The Battle for “Mine”

About three weeks ago I picked up on my son’s comment during the car ride, and I attempted to drive home a point. My son had claimed something as “his.” More specifically, he wanted credit from his brother for finding a particular YouTube video. It struck a nerve with me because my oldest son, who is now 13, has become notably more territorial. Explaining all of the factors that would have gone into “his” discovery of the video made me feel better, even though it may have landed on deaf ears.
And then it was my turn. The very next morning, after bringing my sons to school, I stopped by the grocery store for a handful of staple items. The local grocery was quiet early in the morning so only the service counter was open. I set my items on the counter and decided to be Mr. Good Citizen and walked over to put the basket back where I had found it. As I came back to the counter, I noticed that the cashier had begun to check out the woman who was behind me in line. Internally I was taken aback: “I was there first! Didn’t she see that I was doing a good thing? And couldn’t she wait twenty seconds until I returned?”
Mine. That ugly word reared its head in our home again today. My two oldest sons disputed the use of a shared desk in their bedroom. Neither would budge. My attempt to intervene only proved more frustrating to them and to me. I tried to exhibit dominion over them as their father, reaching deep (not that deep) into my bag of tricks to restore order and reclaim peace. My peace. Their conflict was interrupting my day.
I would not often accuse myself of being a fast learner, as this course of events clearly revealed. As I retreated to the bathroom to wash up after a workout – and to avoid further unraveling on my part – it finally dawned on me. I was fighting the wrong battle. My sons were not the problem. The problem was not even the problem. The problem was a lie and the problem was the liar – the father of lies. 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. (Ephesians 6:12) That is the truth, and thankfully, that is the truth that was brought to my mind.
Recognizing that truth helped redirect my energy, helped refocus my battle. Why should I be in combat with my sons when the source of conflict was a spirit of selfishness, greed, and pride? In my very helpless I-can’t-do-it state, I began to speak out truth and claim the victory found in the life of Jesus Christ. I commanded the enemy out of my home and away from my children and humbly acknowledged that neither this house nor these children are “mine.”
“Have your way.” Simple words, but powerful. They ought to leave my lips more often. I would do well to leave my Burger King attitude at the foot of the cross so that God’s will can be accomplished without my resistance. I need to be the burger flipper and fry dipper that simply says, “Have it your way, God.” But far, far too often I think I own the place. Very clearly I don’t.
I need to speak truth more often – not my truth – God’s truth. I need to speak Scripture. I need to pray Scripture. I need to stop believing that I can add anything to what is HIS. I would love to tell you that my oldest sons have hugged and washed each other’s feet. Nope. But I have confirmation that I’m fighting the right battle and I’m chasing them with the truth. When I opened up YouVersion to study Proverbs, the Verse of the Day was the same one I have painted on my living room wall – 2 Thessalonians 3:3, “But The Lord is faithful, and he will strengthen and protect you from the evil one.” Truth. And I turned on Pandora to bring an atmosphere of worship into the home. I chose the Francesca Battistelli station – my son Joshua’s favorite artist – and the first song that played was “I’m Letting Go.” I pray that I can also make that statement a truth in this home.

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One comment on “The Battle for “Mine”

  1. Brigitte Franchesca says:

    I will not conceal his parts, nor his power, nor his comely proportion. (Job 41:12 KJV)

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