God Knows What a Son Needs
Lori Doutrich shares how giving her son totally to God helped bring healing and harmony to his attitude and to their relationship.
Lori Doutrich and her family move frequently because her husband works in US embassies around the world. This past September, they were stationed in Tunis during the uprisings, when demonstrators attacked the US Embassy. Lori and the children were evacuated to the United States, but her husband stayed behind in Tunis until mid April. Their son was having issues, which escalated to a near breaking point. Here's how God turned it around.
As a parent, you do the best you can. This school year, I've had to be a single parent because the violent attack on the US embassy in Tunis separated us from my husband. Even before the attack, our son had been difficult. But all the changes for my son – changing countries, changing schools, being without his dad – only exacerbated the situation and put a greater strain on our relationship.
I went to the library and took out a lot parenting books and began reading through them. But I didn't find the answer that I needed. I knew that I needed to pray about this. The world may not have the answers, but God always does. Since God made man (in this case my son) in His "image and likeness" (Gen 1:26), and since God is good, then it is only natural for my son to express goodness; it's not natural for him to rebel against doing what is right or good.
I had also been praying with this Bible passage: "The law of his God is in his heart; None of his steps shall slide" (Ps 37:31). I knew that there was a law of harmony in my son's heart, that God had already established it, and that my son could not slide into a bad attitude.
All these ideas also helped me when dealing with resentment towards the men who attacked our embassy. As I started seeing how God had truly made his children, I began to have more peace of mind about what happened on September 14th, 2012 and started to see my son in his true light. If I had accepted that it was in the nature of any of God's children to be bad, and this meant those attacking the embassy, then such could be true of my son. I wasn't willing to accept this, for I knew he was not innately bad. What is true for one is true for all. God is our only creator, and He only created goodness. There is only one God, and He is all-powerful and always present.
One day my son and I got into a huge argument. We tried to call his dad, but it was the middle of the night there and he didn't answer; so we both went to bed crying. As I looked through the library books, praying for some type of guidance, the idea came that divine Love governs my son and that Love doesn't need any help governing him. I needed to trust that. I knew that Love would always meet every need of his. There was nothing I could personally do. So I totally gave my son to God: "Ok, God, You're the one in charge, and You know what he needs."
The next day, all was forgiven, and I saw a huge change in my son's attitude. Parenting didn't seem as hard. He was a better student, a better brother, and more pleasant to be around. I'm not saying all the challenges have left, but I'm turning to God more to raise him, and we've been able to live harmoniously since then.
Even though it seems like I've been without my husband for this year, I feel like I've gained a son. It's been our year to understand each other and to be patient with each other. We've all learned.