I heard a counselor recently say that when we have voices speaking harm into our lives (whether from others or our own thoughts), the answer is the voice of God. We may not be able to remove or even lower the volume of those other voices, but we can choose to amplify the voice of God and to accept His voice as the ultimate authority on who we actually are – our identity, our value, our worth in His eyes. The Psalms can be a great resource for this, often speaking the things we are feeling in our own heart, but there might be other passages that resonate more for your son (maybe the people working in Nehemiah even in the face of discouragement and persecution, or David’s life full of personal ups/downs and attacks from others but rooted in a heart for God). He might already be good at approaching Scripture like this, but I know it is something I have always struggled with (knowing verses but not feeling their personal connection to me and my life) so it might be something he will need your help with. I know how deeply things like what he is hearing can get internalized, but your support is invaluable, even if you aren’t necessarily seeing the fruits of it right now.
For your younger son, could you help him develop some better ways to cope with his anger? If it is already starting to manifest into bullying, it might be helpful to separate the anger from the resulting behavior when responding to him. My boys are younger, so I don’t know how it would work with older kids. But it often helps them if I show compassion for what they are feeling while still helping them see that lashing out at others is not the way to express it, to even let them see it modeled in my own life. It has helped them to see that anger does not have to lead directly to being mean, and that feeling angry is not wrong of itself. It has opened the door for them to pause and ask for help, instead of acting directly on their feelings. Sometimes, the most helpful thing has been to just be pragmatic about it and show them how going the bullying route doesn’t actually get them what they want in the long run or ends up making them feel awful inside. There are a lot of Bible examples that can help convey this, and I have also used some of the stories we have listened to together as illustrations to help them understand too, if it didn’t seem like they were getting it. Again, your son is a little bit older, but maybe there is something in this that could help with him too?
I will be praying for you and your family. It doesn’t sound like you have much space for rest and refreshment, but I do pray that you have been (or will be) able to find hope and comfort in the care of our Lord (Mt.11:28-30; Ps.23). And I pray that you will be able to get some helpful advice and encouragement through this forum. Your love for your sons is evident, and your dedication to your Father as well. May His grace be a continued source of strength for you.
- This reply was modified 4 years, 5 months ago by ToWalkWorthy.