if he never sees how life-altering it can be?
Forgive me, Jesus.
And I guess this turned into a Manna Monday, afterall.