Taming the Rebel

Boy Two was getting dressed for school yesterday and asked me, “Mom what is the color that is the most opposite of pink?” I had to stop for a minute and reach back in to the storehouse of color wheel knowledge from my cosmetology school career before coming up with an answer which was most likely incorrect. (Light green?)

Speaking of cosmetology school, that is the only college degree program I managed to complete. I had brief stints in computer programming. It turns out someone who is incapable of thinking linear-ly and logically or whose work requires them to squelch their love for speech and sit quietly for hours upon end is not so much cut out for the job. I also tried nursing but decided that I didn’t like being ordered about or patronized by doctors so my own pride issues made me determine if I couldn’t be at the top of the hospital food chain and be the one ordering and patronizing then I didn’t want to be there at all. Pre-Jesus people. Not justifying my attitudes, just sharing. Or oversharing.

And since we are talking about my issues, even though I completed the cosmetology program I never went to work in the field. Why? Insecurity. I couldn’t bear the thought of doing a real whack job on someone and their telling all their friends, “Lisa just ruined my hair, y’all. Just ruined it!” Especially when that person was my husband. It turns out I’m a horrible hair cutter and Yay! It only took an entire year of school to figure it out!

So, back to Two and his colors. I asked him why he needed to know the polar opposite of pink. He informed me that some kids at school had come up with the idea to wear a certain colored shirt each day of the week and because he is anti-establishment, he was going to protest by wearing the exact opposite. Yesterday was Black Day so he wore white. Today was Pink Day and since he didn’t have light green (if that was even the right opposite) he decided to go with brown. When he told Boy One his plan, he said, “Way to stick it to The Man, brother.”

You won’t be surprised to learn this is the boy who has taken up skateboarding and is a text book middle child in every sense. Don’t worry, he’s not walking on the dark side. He’s a precious, compassionate, driven kid and if his mom’s prayers are answered, he’ll be a wonderful pastor. But not just any pastor. He’ll be the one to challenge the way things have always been done and no doubt will do church some crazy way that makes a traditionalist sweat.

My thoughts this morning are totally random. Surprise! But it’s amazing to me how completely different my four children who have been raised with basically the same environment can be. But more amazing than that is being able to pick out what makes them so very valuable to the Kingdom and encouraging that part of them for good and not for evil. It occurs to me that those exact strengths can be twisted to spectacular weaknesses if not bent in a godly direction. That need to fight The Man in Boy Two can easily become pride and arrogance if not tamed early on. We tell our boys all the time that One is going to be a theologian because of his brilliant mind, Two will be a pastor because of his compassionate heart, Three will be an evangelist so he can blow in, blow off and blow out, and The Girl? The Girl. The last I heard she wanted to be a fairy.

So what about your families? Do your kids have peculiar traits now that you can see will be incredible tools of ministry? How do you encourage them? I’m always up for fresh ideas. I’ll start:

* Pinpoint a unique trait about your child and compare them to a biblical character that was used for great glory in the Kingdom. Don’t be afraid to point out how that strength was also a weakness if allowed in to the enemy’s hands.

You are next!