Last night my son was changing his shirt and I noticed he had a circular mark/rash all over his back. Before I could impart my best motherly medical diagnosis my son said to me (laughing), “It’s from sting pong.” He had told me earlier that he was playing ping pong at the neighbor’s and that the winner got a free shot to hit the loser with the ping pong ball. I had no idea however that a) a ping pong could leave those kinds of battle scars and that b) based on the number of welts on my son’s back, that my awesome Asian ping pong playing gene had not been passed onto him.
One of my favorite verses of Scripture in leadership and in parenting is I Kings 3:9, “So give your servant a discerning heart to govern your people and to distinguish between right and wrong.” My mom heart wanted to protect my son from sting pong. The mama bear in me wanted to lecture my son on the golden rule and standing up for himself. But as my husband and son were laughing at how fun sting pong is I realized a few things. Although I was a teacher and I would like to think I know what is best for my kids, sting pong reminded me that I have to ask God, who loves my kids more and knows them better than even I do, to help me in my parenting. Sometimes that discernment comes in the form of realizing my son has to grow up in a man’s world, something I know nothing about (a.k.a., sometimes that means I have to not argue with my husband about the evils of sting pong, wrestling in the house and other manly rites of passage).
Dear Wise and Heavenly Father, thank you for teaching me once again I am in control of nothing. Thank you that although I cannot constantly be with or protect my children, particularly as they become teenagers, I can depend on You. Thank you that I can pray for Your wisdom in raising my children and thank you that often times you want me to respond to them by keeping my mouth closed. Thank you for the peace you give me in being a mom (Psalm 91:11 & 12) knowing you will protect them (even from sting pong). I pray that I and all the moms reading this today will give our kids over to You earnestly and consistently in prayer and ask daily for Your wisdom and discernment in our parenting. Amen.”